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Foods that interfere with good sleep

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By Katelynn Langosh

September 21, 2021

There is no question that we must be mindful of the foods that we put in our body.  We must be mindful of what we eat throughout the entire course of the day.  The food we consume could have potentially positive and negative consequences. There is no question that it is very important for us to have a good night’s sleep.


In addition to making sure that our sleep is at least 8 hours, we must be sure that our sleep is restful. However, there are foods that may serve to disturb from having the restful sleep that we need.  It is very important that we are aware of these foods.  We will go over these foods in this piece.


As healthy as some smoothies may be, it is not the best idea to consume a lot of sugar too close to bedtime.   After all, sugar provides an energy spike that might serve to keep one awake.   Refined sugars can cause a massive increase in adrenaline.  This can make sleep very difficult.

If you must have a smoothie before bed, make sure to take it at least one hour before you go to bed, to allow your body to process the calories you intake and perhaps even let you crash from the sugar rush, helping you get to sleep faster. However, make sure to take smoothies in moderation – don’t go for a huge 20oz Jamba Juice right before bedtime!


Late night pizza is not a good idea. Pizza is high in saturated fat.  Therefore, it should definitely not be eaten during the night.  A 2016 study by the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine showed that adults had a less productive sleep when they ate foods that had high numbers of saturated fat.   Given that a slice of pizza almost 5 grams of saturated fat, this is not something to have before bed.

In fact, eating something this heavy, this close to bedtime, cannot be good for you. Having too much saturated fats messes with your circadian rhythm, and going to bed full is hard on your body. You need to be awake and functional to maximize your body’s metabolism. When you sleep, metabolism slows down, which is hard for your digestion!


There is no doubt that water is highly beneficial health-wise.  It’s health benefits are numerous.   However, it is not the wisest idea to drink water before bedtime.   If you drink too much water before bedtime, you may end up waking up in the middle of the night because you may need to urinate quite a bit.

Water is best taken an hour before sleep, and immediately after waking up. Taking it an hour before sleep lets your body process the water first and allow you to urinate before bed. And drinking it immediately after waking up relieves you of a parched throat you’ve gotten from sleep, and will help wake you up. Plus points if you drink iced water from an insulated tumbler – that REALLY gets you up in the morning!


While alcohol may actually aid a person to go sleep faster, the quality of one’s sleep will be subpar.   It can even disrupt breathing and make you snore extra loud when you go to bed. It’s fine if you sleep alone, but for those who share a bed or a room, this might be a bit of a problem.

Alcohol reduces REM sleep even for healthy individuals.  When you go to sleep when you’re drunk, you tend to wake up in the middle of the night, and have your sleep fragmented. And for a lucky few, that’s no problem – they still wake up rested. But for the rest of us, that means hangover city for the next day. If alcohol consumption is overdone, sleep apnea could occur.


Chocolate contains a great deal of caffeine.   Thus, this is a late night snack that could end up disturbing your sleep when it’s nearing it’s end.  The caffeine in the chocolate may leave a person feeling a bit unsteady the next morning.

Individuals should try to avoid chocolate and other caffeinated foods and drink at least four hours before bedtime. This is because caffeine takes a while to kick in, but also takes a while to rub out. Having caffeine in system right before bed tends to keep you awake – as is it its purpose!







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