Foods and Drinks That Cause Insomnia and Steal Your Sleep

Written by Eli Ben-Yehuda

On January 24, 2021

Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight can be difficult especially when it comes to having a snack. So one night I opted for watermelon and cucumber. Healthy snack right? Yes very healthy but what I did not know is that both are powerful diuretics. Oops! I spent half my night running to the bathroom. So in order to avoid having you go through the same thing here is a list of foods you want to avoid before bed.

Now under normal condition some of this food are very healthy, others are not. So if you are looking for a good night sleep you want to avoid the following:

The Sleep Stealers

Foods and drinks that contain caffeine.

Drinks containing caffeine such as coffee, or even energy drinks like Monster or Red Bull can really help you if you’re feeling tired and just need a little pick-me-up to get the day going. However, it’s not recommended to drink caffeine after lunch (and especially near bedtime), as it can interfere with sleep by keeping your mind overactive. Foods with dark chocolate are also high in caffeine and should be avoided late in the day.

Spicy foods.

While spicy foods are often delicious and even have many noted health benefits, eating spicy foods too close to bedtime can be a very bad idea. Spicy foods are notorious for causing heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. Heartburn can be made worse while lying down as it allows the acids to creep up into the esophagus and burn the sensitive lining.

Alcohol.

Contrary to popular belief alcohol does not help promote sleep. While it can make you drowsy and more likely to fall asleep faster, it often disrupts sleep and can deter you from entering the deeper, much-needed phases of the sleep cycles.

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Foods With High Fat Content

Fat triggers the digestive processes and causes a build up of stomach acids, which while lying down can creep into the esophagus causing discomfort. A high-fat diet also messes with the production of orexin, one of the neurotransmitters that help regulate your sleep/wake cycle along with melatonin.

Foods high in protein

Protein can also disrupt sleep when eaten too close to bedtime. Protein is tougher for the digestive system to break down. Eating protein-rich meals near bedtime causes the body to spend more time working on digestion rather than focusing on sleeping.

Foods containing water

Foods such as watermelon and celery are natural diuretics which help push water through your system. Eating these types of foods and drinking anything too close to bedtime can cause you to lose sleep from the middle of the night bathroom trips.

Heavy meals before bedtime.

As with most things in life, moderation is the key. Even eating too much of the recommended foods before bed can cause you to lose sleep because your body is focused on digestion. If you find yourself hungry before bed, a light snack is recommended. The best light snacks are those that contain tryptophan and calcium such as a bowl of cereal, cheese, and crackers, or peanut butter on toast.

How Long Between My Last Meal and Bedtime

According to a famous dietitian, you must eat your last big meal of the day at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. And, if you are awake ’till late in the night and 4 to 5 hours have passed after you ate your last big meal, then you can have a little snack before bedtime.

Remember what you put into your stomach before bed your body will have to still work with. This may cause you to have to stay awake while your body is trying to digest these. Next week we will discuss healthy foods that can help you get a good nights sleep.

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