Awake at Night: 5 Foods to Avoid

Woman With Insomnia

Trouble sleeping? It may be your diet at fault if you fall asleep and wake up several times during the night. Many of us assume that an overactive mind is causing sleeplessness, but that may not be the case.

Did you know that certain foods, besides the obvious culprit caffeine, can keep you from a peaceful night’s sleep? Here are five culprits that may cause wakefulness at night.

1. Foods High in Fat

You probably did not know that a high saturated-fat diet, low in fiber, may lead to lighter sleep. You’ll be waking up more at night. If you eat large amounts of food high in saturated fats, it can affect your deeper sleep as well as the overall quality of your sleep. Making alertness more difficult during the day, this non-REM sleep happens earlier in your sleep cycle.

2. Caffeine-rich Foods and Chocolate

Hot chocolate may seem like a great choice to catch some Z’s. However, it contains caffeine, the enemy of sleep. Sweet, fluffy marshmallows add to the anti-sleep mix, as they are loaded with sugar. This brings us to…

3. Sugar-loaded Desserts

Refined carbohydrates and sugar may cause anxiety and insomnia. They can also trigger late-night cravings. Volunteers in a research study who ate more sugar spent less time in slow-wave sleep, essential for healing and immune function; this became evident in these controlled studies. People also took longer to fall asleep and, once asleep, were more restless and frequently awoke during the night.

4. Alcohol Nightcaps

Sometimes alcohol is taken to induce drowsiness. On the other hand, according to studies, alcohol causes restless sleep. This is because the calming effects dissipate after a few hours. Studies show that after three nights of drinking before bedtime, the body becomes more resistant to the sleep-inducing effects of the nightcap.

5. Spicy Foods

Highly acidic food that can initiate heartburn is commonly a cause of interrupted sleep. Spicy dishes, such as those made with tomato products, can also be the culprit. Citrus fruits, marinated dishes, such as olives and pickles, and dairy products may be the cause of heartburn in some people, thus bringing on sleeplessness.

An empty stomach can make insomnia worse. A healthy light snack, such as a banana with almond butter, or fruits, such as kiwi or tart cherries, can help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Also healthier in general, a diet rich in fiber, associated with deeper sleep, may lead to less wakefulness at night. Sleepwalkers might need to see a doctor. In fact, visit your doctor if you have chronic sleep problems. You may want to know the underlying cause. Meanwhile, making some dietary changes may help.

55 Comments on "Awake at Night: 5 Foods to Avoid"

  1. Mussarat Hussain | August 29, 2022 at 7:47 am | Reply

    Hi, I appreciate medical advices you put most of the time. Really very helpful to the people both living in the USA and Overseas.

    Keep it up


  2. What foods can we eat to induce sleep?

  3. Foods that induce sleep?

  4. So my nightly bowl of coffee chocolate swirl ice cream isn’t helping, is what I’m hearing.

  5. I have good luck with camomile tea to relax and fall asleep.

  6. Sleep inducing foods would be turkey, whole milk, nuts that contain tryptophan and in turn, cause calm and sleepiness.

  7. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I have the perfect routine to get me back to sleep.
    1.Eat a pack of bacon
    2.Slap somebody else while they sleep.
    3.Clean the toilet really good.
    4.Masturbate while eating Doritos.
    5.Do 3 squat thrusts
    6.Think about WW3.
    7.Paint a unicorn
    8.Write your local senator.
    9.Phone a mother in law.

    • I have a question for u . By the way this the only Routine that I’ve come across that I might be able to stick with . But I have ran into a problem . I woke up at midnight . Read ur routine. It worked great only did first step right back to sleep . But I changed it up . I went straight to # 4. I fell right back to sleep ! It was great! But been up two more times already slapped the sh** out of everyone . An can’t get back to sleep . My question is can I go through the house an slap the sleeping ones twice?? Cause I’m afraid I I could get addicted to this Routine. ! Lol

    • Lol😆😅🤣🤣

  8. Tart cherry juice is good for helping you sleep

  9. From my training as a RN you want to create a calm and relaxing environment free from distractions. Try light exercise, reading, or listening to music.

  10. Magnesium and breathing techniques

  11. I call bulls*** on this. For instance, in the spicy section they are talking about tomato sauce. That’s not spicy. It says studies of alcohol say the calming effects disappear after a couple hours. That is wrong. It has upper effects the first couple hours then a depressant effect after that. I could go on and on. Where are the citations for all these studies mentioned?

  12. Thank you

  13. And don’t just eat watermelon for dinner. I was up like 5 times just last night having to pee lol

  14. Best way to fall asleep is drink a cup of astragalus tea! It calms you and destresses you and you will feel great

    • Yes you should avoid spicy food any way it is not good for you,you could get a stomach ache and not be able to sleep because you don’t feel good.


  16. A session of really great sex induces sleep… For me anyway.

  17. Magnesium supplement, three Tums supplement, rub Tiger Balm on the back of your neck, take three ibuprofen, you will sleep very well.

  18. Melatonin. Works great.

  19. If you eat a can of cat food really fast it will help you sleep.

  20. Can drinking to much h20 water lddp you up at night yes so why wasn’t this on the list.

  21. I use melatonin, an antidepressant that induces sleep. Plus, whole wheat bread with some almond butter. I go to sleep at the same time every night. Plus, I leave the tv on to quiet the thoughts in my head.

  22. A healthy is the one pictured.

  23. Eating parrot food with help you sleep

  24. Guctsi Pohzychin | September 1, 2022 at 5:04 pm | Reply

    Reading this really gets me to…

    Sorry, it’s the next morning. Should I stop, or continue…

    Three days later and I’m still here. Wow! This fartical really helped me. What more should I do to progress past the tadpoles?

  25. All of my favorite things

  26. I must admit the thought of eating a can of cat food really fast to make you fall asleep made me laugh so hard I got wore out and drifted away with a smile on my face!

  27. So your saying don’t eat b4 you sleep? Carbs and sugar are in virtually all processed foods. Its killing the world

  28. Nice magazine

  29. Caution with Melatonin, it can cause nightmares. Caution with too much Magnesium, it can cause heart arrhythmias.

    • Even though melatonin is good and can help you sleep I think that you should never eat too much or else you will end up like me a melatonin junky I am addicted to melatonin.

  30. Jessica Gzz is a sick b****!!!!

  31. “a high saturated-fat diet, low in fiber, may lead to lighter sleep. ”
    This is not the same as saying eating fat before bed will keep me awake. Please put some science in your click bait, thanks

  32. Sleep inducing foods would be things like cherries turkey potatoes.

  33. Bond, Kyle Bond | September 3, 2022 at 9:21 pm | Reply

    I hope Trish D’Anna gets the help she needs. 😉

  34. I’m 73, so it has taken years for me to figure it out. The foods listed are spot on. Stop eating @ 8pm. About 10 oz. ice water around 8pm. No bright lights…none. I do not allow myself “daytime” thoughts (anything negative or upsetting). I save that for the next day. Get comfy in bed…relax your face, neck, hands and feet. Try it.

  35. Exercise treadmill is best, walk the dog or whatever pet you have,completely clean out your closetor garage, watch TV until 2am. After your so tired you have no choice but fall asleep in the middle of the show.

  36. So you can’t eat anything but you have to eat something?

  37. Good article, but some comments are childish and uncalled for.

  38. Spicy foods keep you up cause you s*** your self all night! I had gas so bad last night my wife picked in bed!

  39. Once I stop smoking crack and doing heroin I didn’t have a problem sleeping through the night. I ate a pack of bacon no matter what and I left the alcohol at the gas station.

  40. I was total idiot and afraid to step on other people’s toes but in the beginning I wasn’t at all because I really really wanted you badly and still really doing I fell back into my old ways can we try this again

  41. You want to come over?

  42. Try forcing yourself to stay awake!Sounds funny.But It works! Sometimes!!!!??

  43. Smoke a big fat joint best way to sleep but not all the food but u do sleep welll

  44. I eat none of these foods and I still can’t sleep

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.