We’ve all heard it before “be sure to get a good night sleep”. But do you know how important that statement really is? Sleep plays an essential role in our physical health. During sleep, our bodies are busy recovering and recharging. However, if you’re not getting enough sleep, sleep deprivation can cause the release of insulin which could then cause weight gain and could possibly even increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Further, sleep deprivation may also put you at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Most healthy adults require 7 to 9 hours of sleep and children and teens require even more than that! Although keep in mind this requirement will vary slightly from person to person. There are several things that can impact your quality of sleep starting with what you put in your body. The foods we eat right before bedtime can have a big impact on how many Z’s we catch at night! While some foods are better for you, there are quite a few that we strongly suggest staying away from. Keep in mind, every person is different and we are not medical professionals. Be sure to seek advice from your medical professional if you have any concerns about diet and how foods affect you personally. With that, let’s discover together the 12 foods you shouldn’t indulge in right before bed.

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1. Coffee

Some people are able to drink a late-night coffee and won’t lose any sleep but that isn’t the case for most people. Drinking coffee right before bed may be an obvious no-no, but what most people don’t realize is drinking it even late in the afternoon can affect your quality of sleep too.

Caffeine can linger in your system for hours and in result can cause you to toss and turn for hours only to cut into your sacred sleeping time. Be sure to avoid coffee at least 6 hours before sleep!

2. Chocolate

While avoiding coffee right before bed may be fairly obvious, indulging in decadent chocolate may not be. You see, chocolate contains caffeine too!

There are about 23 milligrams of caffeine in just 1 ounce of chocolate. While this is about quarter the amount found in a cup of coffee, most of us don’t eat just one ounce of chocolate at a time which means that caffeine can add up quickly. Chocoholics can relax because you don’t have to cut it out of your diet just try your best not to indulge in it right before bed!

3. Fried Foods

I know those salty fried foods are delicious but when you’re late night cravings hit try your best to stay clear of the drive-thru. Greasy foods move extremely slowly through the digestive system which means it will be working really hard when you sleep.

Indulging in fried foods in moderation can be okay, and should be enjoyed just preferably not right before bed if you’re hoping to get a good nights rest!

4. Soda

Drinking a glass of soda right before bed is a bad idea for a few reasons. Firstly, some sodas are loaded with caffeine and just like coffee, can wreak havoc on your sleep time. This will most likely cause you to toss and turn all night long.

Second, if you’re drinking regular soda and not diet, it’s loaded with sugar. Sugar can be extremely stimulating and in result can cause restless sleep.

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5. Red Meat

You don’t have to cut red meat out of your diet entirely. After all, it’s a great source of protein and it also contains high levels of iron and tryptophan which both have been shown to help sleep. However, it would be a good idea not to indulge in red meat right before bed.

The high protein found in red meat is good for you just not right before bed because it can keep our bodies hard at work all night. Thus, may result in a restless sleep.

6. Alcohol

Food isn’t the only culprit that affects our quality of sleep. Drinking before bed can impact your sleep too! I don’t know about you but a glass (or a few glasses) of red wine can knock me out, but this doesn’t mean you’ll be getting a good night rest.

When you fall asleep your liver is hard at work and is working hard to remove the alcohol from your system. This could, in turn, negatively affect your quality of sleep.

7. Cruciferous Vegetables

Veggies in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts should certainly be a part of your regular diet, but perhaps just not at bedtime. These veggies are quite fibrous and because of that, they take your body a lot longer to digest.

Further, cruciferous veggies contain indigestible sugars that could cause bloating and gas. Both of these factors can certainly affect the quality of your sleep.

8. Spicy Food

Spices can really enhance the flavor of many dishes, however, if you’re planning on digging into spicy food be sure it’s quite a few hours before bedtime. Some spicy foods such as chilies are known to raise our body temperature which can result in a restless sleep.

Further, spicy food can also seriously irritate your stomach especially if you’re prone to heartburn. Some even believe that spicy foods can cause nightmares, however, there isn’t enough evidence to prove this true. All in all, play it safe and save the spicy foods for dinner time.

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9. Sugary Breakfast Cereal’s

A delicious bowl of sweet cereal can really hit the spot especially when those late night cravings hit. However, digging into a bowl of sugary breakfast cereal is not the smartest choice, especially if you’re hoping to get a good nights sleep.

Cereals that are high in sugar will digest quickly and in turn, can spike your blood sugar. This can throw off your sleep hormones which might cause restless sleep. If you’re craving cereal be sure to indulge in one that is high-fiber, and low-sugar.

10. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is delicious, especially when paired with pasta or served on pizza! However, it would be wise to avoid eating it right before bed. Those who suffer from acid reflux may experience heartburn because tomatoes are highly acidic.

Further, tomato sauce contains an amino acid called tyramine. This amino acid can trigger the brain to release norepinephrine which is a stimulant that boosts brain activity. So if you’re planning on indulging, make sure it’s several hours before bedtime.

11. Orange Juice

A cup of OJ pairs wonderfully with breakfast but it should really be avoided at night time. Like tomatoes, citrus fruits are highly acidic which can wreak havoc if you suffer from acid reflux. Plus drinking right before bedtime can cause frequent visits to the bathroom throughout the night.

Further, many store-bought cartons of orange juice are loaded with sugar and as we discussed earlier is never a good idea if you’re looking to get a good nights rest.

12. Protein Shakes

Consuming enough protein is important in achieving a healthy diet. For some protein shakes are an easy way to increase protein consumption. However, if you’re hitting the gym late at night and come home to drink a post-workout drink be sure to check out the ingredients of your protein powder.

Many sport shakes contain caffeine which can help you pre-workout but can wreak havoc post workout, especially if you’re planning on going to sleep shortly after.

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Now that you’ve learned about which foods you should avoid before bed, discover the 15 Best Before Bed Snacks For Controlling Weight Gain.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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