Have you been waking up all hours of the night or experiencing acid reflux that keeps you from getting a restful night’s sleep? It may just be the foods you are eating.
Eat This Not That released a list of foods that have been documented causing sleep disturbances for many reasons. Take a look at the foods listed in clinical research that can sabotage your sleep.
- Chocolate. It is full of caffeine.
- Alcohol. “Alcohol, in general, relaxes the esophageal sphincter, which normally works to keep the acid down in the stomach,” dietitian Lisa Hayim explains. “As it relaxes, the acid from the alcohol can enter into your throat, giving you that burning feeling deep in your chest.” Alcohol can make you snore as well.
- Fried Chicken. High-fat foods take longer to digest causing bloating and indigestion.
- Dried Fruit. This food can bother your stomach giving you gas and cramps.
- Hot and Spicy Foods. These are not meant for nighttime consumption. When you sleep, your core temperature lowers. Having these in your tummy when you go to bed will make you feel alert and unable to sleep. Avoid hot sauces as well.
- Peppermint. Most people eat this at night after a heavy meal thinking it will settle their stomach. It has the opposite effect. It can cause heartburn.
- High-Sugar Cereal. Have you just been too tired to cook so you grabbed the cereal? This will cause a spike and then a crash in your blood sugar. Your sleep will be affected.
- Cheese and High-Fat Dairy Products. This brings on acid reflux very fast and will keep you awake all night.
- Pizza. This is one of the worse foods to eat late at night. The high-fat cheese with the acid in the tomato sauce will be like putting a bomb into your stomach.
- Coffee and Soda. The caffeine in these stimulates your nervous system for hours after you drink them.
- Cheeseburgers, Fries with Ketchup. High-fat foods combined with acidic sugary ketchup is very hard on the digestive system at night. Never feed this to children either.
- Steak. High-protein foods will disturb your sleep.
- Matcha or Green Tea. These teas have other stimulants in them other than caffeine and will keep you awake.
- Peanut Butter/Jelly. High in fat and causes acid reflux.
- Chips. Of the 396 participants in the study, 12.5% of disturbing dreams were from late-night greasy snacks.
- Ice Cream. Another no-no. High-sugar content and dairy are linked to nightmares.
Other foods mentioned were tomatoes, raw onions, acidic fruits, cakes and cookies, cured meats, and beans.
If you were recently diagnosed with insomnia, it may just be what you are eating late at night.
Photo courtesy of Bing via medscape.com