Is it ever a good idea to eat before you go to bed?

Going to bed on an empty stomach can lead to hours of tossing and turning and ruin a good night’s sleep.

However, it’s a commonly held belief that the alternative – eating just before you go to bed – is bad for you, with some people believing the food will sit in your stomach all night. But there is an increasing belief that there are certain foods that are actually beneficial to eat before you go to bed.

Contrary to popular belief, some studies suggest a small snack can help induce sleep. Carb heavy snacks can increase the level of tryptophan, an amino acid associated with hormones that encourage sleep.

However, eating before you go to bed can also lead to heartburn for the very simple reason that lying down makes it easier for the acid in the stomach to move up in to the oesophagus.

There are also other conditions that can be worsened by eating before going to bed such as asthma so, if you have any respiratory conditions, then you should consult with your doctor to get individually tailored advice.

It’s vital to check the types of foods you are eating. Spicy food, acidic or fatty foods are much more prone to cause heartburn.

There are several foods that you should avoid eating before bedtime to help reduce the chances of being woken by a burning sensation in your chest. They include common late night snacks such as:

  • Ice-cream
  • Dark chocolate
  • Cereal
  • Crisps
  • Alcohol

However, there are foods you can eat that can help reduce the chances of getting heartburn. These include:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Fat-free yoghurt
  • Raw vegetables

Whilst often a light snack can aid sleep, overeating and eating the wrong type of foods can actually prevent you getting to sleep.

As always, see what works for you, everybody is different and while one person may benefit from a pre-bed snack, for others it may not be beneficial.

If you do get night-time heartburn, Rennie is on hand to quickly and effectively relieve the symptoms. Rennie Peppermint contains antacid to neutralise excess stomach acid, With over 85 years of experience, a great taste and UK wide availability, it’s no surprise that Rennie is the UK’s number one heartburn and indigestion tablet*.

*based on sales data