8 unexpected foods that can rob you of sleep

8 unexpected foods that can rob you of sleep

Are you having difficulty falling or staying asleep? Your diet could be to blame.

Dana Artinyan, a registered dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, shares some foods you should avoid eating before bed.

1. Dark chocolate – While antioxidant rich, dark chocolate contains caffeine, which can keep you up at night.

2. Tea and hot cocoa – “For many people, a cup of tea before bed can help them relax and rewind,” says Artinyan. “Just be sure to choose a caffeine-free herbal tea such as chamomile or peppermint tea.”

3. High-fat foods – Foods high in fat can take longer to digest, putting your body to work and interfering with sleep.

4. Candy – A handful of sugary snacks can lead to blood sugar spikes, making it difficult to stay asleep.

5. Citrus – The acidity in citrus can cause heartburn, resulting in discomfort that can make sleeping difficult.

6. Soda – Soda is another sneaky container of caffeine. Even soft drinks such as root beer or lemon lime soda can keep you up at night.

7. Alcohol – Alcohol diminishes the quality of REM sleep, which can impair memory and motor skills.

8. Large meals – Your digestive system slows down while you sleep. If you eat too much before bed, your body will be too busy digesting and not sleeping.

“If you are feeling hungry before bed, choose a snack with a blend of protein, fat and carbohydrates such as a piece of string cheese with an apple or a banana and peanut butter. The protein/fat/carbohydrate nutrient blend helps stabilize blood sugar during the night.”

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  1. I also find that any food containing MSG causes major sleep disturbances. MSG is used in restaurants for flavoring, by food service distributors and in many processed/packaged foods like rice blends, soups, etc. It is a big problem for me particularly when I am on vacation and eat out a lot. I wish that this issue was given more attention in the media. MSG fell out of favor for a while but it seems to be coming back.

  2. I agree with Lindsey. Food additives or seasonings like MSG or silicon dioxide for example will send my heart racing, keeping me stimulated and agitated. It would be helpful to know more about what’s being added to our foods and their purpose

  3. I have terrible problems with MSG too, but I challenge the servers about it, and have them check with the kitchen staff. They are helpful, and you can remember the places that serve it (it’s cheaper than good tasting ingredients), and if you tell them about it, maybe they will get it out of the foods. My family ALL has reactions to it, must be in our genes!! carol

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.