Aerial view of a cheeseburger, toppings, and French fries

5 Foods to Avoid for Better Sleep

April 29, 2023 8:06 am

The quality of your sleep is determined by all sorts of factors, like your sleeping environment, your body temperature, and even what you’ve eaten recently. Generally, it’s recommended not to eat within 3 hours of bedtime. If you can’t resist a late-night snack, try to avoid the following foods so you are more likely to enjoy a restful night of sleep.

  1. Cheeseburgers, Pizza & Other Fatty Foods
  2. When you eat fatty foods close to bedtime, your body has to work harder to digest them. This can lead to uncomfortable indigestion that makes it difficult to fall asleep. Fatty foods can also cause heartburn that may wake you up in the middle of the night. If you must, indulge in greasy fast food or cheesy pizza earlier in the day to avoid potential sleep disturbances.

  3. Caffeinated Food or Drinks
  4. You probably already know that drinking a nighttime espresso will keep you up late but you might be overlooking other sources of caffeine. For instance, cocoa beans contain caffeine, which means that a few squares of dark chocolate before bedtime could make it more difficult to doze off, especially if your body is sensitive to caffeine. Experts advise limiting caffeine intake at least 6 hours before bedtime, so even drinking a soda with dinner could negatively affect your sleep quality.

  5. Spicy Food
  6. If you’re a fan of spicy food, save the curry or jalapeño poppers for lunchtime. Spicy food can cause uncomfortable indigestion and exacerbate acid reflux issues that make it harder to fall and stay asleep. It can also drive your body temperature up, which is connected to sleep disturbance.

  7. Alcohol
  8. While alcohol can make you feel drowsy and fall asleep easily, it can negatively affect the overall quality of your sleep. Alcohol consumption can make you wake up in the middle of the night, keeping you from reaching the restorative cycles of deep sleep that are crucial for feeling refreshed in the morning. Alcohol also causes your throat muscles to relax, which increases the likelihood of sleep apnea issues. So to catch some quality zzz’s, skip the nightcap.

  9. Ice Cream, Cookies & Other Sugary Foods
  10. When you consume sweets before bed, your blood sugar levels spike which gives you a surge of energy that can keep you up at night. Sugary foods can also cause vivid dreams or nightmares that might have you tossing and turning. The next time you’re craving something sweet before bed, try reaching for some fruit or herbal tea instead of that chocolate cake or candy bar.

Contact RespAir Sleep Today!

Your eating habits might be to blame if you’ve been waking up feeling unrested and groggy. You may, however, be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. At RespAir Sleep, we consider every factor at play to help you get the best night’s sleep possible. For more information, contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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