It’s no secret that going to sleep in a chilly environment after being cooled down in the summer days feels not only refreshing but also benefits your sleep in many ways. What’s more chilling and cool than eating your favorite ice cream after a long and hot summer day. According to experts, this practice may not be the best idea, especially if you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep cycle.
Experts already proved that we need to sleep in a cozy, but also a comfortable environment for our sleep cycle to become healthier and for us to wake up more rested in the morning.
But, while cozy sounds amazing during the winter months, coziness is not the right word we’re looking for when considering summer days. Moreover, summer days are just around the corner and you want to make sure to optimize your bedtime habits to achieve optimal night rest.
That means you’ll have to give up certain foods that may make you feel too hot when you lay down, but also uncomfortable in sense of upset stomach, frequent urination, and the problem with a metabolism that will make you fall asleep.
Let’s face it, ice cream is a favorite treat of many people, especially in the summer when besides frozen yogurt it’s there to refresh and rejuvenate you. But, is it still a good idea to consume ice cream that is too close to the bed?
We wrote this article for all ice cream enthusiasts who want to enjoy their favorite ice cream bowl, cup, or cone but are worried about the consequences of eating it too close to the bed. This article will help you see why it’s probably not the best idea to eat ice cream before bed.
It will also give you tips on how to eat ice cream in the evening without worrying about how you’ll feel about it after going to bed. It will also look into the alternatives that can help you replace ice cream when you go to bed, but still get refreshed and enjoy the taste without compromising your beauty sleep even on the hottest days.
Should You Eat Ice Cream Before Bed?
To every serious question like this, there is a “yes and no answer.” In the same way, we’re going to answer this question with – yes and no. What does that essentially mean? You should be fine eating ice cream before bed and not have to put up with any consequences, ultimately preserving your night’s sleep and waking up refreshed in the morning.
Why a no then? Because not everyone may feel the same way you do. Even so, you may not always be able to sleep peacefully after eating ice cream just before bed. There are many reasons for that, but what’s important to keep in mind is that no one should sleep straight after having a meal.
Many people consider ice cream not to be an actual meal. After all, it’s a dessert, but point is that it’s a dessert that is rich in sugars, carbs, and dairy unless you’re getting a vegan option, which is often highly unlikely. Nevertheless, it’s still a lot of sugar before bedtime, which can be bad for your sleep.
In that case, the answer is no. Being a midnight fridge raider and snacker may not be the best habit if you want to maintain a healthy weight and healthy sleep, especially in the case of eating ice cream, according to scientists.
There are a lot of reasons why nutritionists and doctors alike recommend eating sugary snacks and foods only in the morning and during the first half of the day – the sugar is digested too fast, causing the sugar levels to spike up and crash straight after.
High blood sugar could give you energy, which can cause you to be awake at night. This has nothing to do with diabetes, but it’s worth mentioning that people who have diabetes can have problems with insomnia. High blood sugar levels can also cause daytime sleepiness the next day.
More importantly, what happens to healthy people also is that after their blood sugar spikes up due to ice cream in the middle of the night, it also tends to come down pretty swiftly, causing them to wake up all of a sudden and later have difficulties falling back asleep.
As a result, many people may have disrupted sleep and also wake up feeling groggy and exhausted. Daytime sleepiness due to sugar fluctuating throughout the night can affect performance, driving, focus, and alertness, which can disrupt even the healthiest sleep cycle.
Sugar-free ice cream can also cause an upset stomach which can lead to diarrhea if you take too much of it. Waking up to use the bathroom can have negative effects on sleep, especially if you have to do it multiple times.
Finally, foods that are rich in dairy which contains a lot of fat can also feel quite defeating for your stomach and digestive system, to the point you may feel upset for multiple days.
What’s worse than anything is that these decisions that lead to poor sleep quality don’t end up there. People who have poor sleep quality are more likely to eat more unhealthy food and make poor decisions about food.
That happens because they need more energy to sustain themselves throughout the day, and also because they are nervous due to poor sleep quality. That way, a person is constantly stuck in a loop where they eat until late hours and then sleep badly, which ultimately leads to making poor decisions and eating more unhealthy foods, according to a study.
That’s why it’s necessary to look into alternatives, and if you find ice cream so irresistible, to the point you need to eat it before bed, you should discover ways to eat it so that it won’t affect your sleep and overall resting times.
Editor’s notes: If you’re a healthy individual with a healthy diet who dines early and has a cup of ice cream or two afterward, keep in mind that ice cream probably won’t affect your sleep. However, if your sleep is frequently disrupted after eating ice cream there’s a pattern to be recognized there.
Things to Do If Eating Ice Cream Before Bed Disrupts Your Sleep
Below, there’s a list of tips and advice you can take if you want to fix your sleep schedule after eating your favorite ice cream. Of course, eating anything too close to your bedtime can disrupt your sleep, in addition to a dessert like ice cream, you might have disrupted sleep. Here are the alternatives.
Eat Your Dinner Earlier
This is the general rule of the thumb when it comes to eating too close to bedtime. Too much of anything two hours before bed can result in poor sleep. For some people with a slow metabolism, eating anything 3 to 4 hours before bed can disrupt their sleep and make them feel tired in the morning.
To not repeat the same mistake, we recommend that you plan your meals earlier, especially if you are having dinner plus ice cream. Some researchers believe that people shouldn’t eat after 6 pm to have better sleep quality and burn the calories they took with their dinner.
If you eat dinner and ice cream, this could be a good practice. Nevertheless, planning your meals so that you can finish eating before certain hours can be difficult and exhausting, but we’re sure that a good organization can help you tackle this issue.
Editor’s notes: A good nutritional plan can help you get used to your routine easier. However, a lot of people were able to control their food intake thanks to intermittent fasting, which you could try out.
Try Vegan or Sugar-Free Ice Cream Instead
An alternative to the regular ice cream in the evening could be vegan ice cream or sugar-free ice cream. Which you’ll choose (if not both) will help you sleep easier. If you’re staying up because the rapid sugar fluctuations are waking you up or causing sleep deprivation then you should consider taking sugar-free ice cream.
If you have problems with high-fat products such as those rich in dairy and they cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea, you should consider avoiding lactose-rich evening snacks and switch to vegan ice cream in the evening.
Editor’s notes: While there are a lot of ice cream brands that you can consider, they’re a bit pricier than regular ice creams, so keep that in mind.
Try Smoothies Instead
Smoothies are a great refreshing drink for the hot summer evenings and depending on which ingredients you choose they could also help you sleep. Melatonin, which is the chemical that tells our body that it’s time to sleep is present in various fruits and ingredients, as well as magnesium and tryptophan.
Tryptophan and melatonin can be found in cherries, goji berries, grapes, and many other fruits. Just grab your blender and blend it all and you’ll enjoy a refreshing snack in the evening.
Editor’s notes: If you don’t want to use dairy products in your smoothie, you can freeze a banana during the day and blend it with the fruit. Banana is rich in fibers which are prebiotics and can help you feel fuller.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ice Cream Before Bed
If you’re worried that ice cream before bed will ruin your sleep, here are some commonly asked questions about this habit answered. That will help you plan your meals more carefully.
I Ate Ice Cream, And Should Go to Bed Soon, What Should I Do?
Now and then it happens to fall out of routine and have a meal that is too close to the bed. If you suffer from any conditions that ruin your sleep, there’s nothing bad in breaking your meal now and then. However, it’s always a good idea to just try to relax to a movie, book, or podcast before you decide to go to sleep completely, so that food can start digesting. Otherwise, you might be affected by acid reflux in sleep.
Is Popsicle Before Sleep Bad for Me?
Having a popsicle before bed every once in a while is not that bad of an occurrence. However, if you make it your habit and you consumed a lot of sugar during the day, you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night which can disrupt your sleep.
Can You Lose Weight If You Eat Ice Cream Before Bed?
The answer is no. This question confuses a lot of people. Some experts that studied the benefits of ice cream found that enough calcium consumption helps with weight loss. Ice cream is mostly a dairy product so it’s rich in calcium. But dairy can also cause an upset stomach, especially during the night. That said, the benefits don’t outweigh the consequences.
Does Ice Cream Before Bed Cause Acid Reflux?
Dairy products are a known culprit behind acid reflux at night, even recognized by numerous studies. Ice cream is a dairy product unless you buy vegan ice cream. Generally, dairy products are rich in fats which are responsible for causing acid reflux, which is why you should avoid ice cream.
Of course, eating ice cream during the day shouldn’t affect your GERD symptoms, especially if you take the necessary medicines for it. Still, if GERD bothers you at night and makes you wake up coughing, you should avoid eating ice cream before bed, even if it cools you down and helps you fall asleep at first.
Does Eating Ice Cream Before Sleep Cause Nightmares?
Experts agree that eating foods rich in fats, carbohydrates, and sugars can cause heightened brain activity. Also, when you wake up in the middle of the night, after a large meal, it can cause a higher recall of dreams, even those bad ones.
Increased brain activity can cause you to have more vivid dreams which can lead to nightmares. In other words, ice cream which is high in sugars and fats can cause you to have more vivid dreams if you eat it too close to sleep. Eating a lot of food, in general, is associated with vivid dreams, as per the study.