Does Grapefruit Make You Sleepy?
Is there any truth to the old wives’ tale that eating grapefruit can make you fall asleep? Grapefruit benefits are many – it’s refreshing, it’s low in calories and it’s full of fiber to keep hunger at bay while you snooze. Compared to other, less-healthy late-night snacks, grapefruit is good for you (especially if you’re watching your weight). But how does it stack up as a sleep aid? Let’s find out:
Is grapefruit a good before-bed snack?
Conventional wisdom says that eating before bed causes weight gain because your metabolism slows down when you fall asleep. This causes any undigested calories to be stored as fat. Yet many health experts say that eating before bed is perfectly fine and may even improve sleep or weight loss – and it’s true your body still needs energy while you sleep.
How eating before bed affects your sleep depends a lot on what you eat. Eating a heavy meal or indulging in rich, fatty foods before retiring can lead to indigestion, but a light, healthy snack can actually help you sleep better. Grapefruit is a light choice (there are only 13g carbs in grapefruit, calories equal 52 per serving) so it won’t leave you feeling overloaded. At the same time, grapefruit’s high fiber and water content makes you feel full, so you won’t wake up with the munchies in the middle of the night.
But does grapefruit actually make you feel drowsy?
Unlike white grapefruit, dark pink grapefruit and ruby red grapefruit are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene, which promotes sleep. Lycopene also has anti-inflammatory effects that work on restoring your body while you rest, reducing oxidative stress, and improving endothelial function—meaning better blood circulation.
Is grapefruit juice good for you right before bed?
Grapefruit juice is low in calories and rich in Vitamin C and potassium, which is also great for your skin. Also, drinking a glass of grapefruit juice benefits the secretion of insulin in your body. But be careful – the juice of any fruit is a concentrated source of sugars, and drinking it causes the sugars to be absorbed into your bloodstream fast. This can result in a surge of energy just as you’re starting to nod off.
Additionally, your blood sugar can fall below normal levels once the sugars are absorbed, leading to a second energy surge when your adrenal glands release stress hormones to bring your blood sugar levels back to normal. This rise in stress hormones can actually increase stress, leading you to wake up during the night.
Whole grapefruit contains fiber — 4 grams per fruit — which helps slow the absorption of sugars and keeps blood sugar steady. If you’re going to have grapefruit before bed, it’s best to eat the fruit whole rather than drink the juice.
Wondering how to eat grapefruit without making a mess?
Drinking the juice might be easier, but with a serrated grapefruit spoon, you can snack on grapefruit without having to take another shower! Just cut the fruit in half and enjoy…the spoon’s serrated edges easily cut through the flesh of the fruit, and the spoon itself can be used to scoop the luscious pieces into your mouth.
Is eating grapefruit at night ever bad for you?
If you suffer from heartburn you may want to steer clear of grapefruit of any variety, as studies show that grapefruit can be a heartburn trigger. That doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the great taste of amazing health benefits of grapefruit if you suffer from nighttime heartburn, however…just limit your indulgence to daytime eating. Breakfast is an excellent time to fit in some grapefruit nutrition!
If I can’t eat it grapefruit, would breathing in grapefruit essential oil help me to sleep?
No – quite the opposite, in fact. Grapefruit essential oil benefits mental alertness, so it’s best to save it for mornings.