Now, be honest, how many of you give in to the urge to have a night-time snack before bedtime? Working late, or catching up on the latest SKY box-set, and suddenly, you realise that it’s been hours since dinner, so you nip to the kitchen for a little something.

But did you know that some of these naughty treats could be making it harder for you to fall asleep?

A new study has found that three quarters of us will reach for a snack just before bedtime, and it’s often of the unhealthy variety, rather than the healthy kind that can aid sleep. It won’t come as a surprise that the late-night grub of choice includes chocolates, crisps, biscuits and buttered toast, often accompanied by a beverage.

Nutritionist Anita Bean, speaking on behalf of Seasonal Berries, who commissioned the study, said:

“It has been proven that caffeine – found in coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks – can contribute to poor sleep and even insomnia, so try to avoid it after 2pm. It’s a powerful stimulant and it takes six hours for the body to recover from a single cup of coffee. Avoid too much alcohol too – more than one glass of alcohol will wake up your brain rather than relax it.”

But it’s definitely a case of easier said than done. The poll of over 2,000 people suggested a number of reasons why they couldn’t stick to avoiding snacking just before bed. More than half admitted they found it easy sticking to healthy snacks during the day, but in the evening, they just couldn’t resist a treat.

Naughty late-night habits hinder a good nights’ sleepSo, what can we reach for when we get the late-night munchies? Apparently, cherries should be your snack of choice. Packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre, they also contain melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle, keeping us relaxed, calm and prepares us for a more natural sleep.

So, remember, next time you get the urge to nibble on something late at night, be virtuous rather than naughty, and go for cherries instead!

For the curious, see the ‘naughty list’ of snacks that we reach for most often.

TOP 10 LATE NIGHT SNACKS

  1. Chocolate
  2. Crisps
  3. Biscuits
  4. Buttered toast
  5. Cheese and crackers
  6. Nuts
  7. Bowl of cereal
  8. Ice cream
  9. Cake
  10. Yoghurt
Total
5
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