There are several precautions that you should take before bedtime to ensure that you get the best night's sleep possible. A very important rule of thumb is to watch the foods and beverages that you consume in the hours leading up to bedtime. Certain foods are proven to make it harder for you to fall asleep. Here are some things that should not be consumed before you go to bed:

  • Coffee-  We'll begin with the most obvious substance to avoid. We  all know that we should avoid coffee, but do you know why? Coffee is a known stimulant. It can keep you awake during the hours that you normally sleep. Since the caffeine from coffee can stay in your system for hours, it is best to avoid drinking it except before 2 pm, if possible. Herbal teas such as chamomile are a healthier alternative that won't keep you up at night.
  • Chocolate-  'Aside from not being the healthiest food in the world, chocolate contains moderate amounts of caffeine. Dark chocolate contains the most. In addition to caffeine, chocolate contains theobromine. This is another stimulant that can increase your heart rate and make it even harder to fall asleep. Chocolate before bed is a definite no-no!
  • Extremely high-fat foods- Say no to that cheeseburger and fries. Don't eat that greasy taco either! High fat foods stimulate the production of acids. These acids can lead to heartburn, which will definitely keep you up at night!
  • Alcoholic beverages- Though alcohol is known to cause drowsiness, it has an extremely high metabolic rate. This can cause you to wake frequently during the night. This will affect the quality of your sleep and cause you to wake up feeling tired and drowsy. 
  • Spicy foods- Like high-fat foods, they can cause lasting heartburn that makes it impossible to fall asleep.

Avoid these foods at all costs to enjoy a good, uninterrupted night's sleep! As an alternative, try sleep-inducing foods such as cherries. What are your favorite bedtime snacks?