Is What You Eat Keeping You Awake at Night?

If you’ve been waking up feeling groggy, and needing more coffee than usual to keep you going throughout your day, you’re not alone – a full 45% of American adults have reported a lack of quality sleep and feeling sleepy during the work day.

What’s keeping you up at night? Lack of sleep has been shown to be caused by a variety of reasons, including the use of electronics before turning in for the night, an imbalance of the hormones that regulate sleep, and not updating your sleep haven with a more comfortable mattress in order to provide your body with the support that it needs.

But according to one recent study, a new culprit has popped up when it comes to sleep deprivation, and it’s probably something that you don’t give a second thought to, if you’re anything like most people.

We’re talking about pre-bedtime snacking. Sounds innocent enough, right? Well, scientists and sleep experts are saying that eating anything up to two hours before bed can cause your metabolism to kick into overdrive and keep you awake when you should be resting your body and brain. And it’s been shown that specific types of snacks are more to blame when it comes to keeping you up past your bedtime.

This list of foods should be avoided if you want to cash in on the benefits of a good night’s sleep.

Cheese

Believe it or not, heightened dreams and disturbed sleep have been linked with eating this yummy dairy-based treat too soon before turning in for the night. It’s thought that the cause is related to the fact that cheese produces higher levels of serotonin in the brain, which is great for stabilizing your mood during the day, but not so good for peaceful nights. Serotonin has been known to promote vivid dreams and keep you tossing and turning during the night.

Pickled Foods

Not only are pickles, sauerkraut, and any other food that has been fermented or pickled usually horrible for your breath, they have also been shown to cause poor sleep by causing bad dreams when eaten too close to bedtime.

Processed Meats

Meats that have been cured or processed for packaging, such as sausage, ham, bacon, corned beef, salami, and hot dogs all contain very high levels of the amino acid Tyramine, which regulates the blood pressure. This amino acid has proven to disrupt not only the central nervous system in general, but especially normal sleep patterns – causing you to be unable to get the restful sleep that you need.

Chocolate

Sorry to be the ones to break this to you, but eating chocolate before bed is a no-no if you want to get some quality sack time. The fat content in this favorite treat is high enough to cause indigestion when consumed before heading to bed, which in turn causes you to wake more frequently during the night.

If you avoid eating these foods two hours or less before hitting the hay, you should notice a definite improvement in your quality of sleep. And while you’re at it, ditch the caffeine and electronics, as well to keep your bedroom a haven for better rest.