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5 Foods You’re Most Likely Eating That Are Affecting the Quality of Your Sleep at Night

27 October 2022

Getting the proper amount of restful sleep each night is absolutely necessary for maintaining good overall health. Sleep deprivation, which many people experience, can be extremely harmful to your health.

Getting too little sleep affects not only your physical health but also your mental health. Too little sleep can also increase your risk for certain health conditions, such as heart disease or type  2 diabetes.

There are many factors that can aid or hinder your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, including the foods you eat each day. If you’re worried that something you’re eating is keeping you awake at night, we’ve got you. Below are five foods you’re most likely eating that are affecting the quality of your sleep at night.

1. Any Food Containing Caffeine

Any food that has caffeine has the ability to increase your alertness and make you feel more energized and awake throughout the day. This is because caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. For this reason, caffeine can negatively affect your sleep and keep you up at night.

Even if you consume caffeine several hours before you actually go to bed, it can still affect your sleep that night. This ends up creating a cycle in which you lose sleep due to caffeine and then drink more caffeine the next day to counteract feeling tired from lack of sleep.

It’s important to remember that caffeinated foods and drinks don’t affect everyone the same, as some are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Still, it’s best to cut back on the amount of caffeine you are consuming, especially if you’re having trouble sleeping at night. This includes coffee, tea, sodas, energy drinks, and even chocolate.

2. Spicy Foods

There are a few reasons spicy foods can negatively affect your sleep. Spicy foods are known to cause indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux, which are incredibly uncomfortable to deal with. On top of that, lying down actually makes the symptoms of those problems worse.

Indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn will make it hard for you to fall asleep and possibly also disturb your sleep and wake you up. If you are known to struggle with heartburn or acid reflux, you should definitely avoid eating spicy foods, especially before bed.

Spicy foods can also elevate your body temperature if they’re particularly spicy, like certain chilli peppers. This effect is temporary, but it can still negatively affect your sleep.

3. Foods With Excess Sugar

Foods that contain excess amounts of sugar will quickly increase your body’s blood sugar levels, which can cause a myriad of problems and negatively affect your sleep. Foods in this category include white bread, sweets, and foods that have a lot of added sugars.

Sugary foods are linked with insomnia, which is difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. These foods are also linked to poor sleep quality.

The spikes and drops in your blood sugar caused by sugary foods cause your body to release hormones, such as adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone. These hormones can, in turn, cause anxiety, hunger, and irritability, all of which will make it difficult to sleep.

4. Overly Fatty Foods

Another type of food that contributes to problems with sleeping is fatty foods, such as fried foods. A higher intake of fats, especially if they’re saturated fats, can negatively impact your sleep pattern and lead to problems, including reducing the amount of time you stay asleep, negatively affecting the quality of your sleep, and making it difficult to get to sleep.

Your digestive system slows down when your body goes to sleep. Fatty meals can overwhelm your digestive tract, which can lead to discomfort and keep you awake at night.

Fatty foods are also known to worsen the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. These two problems are incredibly uncomfortable and can negatively affect your sleep at night.

5. Super Processed Foods

With all of the other types of food listed, it’s no surprise that processed foods are on this list. Processed foods, such as fast food or packaged snacks, simply aren’t good for a restful night’s sleep.

These foods are linked to poor quality of sleep and less time spent sleeping. This is no shock, as there’s little to no nutritional value in processed foods. In fact, processed foods are typically high in ingredients that cause sleep problems, including refined carbs, added sugars, and saturated fats.

Processed foods can also cause weight gain, which can negatively affect your sleep pattern. Gaining too much weight can lead to several different health problems that can greatly impact your quality of sleep.

Conclusion

There are many things you can do to ensure you’re getting the best night’s sleep possible. You can make sure you’re hydrated, take time to decompress before bed, and even invest in an adjustable bed.

However, it’s also important to watch what you’re eating right before bed and throughout the day. There are many foods that hinder sleeping properly, and it’s important to avoid them when possible.

While eating these foods every now and then won’t hurt, eating too much of these types of foods can greatly affect how you’re sleeping at night. Any foods that have caffeine, are spicy, are high in sugar, are fatty, or are processed can negatively affect your sleep and should be avoided.