Eating habits that prevent you from sleeping

Drifting off into a peaceful sleep to dream the night away sound like the perfect way to end any day. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be but a dream. Various pressures in life can make it hard to fall asleep, or get you up in the night. However, your sleep issues may have something to do with your eating habits…

Sweet tooth

We hate to admit it, but there is another reason why sugary food should be taken off the menu. Eating a significant amount of sugar before going to bed can cause your blood pressure to rise. This, in turn, could cause you to wake up throughout the night as the sugar leaves your bloodstream. This is because your body realizes it is running low compared to the sugar supply it had and thinks you need to wake up and find more. It’s probably best to leave the sugary treats to the middle of the day!


Caffeine is one of the biggest stimulants that can keep us awake. There is a reason that so many grab a cup of Joe in the mornings to help kick start the day – the caffeine gets everything going. For different people, it takes a different amount of time for your body to process caffeine. For some, it can leave your body in four hours, while others can feel the effects for six hours or more. This is why it’s a good idea to avoid anything with caffeine before heading off to bed.

Hot hot hot

Eating spicy for bed may be another no go to add to the list. Chillies can burn more than just your mouth as their effects also raise your core body temperature. This increase in heat can make it harder for some of us to fall asleep or can wake us up in the night. Chillies can also cause our heart rate to increase which not only makes it harder to fall asleep in the first place but also gives us difficulties in staying asleep. It looks like curries might have to be off the menu.

Late dinner time

Research has shown that eating late in the day can cause issues when trying to get to sleep. Their experiments show that if you eat a big meal before hitting the hay, you are seven times more likely to get heartburn than someone who has left it a few hours before turning in. The researchers discovered that the optimum time to eat before bed is 3 to 4 hours as it gives your body enough time to clear the food from your stomach.

Fermented food

Have you heard the saying that cheese gives you nightmares? Well, that may not be too far from the truth. Aged cheeses such as Roquefort or cheddar, as well as cured meat, such as salami, can be the problems keeping us up at night. This type of food contains tyramine which is responsible for releasing noradrenaline. It may sound sciencey, but this means your “fight or flight” instinct will start to kick in – not what you want before heading to bed.

We would never have believed that what we eat could have such an effect on how well we can sleep overnight. Thankfully, it looks as though a few changes to our eating habits could change the way we sleep from now on.