8 Foods That Can Disrupt Your Sleep

May 31, 2022 | Be Well

8 Foods That Can Disrupt Your Sleep

We all love to sleep, but if you are losing sleep often, it probably has something to do with the foods that can disrupt your sleep. Understand that some food can prevent you from sleeping on time, and if you suspect that the last cup of coffee you took did that, you’re probably right! Though science is not always correct, being mindful of the food you eat can definitely help. Here is the list of food that you should avoid eating before going to sleep. 

Avoid eating chocolate

Chocolate is known for high levels of caffeine, and snacking on chocolates before going to sleep can mess up your sleep. Why? Consuming caffeine causes REM or rapid eye movement to occur frequently. It is also the reason why you feel groggy in the morning. Avoiding drinking coffee, tea, or carbonated soda 4 or 6 hours before sleeping also helps. 

Do not drink alcohol

You may think that alcohol has a sedative effect and can help you get better sleep. While this is true, it can also disrupt your food in various ways. According to Sleep Foundation, high alcohol intake interferes with your REM, thus keeping you awake while feeling sluggish at the same time. Furthermore, those who drink too much alcohol become tolerant to the sedative effects, leaving them more awake than sleeping. 

Ice cream is a no

We all love ice cream, and it sounds like a good idea to eat them before going to bed. However, ice cream contains high levels of sugar, which can affect your sleep. Foods rich in sugar, like ice cream, can spike up your blood sugar level. When this level crashes down, your body will think there is an emergency, stimulating the adrenals to increase cortisol levels. And when you feel you are falling asleep, your cortisol level wakes you up! 

Avoid spicy food

Eating spicy food or adding something spicy to your food adds a kick to the flavor. However, hot sauce, curries, and chilies contain high levels of capsaicin, which elevates the body’s temperature. When the body’s thermoregulation is affected, it disrupts your sleep. Spices also negatively affect your sleep pattern, so avoiding this type of food promotes better sleep. 

 Acidic foods don’t help

Tomatoes, tomato sauces, and other food high in acidity can elevate your body’s acidic PH. This makes them one of the foods that can disrupt your sleep. It can trigger acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion. These foods also contain tyramine which is an amino acid that triggers the brain to release norepinephrine. When norepinephrine is stimulated, brain activity increases, thus inhibiting your sleep. So, try not to eat tomato-based food like pizza (as tempting as it can be) before hitting the hay if you wish to sleep well. 

Apples are for daytime only

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but an apple at night will keep you awake. While apples are healthy and packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and phytonutrients, eating them at night will keep you awake for hours. Just like ice cream, apples contain natural sugar, which stimulates the body. However, if you want to stay up without drinking coffee, this is the best alternative to eat. 

Say bye to fatty foods

Any fried or fatty food can impair your sleep. However, cheeseburgers and fries are not the only ones you should stay away from before going to bed. Food rich in healthy fats, like avocado and fish, can also affect your sleep. Why? It is because food rich in high fat takes more time to digest compared to others. So, it slows down your sleep efficiency as it increases your REM and arousal. Avoid eating these foods before you go to bed if you want to sleep like a boss! 

Miss the cheese

Of course, last but not least on our list is cheese. While cheese is considered comfort food to many, eating it before going to bed is a bad idea. Cheese is highly rich in tyramine which is an amino acid that makes us feel alert. When this amino acid triggers the fight or flight hormone, we can stay alert for a couple of hours, missing your good night’s rest. So, avoid cheese before going to bed, and you will sleep like a baby. 

Do Not Eat Foods That Disrupt Your Sleep

I do agree that eating is essential, but so is sleep. Being aware of the food you eat will benefit you and give you the rest you need. Eating good food and doing exercises like running can affect your body in a more positive way and promote better sleep. So, the next time you walk to the fridge for some late-night snack, be sure to eat foods not included in this list; enjoy!