Post-dinner snacks that won't disturb your sleep
Struggling to get some decent shut eye? Feeling like your body is conspiring against you to stop you drifting to the land of nod? You’re not alone. We all know to lay off the caffeine right before bed, but did you know that what you eat can also impact the quality of your sleep? Here are some of the top foods you should try to avoid before sleep:
Spicy foods: While these foods can often have numerous health benefits, they can cause heartburn and acid reflux, which is often worse when lying down. This can make it harder to drift off.
Caffeine: Coffee and energy drinks are high in caffeine and can make you jittery and full of energy, which can make it harder to turn off those racing thoughts. Try and avoid them later in the day.
Heavy fatty meals: Whilst often yummy, these meals can play havoc on the digestive system which can cause discomfort, making it difficult to get to sleep.
Alcohol: Although alcohol can make you feel relaxed and sleepy, it can prevent you having a deep, restful sleep.
Cheese: Whilst many of us may be fond of post-dinner cheeseboard, indulging in your favourite cheese may in fact be affecting your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Strong and aged cheese contains naturally occurring high levels of tyramine, which makes us feel more alert.
Salty Foods: Indulging in too much salt before bedtime dehydrates the body, and may cause you to wake up looking puffy due to increased water retention, causing drowsiness and fatigue. You may also wake in the night due to headaches caused by dehydration.
Too much food: Eating a large meal close to bed will affect our ability to get to sleep. This is because our bodies are using a whole host of hormones and energy to digest the food. The digestion process then causes surges in blood sugar, body temperature and cortisol. Cortisol has been shown to remain elevated for 3 hours after a high carbohydrate meal. Similarly, it is important not to snack if you wake up in the night as your body may start to ‘expect’ food during the night, causing you to wake.
Too little food: Hunger can also cause issues with getting to sleep and staying asleep, so if you are feeling hungry before bed, try eating a light snack low in sugar to help stave off hunger pains.
While it is recommended to wait a couple of hours after dinner before going to bed, Rescue has collaborated with health and wellness content creator, Jessy Ball (@popcornandpyjamas), to give you two delicious post-dinner snacks that are a great, healthy alternative to traditional desserts. Perfect for when you’re really in the mood for that little something sweet. We hope you love them as much as we do!
PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA
- 200g Oats
- 300g Chosen Nuts
- 150g Chosen Ground Nuts
- 4 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 6 tbsp Honey
- 4 tbsp Peanut Butter
- Pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper before spreading the granola evenly onto the tray.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and at desired finish.
- Take from the oven and allow to cool.
- Enjoy! I leave mine in a sealed glass jar to enjoy with oat milk for breakfast, yoghurt and berries for a snack and chocolate milk or melted chocolate for dessert!!
BANANA AND STRAWBERRY RIPPLE ICE CREAM
- 470ml Plant-Based Double Cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 240ml Plant Milk
- 85g Coconut Sugar
- 3 Extremely Ripe Bananas
- 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 200g Strawberries
- 4 tbsp Honey
- ½ tsp Lemon Juice
- Whisk the egg yolks in a mixing bowl.
- Over heat, stir the milk and sugar together in a saucepan Wait for the sugar to dissolve and once small bubbles appear around the edges turn the heat down.
- Add a ladle of the milk and sugar mixture into the yolks and stir together.
- Return the egg yolks and milk into the saucepan with the majority of the milk and sugar. This stops the eggs scrambling!
- Cook until the mixture is of a custard texture. Constantly stir the mixture so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the custard is thick enough to coat the back of your spatula you can take it off the heat.
- Put in a food process and blend with the ripe bananas until smooth.
- Whip the double cream until it doesn’t move when you turn the bowl upside down (please be careful here!)
- Gently mix the cream and custard/banana blend together and add to your ice cream maker. If you do not have an ice cream maker, simply mix in a glass bowl and freeze!
- For the strawberry ripple I just make a coulis: put the strawberries, honey and lemon juice into a saucepan and heat until the strawberries are mush. Put in a blender and then strain to make sure it is really smooth. Once the banana ice cream is ready for the freezer, simply drizzle the strawberry coulis through the ice cream without mixing it in too much so you keep the lines of berry.
- Freeze (ideally overnight) and enjoy!