It’s late at night. You’re dead tired. You lie down in bed and close your eyes, wanting to get a goodnight sleep. You toss and turn, take on all the sleeping positions you love, and count sheep in your head… only to find that more than an hour has passed and you’re still wide awake. What’s wrong with you?
Chances are, you probably ate something that’s keeping you up right before bedtime. If you don’t want to have insomnia come knocking into your bedroom, stay away from these 13 worst foods to eat at night. These are the kinds of foods that will prevent you from getting a shuteye and well-deserved rest.
I know what you’re thinking. How can something so divine be bad for bedtime? Just the thought of smooth, luscious chocolate gliding in your mouth makes you want to snuggle with a pillow and call it a night.
Chocolate has caffeine though, especially dark chocolate. Caffeine is normally found in the cacao pods used to make chocolate. It is the same thing present in coffee which gives you that morning jolt and extra doses of energy throughout the day. It is a stimulant that improves mental alertness, reduces tiredness, and speeds up your metabolic rate – not exactly the things you want before heading to bed.
Darker chocolates usually contain more caffeine than lighter colored ones, making them the worst possible chocolate to eat before sleep. Basically, the darker the chocolate is, the more caffeine you can get out of it. The more caffeine a chocolate has, the more you should avoid it at night.
Some of these dark chocolates contain a significant amount of caffeine. Take Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolate for example. It has 30 mg of caffeine. That is about 25 to 38 percent the caffeine of a standard sized cup of coffee, more caffeine than a half ounce of espresso, just a little less than the caffeine found in a cup of brewed tea, and the same amount found in a cup of instant tea. Even milk chocolate has enough caffeine to keep you up. A 1.5 oz. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar has 9 to 12 mg of caffeine, which is 3 to 4 times more than the caffeine present in a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
Caffeine is not the only culprit in chocolate however. It also contains another stimulant – theobromine. Theobromine causes your heart to race and will make sleeping difficult. The one type of chocolate you can eat at night is white chocolate. It does not contain theobromine and has little to no caffeine.