Foods To Avoid If You Suffer From Insomnia

5 Foods To Avoid If You Suffer From Insomnia

Insomnia affects one-third of people living in the United States. 

This condition is characterized by difficulties falling asleep, remaining asleep, or obtaining high-quality sleep.

Not sleeping well for an extended period can negatively affect a person’s physical and mental health and raise the likelihood of developing certain diseases and disorders. 

While there are many issues that can cause insomnia, the food you eat plays a role. Some types of foods make it harder for you to sleep.

Here are five key types of foods you’ll want to avoid if you have insomnia.

Caffeinated Consumables

This should come as no surprise. Many of us turn to caffeinated beverages like coffee to help us stay awake and feel more energized.

Due to this effect, caffeinated foods and beverages, such as soda, coffee, caffeinated tea, and caffeinated chocolate products, can harm sleep and keep you awake at night.


Many enjoy having a drink or two before bedtime to unwind and relax. Alcohol is, in fact, one of the most regularly used sleep aids.

Although alcohol is a depressant, it does not promote restful sleep. Although some individuals may fall asleep fast after taking alcohol, they frequently awaken sooner than usual and have difficulty falling back asleep.

Additionally, alcohol disrupts the circadian rhythm, diminishing the quality of sleep. 

Because alcohol has a significant association with insomnia, healthcare practitioners typically advise avoiding alcohol before bed as part of the treatment for insomnia.

Cheese And Preserved Meats

Although cheese is commonly seen as comfort food, it is one of the worst things to consume before bed.

Strong or aged cheese and preserved meats like bacon, ham, and pepperoni contain naturally high levels of the amino acid tyramine, which makes us feel awake. The adrenal gland is stimulated by tyramine to release the “fight or flight” hormone, which raises alertness for several hours.

Spicy Foods

There are multiple reasons why eating spicy meals close to bedtime may keep you awake. 

Spicy foods cause indigestion and exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

In addition, acid reflux might exacerbate sleep apnea. Additionally, these foods elevate body warmth, making it difficult to calm down and go to sleep.

The acid may go into the esophagus and cause discomfort when you lie down to go to sleep, exacerbating the symptoms associated with spicy foods. This can keep you up at night and cause sleep disruptions.

Sugary Foods

Foods high in sugar such as white rice, potatoes, candy, and other sugary foods can also lead to insomnia.

They lead to a rise in blood sugar which affects our energy levels. And typically not in a good way if you want to sleep soundly. 

Even sugars found in fruits or dairy products can affect sleep by causing irregular sleep patterns.

Bottom Line

While not a complete list, if you have insomnia, try limiting how much of the above foods you eat. Especially late at night. Keeping them out of your diet may help you get a better, more restful night’s sleep.