We've all been guilty of it from time to time - a hot cup of coffee in the evening to warm us up or to enjoy with dinner, a little slice of chocolate cake, or a dollop of ice cream added to the cake for that delicious a la mode indulgence. Most of us think about the "moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips" aspect of eating before bed, but what you might not realize as that some of the foods in which you're indulging might be preventing you from getting a good night's sleep.

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Stanford University also found that people who get less sleep are more likely to put on weight, so a better night's sleep not only means a better start to your day, but there's a better chance that you'll have more luck losing weight. The study, conducted on 12 healthy participants, found that two days of sleep deprivation caused their appetites to increase by an average of 45 percent. 



  •  It seems obvious, but drinking coffee before bed is certain to make you helpless when trying to fall asleep later. Besides containing caffeine, coffee, just as other liquids that you might consume up to two hours before bedtime, will cause frequent visits to the bathroom which will disturb your REM sleep. 
  • Eating ice cream before bed seems like the perfect summer treat, but ice cream is loaded with fat which, when you're body is at rest, won't burn off and will cause weight gain. It's also been proven that for some, a high sugar diet can actually cause nightmares so while that cooling treat seems like a good idea after dinner, you might pay for it in more than one way later.
  • There are several foods that you should stay away from before bed because they're meals proven to cause heartburn, These foods include pizza and pasta with tomato-based sauces, foods high in garlic, meats, and fruit juices. The chance of heartburn occurring with increase depending on the position in which you sleep, as well.
  • Chocolate, sadly, can also be a source of trouble at bedtime - though, let's admit it, it might sometimes be worth it! The sugar content in candy bars can cause nightmares, and any items, whether dark or milk chocolate, contain caffeine so it will also keep you awake when you should be dreaming about chocolate instead.

Getting the best sleep possible - and these days, making the most of what little sleep we get - can be as simple as changing your diet, finding the best mattress for your sleep position and comfort level, and finding a comfortable pillow. Make sure to draw the shades, take a deep breath, and put that candy bar back!

What food do you try to avoid before bed and which food are you most guilty of indulging in?