It might cause you to drop straight off to sleep, but alcohol is one of those acidic foods that can cause reflux. Because it relaxes the stomach-to-oesophagus valves, your body isn’t able to keep food where it belongs. Combined with a burger and chips, you’re asking for heartburn.
Not all cereals, of course, but steer clear of high-sugar, low-fibre options like the choco crunches. They will play games with your blood sugar levels, and you’ll either wake up hungry or won’t be able to sleep. A bowl of whole-grain, high-fibre cereal is a good choice, though.
Not just because it gives you nightmares, either. Soft cheeses like feta and mozzarella can actually cause a type of acid reflux called “silent reflux”, which can result in sore throats, chronic coughing and difficulty swallowing. If you absolutely have to indulge those cheesy cravings, opt for harder varieties like Parmesan and cheddar.
Chocolate is a pretty acidic food, and the addition of stimulants like caffeine and theobromine really kicks it over to the avoid pile. Chocolate is also not a very filling food, which means you might not actually be that hungry and it’s your sweet tooth talking. Instead, grab a rice cake spread with a nut butter to keep those blood sugar levels steady.
5. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits, tomatoes and apples are all extremely acidic, which can upset your tummy and cause heartburn. Bananas, on the other hand, are a low-acid fruit and the potassium and magnesium in them relax your muscles, sending you gently off into the land of nod.
Read also: 8 Very Good Reasons To Eat More Bananas
This one might sound obvious, but even drinking decaf coffee later into the night can disrupt your sleep. Some people are “caffeine sensitive”, which means they can be affected even by decaf coffee, while others don’t metabolise caffeine efficiently and can feel the effects for a lot longer than the average person. Try to avoid coffee after lunchtime, and reach for a chamomile tea after dinner instead.
7. Greasy Foods
Step away from the late night junk foods like kebabs, beef burgers and hot chips; high-calorie, greasy foods don’t digest as quickly as lighter foods, making you tired and sluggish the next morning. If you really can’t avoid reaching for something when you get home from a night out, a couple of slices of wholegrain toast should satisfy those carb cravings.
This comforting food might be your antidote after a tough day at work, but avoid it at all costs when the hour gets late. Most dairy-rich ice-cream is loaded with fats, making your stomach work harder at digesting. Its high sugar content will also keep you awake. So keep ice-cream off-limits and only for the afternoons or weekends.
Carbohydrates and calories are no-no before bedtime, not only because your body is not able to digest these well when you are resting, but they will also wreak havoc on your waistline and weight. Plus, most pastas have a high glycemic index, which affects your blood sugar levels, keeping you awake longer.
10. Soft Drinks
Fizzy drinks are incredibly acidic, and can damage the valves that connect the stomach to the oesophagus. Plus, they’re a big source of sugar, which can keep you awake. Stick to water, or if you’re in the mood for a treat, opt for a tall glass of Milo.