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How Greasy Food Affects Your Sleep

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You may have a habit of enjoying the occasional midnight snack, but if you're prepping greasy or unhealthy foods, these could have a significant effect on how well you sleep each night. Foods replete with fatty acids or high levels of fat can put your body into overdrive while you're trying to sleep, preventing it from falling into a deep REM cycle.

Greasy foods - like pizza, chips, fries and burgers - should be avoided for about two to three hours before you go to bed for best results.

"Greasy foods should be avoided for about two or three hours before you go to bed."

Fatty Foods and Interrupted Sleep: A Vicious Cycle
Eating greasy foods before bed can keep you from getting a full night's rest, but if you're sleep deprived, you're more likely to reach for fatty foods during the day. Researchers from the University of California conducted a study to examine how people responded on a physiological level to greasy foods, discovering that individuals who experienced interrupted sleeping patterns had higher cravings for unhealthy snacks. Indulging these cravings led to further impaired sleep for participants, locking them in a vicious cycle.

But fortunately, breaking the cycle may be easy to do. Co-author Matthew Walker explained to Agence France-Presse that people can curb their unhealthy cravings by getting a decent full night's rest and exercising control over eating habits. Individuals should invest in appliances that will help foster deeper sleep - such as plush heated blankets - and alter their eating habits before bed.

Foods to Snack on Instead
There are a bevy of nighttime snacks that can help those zzz's come at night. Certain foods, like peanut butter, bananas and almonds, have nutrients that can calm the brain and contribute to faster sleep. A handful of beverages - like milk and cherry juice - have a similar effect on sleep patterns.