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Are Bedtime Snacks Bad For You?

Many people enjoy a snack before bed, but does this negatively impact their health? Eating something a couple of hours before bed could reduce the chances of an individual waking from hunger and help them sleep better. However, choosing an option high in sugar, sodium or fat could increase the chances of weight gain, so it's best to stick to nutritious snacks.

Herbal tea, milk, peanut butter on toast, and cheese and crackers all make sufficient bedtime snacks, and the latter two combine carbohydrates with proteins. This is thought to be beneficial for sleep because proteins make tryptophan, an amino acid that makes people sleepy, and carbs make this amino acid more available to the brain, according to LiveScience. However, research has shown that up to 15 grams of tryptophan is necessary to create a sleepy effect.

More important is to recognize what shouldn't be ingested right before bed. This includes caffeine, alcohol, garlic-flavored and spicy foods and options high in fat.

Senior care services can help patients choose nutritious bedtime snacks, and elderly care agencies can also assist older adults in creating regular nighttime routines.

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