The food we eat can have a major impact on our sleep quality. Certain foods can cause us to wake up in the middle of the night, while others help us sleep better through the night.
Here are five foods that should be avoided when trying to get a good night’s rest:
- Spicy foods: Eating spicy foods at night can trigger heartburn and indigestion, which can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night due to discomfort or pain in your upper abdomen/chest area caused by stomach acid refluxing into your esophagus
- Alcohol: Alcoholic drinks contain large amounts of sugar and calories – both of which can make it hard for you to fall asleep after consuming them.
Alcohol also causes dehydration by stimulating your body’s production of urine, which can disturb your sleep cycle even more than it already has been disrupted by alcohol consumption itself.
- High-Fat Foods: Foods high in fat (such as cheese) can make it harder for you to fall asleep due to their slow digestion rate and the fact that they take longer for your body to process than other foods do.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that affects nearly every organ system in your body and can also cause anxiety symptoms like restlessness and nervousness. It’s best to avoid caffeine after noon if you know you have trouble sleeping at night (but note that some foods contain caffeine naturally).
- Sugar and refined carbohydrates: Sugar and refined carbohydrates are digested quickly and cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. High-protein foods such as meat and dairy can also have this effect.