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01st Sep 2023

Eating this snack before bed can seriously disrupt your sleep

Jody Coffey

This would be hard for me to avoid on the weekends, I’ll be honest.

What you eat can be linked to insomnia, and experts have weighed in on what snacks may be preventing us from getting a good night’s rest.

One of the worst feelings ever is being extremely tired all day and then not being able to fall asleep as soon as it is time for bed.

In 2020, the National Institute of Health reported that 6% to 15% of the Irish population lay awake at night with insomnia.

A multitude of contributors could be wreaking havoc on your sleeping routine. These include stress, anxiety, and having caffeine before bed.

One sleep expert singles out one salty snack that could be at the root of your insomnia.

Speaking to the Mirror, Katherine Hall, a sleep expert with over 13 years of clinical experience in the public and private sector, says if people want to improve their sleep, certain foods should be avoided.

Salty foods before bedtime, such as crisps or salted nuts, could actually be triggering insomnia or making the issue worse, which makes late-night movies with popcorn or crisps a little less enticing.

Katherine told the publication that salt intake can often be overlooked as there can be more of a focus on sugar intake when it comes to nutrition and salt.

“Sodium-high meals result in fluid retention and increased blood pressure, making it hard for the body to switch off completely after eating snacks like crisps or salted nuts.”

“This then results in something called superficial sleep, where the sleep isn’t very deep and can often involve disturbances like going to the toilet more, as studies show this can be brought on more by too much salt in the diet.”

While it doesn’t sound like it would do much for late-night cravings, Katherine suggests having a banana before bed.

Bananas are known for their slow release of energy and are often associated with breakfast or pre-workouts. However, the sleep expert says they are also full of great sleeping aids.

“This one may raise a few eyebrows and for good reason, as bananas are so heavily associated with starting the day as opposed to ending it.

“However, bananas contain both tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes melatonin, and magnesium, a muscle relaxant. Both of which promote relaxation and sleep so put the crisps aside and have a banana before bed.”

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