Who doesn’t love some yummy ice cream after a long day?

While everyone can agree that ice cream is delicious, you may want to pay attention to how close you’re eating it before going to bed. Eating ice cream late at night can impair sleep because of its high sugar content, or it may lead to stomach aches because of the dairy. You should avoid eating food a few hours before bed to prevent issues with sleep. However, sleep experts created an ice cream that may actually promote sleep. 

The Best Time for Late-Night Ice Cream 

If you want an ice cream indulgence, The Cleveland Clinic states that the best time to stop eating is about three hours before bed. Three hours allows your body to digest food fully, leaving your sleep undisrupted, and you won’t go to bed feeling hungry. If you want to eat something within three hours of bedtime, stick to some vegetables with hummus or apples with peanut butter.   

You may want more time between your ice cream and sleep if you suffer from heartburn. According to Verywell, lying down too soon after eating can cause the stomach’s contents to reflux into the esophagus, leading to nighttime heartburn. It can also bring on other gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) symptoms. Heartburn and GERD symptoms can cause issues with falling and staying asleep.   

The Risks & Alternatives 

A Health Digest article explains how sugar in ice cream acts as a stimulant, making it difficult to relax. The high sugar content is what can negatively impact sleep. On top of the sugar, you have dairy, which is high in fat. Too much dairy can cause a stomachache, which results in some very uncomfortable sleep. It’s important to note that it’s not just the ice cream that can cause issues. The added ingredients and flavors can also be the culprit. Chocolate toppings are known to be problematic since chocolate has caffeine, which keeps us awake.   

Saatva writes that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to make less healthy decisions about food the next day, leading to a cycle of poor sleep. If you want to eat something ice-cream-like, but want to be healthy, try alternatives like a frozen banana “nice cream“, a frozen banana blended until it’s smooth and creamy, or a tart cherry smoothie. Bananas and cherries help promote sleep and are wonderfully healthy alternatives to ice cream.   

Best of Both Worlds 

Psst…There is an ice cream out there that is not only delicious but also promotes restful sleep. Nightfood is an ice cream formulated by sleep experts, such as Dr. Michael Brues, which gives people a guilt-free nighttime snacking option with a sleep-friendly nutritional profile. It’s important to note that Nightfood does not contain drugs or sleep aids. It’s a food that promotes better sleep hygiene, like avoiding watching tv before bed or keeping your bedroom cool and dark for optimal sleep.   

Nightfood made sleep-friendly choices regarding protein, fiber, and tryptophan to support relaxation and better sleep quality. Nightfood has almost twice as much tryptophan as regular ice cream and is high in calcium, vitamin B6, and more. It’s also the officially recommended ice cream of the American Pregnancy Association, so it’s safe for those who are pregnant or nursing.  

Everybody knows what you eat before bed affects your sleep, so make positive choices about what you eat and when. Enjoy those sweet (and healthy) dreams! 

Check-in with the QDME Journal for new blogs and fascinating topics!

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