10 Foods Ruining Your Sleep & 10 That Will Lull You To Bed

10 Foods Ruining Your Sleep & 10 That Will Lull You To Bed

To eat before bed or not to eat before bed. The jury’s still out on a definitive answer, but that doesn’t mean it’s smart to chow down right before bed. Sleep is crucial for our well-being and maintaining a proper diet is a major player in ensuring we get good rest. With that, here are 10 foods wrecking your sleep and 10 foods that promote healthy patterns.

1. Spicy Foods

Oh, how spicy food betrays us. They already have the audacity to put stomachs through the wringer, but that’s exactly why they’re best avoided before bed. You can easily experience acid reflux, warmer body temperatures, and heartburn—all of which spell trouble before bedtime.

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2. Soda

Surprise: soda is loaded with caffeine and sugar, two things you don’t want to indulge in before bed. Even if it’s a few hours until lights out, avoid that can of Coke so you don’t hit the hay full of jitters.

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3. Coffee

This seems like a no-brainer but don’t pretend you’ve never had coffee at dinner. In fact, a cup of coffee several hours before bed can still impede your chance of a good night’s sleep, so avoid it at night.

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4. Certain Cheese

Specific kinds of cheese have something called tyramine, an amino acid that aids in keeping you more alert. Too much blue cheese, aged cheddar, or Swiss can make it way harder to fall (and stay) asleep.

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5. Alcohol

For many, a glass or two before bed seems like a quick fix to Snooze Town, but alcohol actually hinders sleep. Even if it helps you get to sleep, it’s staying asleep that’s the problem, and alcohol has been linked to disruptions in the middle of the night.

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6. Fast Food

Packed with calories, unhealthy fats, and grease, it’s no wonder the body can’t relax. If you down a burger and fries before bed, don’t be surprised to wake up later with indigestion—and fast food probably prevented you from REM sleep, too.

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7. Salty Snacks

Chips in front of the TV, maybe a can of soup for dinner…what’s the harm? Your sleep cycle for one thing as high-sodium foods not only make you thirstier but also elevate blood pressure. Try to sleep with either obstacle and you can count out restful sleep.

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8. Rich Desserts

That cheesecake slice sounded great at dinner but sleep will be an uphill battle afterward. High-sugar foods spike your blood pressure and give you just enough energy to make bedtime a pipe dream.

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9. Processed Meat

Processed meat is often high in salt and calories, two things that don’t exactly contribute to a good night’s sleep. Keep away from any processed foods before bed to ensure you make it through the night without issue.

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10. Vegetables

Eating veggies has long been encouraged, but maybe not right before bed. Given that they’re loaded with fiber, vegetables take longer to digest and can cause bloating. Ones packed with water, like celery, can also lead to a midnight bathroom break.

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Now let’s take a look at which foods are safest for you and your sleep cycle. 


1. Cherries

Healthy, delicious, and a natural source of melatonin, cherries are great as a late-night snack. You can either have cherries on their own or enjoy a glass of tart cherry juice to balance out your sleep cycle.

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2. Bananas

People often turn to magnesium and potassium to help relax their muscles and regulate nerve functions—and one before-bed snack is packed with both. If you’re trying to fall asleep, look no further than a banana!

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3. Certain Nuts

A handful of nuts before bed might be the answer for a better night’s sleep. Not just any nuts, though—almonds and walnuts are best in this case as almonds have lots of magnesium and walnuts are rich in melatonin. Both can help you relax and promote healthier sleep patterns.

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4. Warm Milk

Warm milk is a classic remedy for insomnia, and for good reason. It’s loaded with amino acids and proteins that not only aid in relaxation but can also reduce stress. Not to mention, nothing tops the soothing effect a warm glass of milk has right before bed.

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5. Lean protein

Processed meats may be off the table, but lean meats like turkey are still an option. That’s because turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin and melatonin. A bit of turkey can promote the relaxation and drowsiness you need to get a good night’s rest.

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6. Whole Grains

Whole grains can fix a lot of problems, least of all irregular sleep patterns. Brown rice and quinoa are great places to find magnesium and tryptophan, sleep’s favorite amino acid. Incorporate these into your diet, particularly for dinner, and your head may hit the pillow a little easier. 

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7. Fatty Fish

Fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, two things that can help conk you out. They’re healthy to boot, so you get a hearty dinner and a good night’s sleep.

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8. Kiwi

Indulge in a kiwi for improved sleep that also lasts longer! Kiwis are filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and serotonin-producing compounds that all help regulate sleep patterns.

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9. Eggs

Breakfast for dinner, anyone? This versatile little guy is loaded with vitamin D, tryptophan, and melatonin, making it a perfect solution for those stuck counting sheep.

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10. Certain Dairy Products

The buck doesn’t stop with warm milk. Additional dairy products like Greek yogurt or cottage cheese come full of vitamins, calcium, and protein—the perfect storm for a restful night. They’re also high in tryptophan, which supports sleep quality.

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