Written through Jillian Kubala, MS, RD top top July 7, 2021 — median reviewed by Alissa Palladino, MS, RDN, LD, CPT, Nutrition, an individual Training

Getting enough restful sleep is important for all at once health.

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In fact, chronic sleep deprivation can influence both your physical and also mental well-being and also increase your risk of certain health conditions, choose heart disease and form 2 diabetes (1).

Many factors, including your food choices, might make it harder for you to fall and stay asleep.

This post lists 6 foods and also beverages that may keep friend awake at night.


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When you think the foods and drinks that offer you instant energy, coffee and other caffeinated commodities may pertained to mind.

This is since caffeine is a main nervous system stimulant, meaning it rises feelings that alertness and also makes you feel more awake and also energized (2).

Because the this effect, caffeinated foods and beverages, including soda, coffee, caffeinated tea, and also caffeinated cacao products might negatively impact sleep and also keep friend awake at night.

In fact, research shows that consuming coffee, even countless hours before bedtime, can influence sleep. A small 2013 examine in 12 human being found that consuming 400 mg that caffeine in ~ bedtime, and also 3 and 6 hours prior to bed, significantly disrupted sleep.

Interestingly, ingesting 400 mg of caffeine 6 hours prior to bed an ext than doubled the time it took because that participants to loss asleep and also reduced full sleep time by 1 hour, compared with a placebo (3).

This lack of sleep due to caffeine usage may command you come drink a most caffeine the following day to against feelings of tiredness, which can negatively impact the following night’s sleep. Some civilization refer to this cycle together the coffee bicycle (4).

While some civilization are really sensitive to caffeine and experience sleep-related issues even if lock consume a small amount, others can have caffeinated beverages closer come bedtime without suffering sleep issues. This is as result of genetic sports (5, 6).

So, also though specialists recommend cutting back on caffeine to promote restful sleep, it’s specifically important if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

Foods the contain caffeine include:

chocolatecoffee, consisting of decaf, though in lower amounts than regularfoods the contain kola nut as an ingredientgreen and also black teasguaranaenergy drinksfoods that contain caffeine or coffee as an ingredient, such as tiramisu

What if you want to continue to be awake?

If you’re utilizing caffeine to continue to be awake, say for a night shift, it might not be the finest plan. Studies display that utilizing caffeine to stay awake because that night shifts and also to transition sleep come the following day may lead to substantially decreased sleep high quality overall.

In a 2006 examine in 34 people, half of the participants followed a traditional sleep regime of sleeping at night, while the other half stayed up at night and slept during the day. Both groups ingested 200 mg of caffeine before bedtime.

Both groups experienced sleep disturbances, including difficulty falling asleep, compared with those who took a placebo.

However, caffeine an ext negatively affected the participants who slept during the day. Just this team experienced diminished sleep duration and decreased deep REM sleep after spend caffeine (7).

A 2018 examine in nighttime transition workers uncovered that those that consumed much more caffeine had greater sleep disturbances and also psychological distress (8).

Thus, also though caffeine may give you a temporary rise of energy, it may keep you from gaining restful sleep.

Summary

Caffeine is a central nervous mechanism stimulant and may negatively influence sleep, particularly if girlfriend consume it within 6 hrs of bedtime. That may give you a temporary an increase of energy, but ultimately have actually a negative impact ~ above sleep duration and also quality.


Eating spicy foods items close come bedtime may keep you awake for number of reasons.

Spicy foodstuffs are known to cause indigestion and worsen symptoms of heartburn and also acid reflux (9, 10, 11).

When girlfriend lie down to go to sleep, these spicy food-related symptoms can become worse, together acid may travel right into the esophagus, bring about irritation. This have the right to keep girlfriend awake at night and also lead come sleep disturbances (9).

Therefore, if you experience heartburn after eat spicy foodstuffs or you have actually acid reflux, you may want come steer clear of spicy foods prior to bed.

Eating an extremely spicy foods, prefer chili peppers, slightly rises your core and also surface body temperature (12).

This effect is temporary. However, some researchers have proposed that boost in human body temperature from eating spicy foods before bed may negatively affect sleep. Elevated human body temperature is linked to sleep disturbance (9).

Summary

Spicy foods items may result in indigestion and reflux symptoms, which may disturb her sleep. Eat spicy foods before bed might lead friend to feeling warm, which have the right to negatively affect sleep.


Foods that have actually a high glycemic table of contents (GI) rapidly increase blood sugar levels. These foods include refined carbs choose white bread, sweets, and foods with high amounts of added sugars.

That said, study on the results of high GI foods on sleep shows mixed results. Some studies link high GI diets through insomnia and also sleeping issues, if others imply a high GI enjoy the meal decreases the lot of time the takes world to fall asleep (13, 14).

A 2019 study that had data on an ext than 77,000 women found that those who adhered to a high glycemic diet were much more likely to have insomnia over a 3-year follow-up period.

The study also found that consuming included sugar and refined carbohydrate was associated with greater odds the insomnia (15).

Other research studies have presented that diet high in sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and also refined carbohydrate were connected with negative sleep top quality (16, 17).

A 2016 research that included data top top 18,779 adults found that people who slept 5 hours per night or less had a 21% greater intake that sugar-sweetened caffeinated beverages, compared with those that slept 7 hours per night or more (18).

It’s vital to note that this research was observational. So, it only shows there to be an association, however it can’t say for specific what caused people to lose sleep.

In addition, the human being in this study may have slept less because of the caffeine in the beverages, not just the sugar.

There are several reasons why a high glycemic diet and foods high in added sugar and refined grains seem to be connected with poor quality sleep.

High GI foodstuffs cause significant spikes and also drops in blood sugar levels. This triggers her body to release hormones, like adrenaline, cortisol, and also growth hormone, which deserve to lead come symptoms favor anxiety, hunger, and irritability.

Studies present that short blood sugar may reduce sleep efficiency. On the other hand, high blood sugar after a high glycemic meal may initially make you feel sleepy, but the resulting transforms in hormones, consisting of insulin, may cause you to wake up later in the night (15).

High glycemic diets also trigger inflammation responses in the body and also create inequalities in helpful intestinal bacteria, which may also affect sleep (15).

Summary

High glycemic diets and also diets well-off in included sugars might negatively impact sleep. Consuming foods items high in added sugar close come bedtime may lead to insomnia and an obstacle staying asleep.


Eating foods items high in fat, like fried chicken and fatty meats, may add to bad sleep.

Research reflects that higher fat intake, especially saturated fat, may negatively influence your sleep pattern.

A 2016 study in 26 adults uncovered that a higher intake of saturated fat was linked with lighter, less restorative sleep (19).

Another examine that had 459 women uncovered that the more total fat and also saturated fat attendees consumed, the reduced their complete sleep time (20).

A 2015 research in 211 guys demonstrated that males who had insomnia had actually a higher intake of saturated fat than males who didn’t have actually sleep disorders (21).

Additionally, a 2016 research that analyzed data top top 15,273 men discovered that males with insomnia had actually diets higher in trans fat than males without insomnia (22).

Additionally, having a heavy, fatty meal later at night may impact your ability to fall asleep.

This may be since your digestive street slows when you’re sleeping, so eating a fat meal might overwhelm the digestive system, resulting in discomfort that can keep you awake in ~ night (23).

Furthermore, high fat foods items are recognized to exacerbate symptoms of mountain reflux, which may keep girlfriend awake in ~ night (24).

Summary

Diets high in total, saturated, and trans fat may lead to sleep disturbances and keep girlfriend awake at night.


Ultra-processed foods like rapid food and packaged snacks might not be the best choice for restful sleep.

Research consistently web links diets high in ultra-processed foods to bad sleep quality and also short sleep duration.

A 2018 examine that consisted of data top top 118,462 adolescents aged 12–18 discovered that much shorter sleep duration and also poor sleep quality was connected with greater intakes of rapid food, immediate noodles, and sweets (16).

A 2020 examine investigating the sleep actions of Brazilian adolescents linked bad sleep high quality to a greater intake that ultra-processed foods (25).

No easily accessible studies looked in ~ the results of ultra-processed foods items on sleep in adults specifically.

The results of the 2020 study aren’t surprising, considering the nutritional ingredient of ultra-processed foods. These foodstuffs tend to it is in high in ingredients attached to sleep disturbances, including refined carbs, added sugar, and also saturated and also trans fat (25).

What’s more, diet high in ultra-processed foodstuffs can result in weight gain. Studies present that world with overweight or excessive weight tend to have an ext sleep problems than human being without (26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31).

Obesity may lead to obstructive sleep apnea, a health problem that can make it hard to breath at night, leading to sleep loss (28, 31).

Summary

Studies have discovered links between ultra-processed foods and poor sleep quality. Cutting earlier on ultra-processed foods is advantageous for in its entirety health and may assist you get a much better night’s sleep.


Many people like to have actually a drink or two at night come relax and also unwind prior to bedtime. In fact, alcohol is one of the most frequently used sleep aids (32).

Even though having a few drinks may at first make you feeling tired, studies display that drinking can reason sleep disturbances and keep you awake at night (33).

Interestingly, alcohol reasons you to fall asleep faster, however then substantially disrupts sleep during the night together your blood alcohol levels decline (34).

A 2020 study in 11,905 people found that greater alcohol usage was significantly connected to poorer sleep and shorter sleep duration (35).

A 2019 examine in 25 people found the consuming a large amount the alcohol significantly reduced complete sleeping time and also self-reported sleep high quality (36).

Because alcohol is for this reason strongly linked to insomnia, healthcare professionals usually recommend avoiding alcohol before bed as part of insomnia treatment (37).

If you on regular basis drink alcohol prior to bed to relax or together a method to autumn asleep, it’s necessary to understand that, although alcohol will most likely make you tired at first, it will negatively influence your as whole sleep quality and may keep you awake later on in the night.

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Summary

Alcohol reduces the time it takes to loss asleep, but it leader to sleep disturbances later in the night. To promote restful sleep, it’s finest to prevent drinking alcohol prior to bed.