Most students know that studying is extremely important, and most students spend hours every night doing homework, reading textbooks and preparing for tests and quizzes. A common addition to nighttime studying is the “midnight snack.” Some snack on pretzels, potato chips, pretzels or even just an apple. No matter the snack, students use them as a way to boost their attention span and help them stay on track.
What most students do not realize is that sleep is extremely important for their well being. A sufficient amount of sleep every night is needed to keep a student on track at school. Staying up late at night is not the only reason that students do not get enough quality sleep every night; the real killer to quality sleep is snacks. So which foods are sabotaging your sleep?
Sorry, but chocolate after dinner is not doing you any favors. Lisa Hayim, a registered dietitian and founder of TheWellNecessities stated, “As a nutritionist who also struggles with falling and staying asleep, I know firsthand what can wreak havoc on our sleep cycles.” Chocolate has a very high level of caffeine, which causes increased arousal and decreases the ability to develop and sustain deeper levels of sleep. “[T]aking a forkful of your favorite souffle or chocolate ice cream may be the very thing keeping you up,” Hayim said.
As stated above, a common studying snack is potato chips. However, chips can be very harmful to your sleep, especially when eaten right before you go to bed. It is no secret that chips are extremely greasy, and grease can mess with the digestive tract, making it harder to stay in a restful state of sleep. In addition, greasy foods have been known to cause bad dreams, which for some people, can affect their morale the next day. “I absolutely love potato chips, but when I heard that they may be the reason I have not been able to sleep well lately, I was very upset,” sophomore Briyan Smith said.
Although pizza is not common when studying late at night, it is a very common food eaten for dinner. In fact, overconsumption of pizza at any time can be detrimental to your sleep. The combination of the acid in the tomato sauce and the fat in the cheese can have a negative impact on your sleep quality. High acid foods can cause acid reflux, especially when eaten close to bedtime. This might cause you to awaken partially from sleep, which will leave you tired the next day and distracted from important lessons and work at school.