Aside from caffeine, several other foods and food types may keep people awake and stop them from having good quality, restful sleep.
Health experts cannot overstate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Around
While other health conditions and lifestyle factors can lead to insomnia and difficulty sleeping, the food a person eats can also strongly influence sleep quality.
Keep reading to learn more about some foods that can negatively affect sleep quality and keep people awake.
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. Many people consume caffeine, for example, in the form of coffee, to help them wake up in the morning. Caffeine is also present in chocolate, tea, energy drinks, and soda, such as cola.
Although some studies have shown health benefits from moderate doses of caffeine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that healthy adults limit their consumption to less than
Consuming caffeine in excess can cause nausea, dizziness, dehydration, headaches, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and anxiety. Additionally, the
Although alcohol is a depressant, it
Alcohol also interferes with the circadian rhythm,
Furthermore, the CDC recommends abstaining from alcohol before bedtime.
The tolerance for heat from chili peppers, within in many spicy foods, and its effects on the body, varies from individual to individual. For those people who find that consuming spicy foods negatively affects sleep, it may be best to avoid eating them in the hours before bedtime.
Foods that cause a spike in blood sugar, such as white rice, potatoes, candy, and other sugary foods, are called high glycemic (GI) foods.
Consuming these foods causes blood sugar to rise rapidly, resulting in the release of insulin, which affects tryptophan and serotonin levels. There is also a complex interaction of insulin with adrenalin, cortisol, glucagon, and growth hormone, all of which can negatively impact sleep.
Consuming high fat content foods, such as fatty meats and desserts, may also disrupt sleep. The body’s digestion naturally slows when a person goes to sleep. Fatty foods will cause the stomach to feel full and may make it difficult for individuals to feel comfortable. They can also cause indigestion and acid reflux, which are also likely to result in poor sleep quality.
However, a much larger
Highly processed foods include fast food and prepackaged foods. While convenient, these foods contain many of the nutritional components above, including sugars and fats, which negatively impact sleep.
Many foods have associations with negative effects on sleep. Some of the more common ones include caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, high GI foods, fatty foods, and processed foods.
Being aware of these types of foods and avoiding them close to bedtime can improve the chances of good sleep.
Adequate quality sleep is important for reducing the risk of numerous health complications.
When eating before bedtime, health experts recommend choosing foods that help promote sleep.
Learn more about foods that promote good sleep.