A List of Food Not to Eat Before Going to Sleep

A List of Food Not to Eat Before Going to Sleep

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If you're lying awake at night, your diet could be to blame.

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Tossing and turning in bed is no way to spend the night. Adults need about eight hours of sleep per night to function properly, according to WebMD. Though the cause for sleeping problems can vary, your diet might play a role. Eliminate possible culprits from your diet to see if helps you catch the ZZZs you need for a restful night.

Caffeine-Containing Chocolate

It's common knowledge that a cup of coffee can keep you awake, but you might not know that foods and beverages other than coffee contain caffeine, too. Tea, soda and energy drinks have caffeine, of course, but chocolate does, too. Although chocolate has less caffeine than coffee and other beverages, someone who is sensitive to caffeine might have his sleep affected by that after-dinner bowl of chocolate ice cream. Chocolate also contains theobromine, a stimulant that can boost your heart rate and leave you sleepless.

Spicy and Acidic Foods

If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, bedtime could turn into a nightmare, depending on what food you've recently eaten. Spicy or acidic food can cause heartburn, which is exacerbated by lying down and can prevent you from sleeping comfortably. Take a look at your dinner menus -- acidic tomato sauce from your Italian food or the spice of Mexican or Thai dishes could be affecting your rest.

High-Fat Foods

Bacon cheeseburgers can tempt the most dedicated of dieters, but if you want a peaceful night's sleep -- do your best to abstain. Even if you don't regularly get heartburn, you might feel its effects after a high-fat meal. The fat boosts production of stomach acid, which can rise into your esophagus, causing heartburn. It can also loosen the barrier between your stomach and esophagus, boosting risk of pain from the stomach acid.

High-Protein Foods

Protein is considered beneficial for weight loss because it's harder for your body to digest, meaning it keeps you satiated for a longer period of time. That same effect, however, can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it harder to sleep, according to Huffington Post. Additionally, protein-rich foods contain tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulates the brain.


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