Food and Drink Habits That Can Cause Sleep Problems

Do you always feel sleep-deprived? If you do, you may be unknowingly doing a few things that negatively affect your sleep. Some of these habits may not even be considered ‘bad’ however, where your sleep is concerned they certainly could be.

Eat Protein Foods Moderately

Protein is a great food source and essential for health. The reason you have to eat protein in moderation is due to the length of time it takes to digest. If you are a keto dieter, don’t despair, you can eat as much as you want through the day, just eat a moderate amount at night. If you are counting your macros, you will anyway.

Don’t Eat Over-Sized Meals Before Bed

The size of your meal and its food type composition affects the length of time your body needs to digest it. If you eat a huge dinner, you will have to allow several digestion hours. This digestive process will not help you fall asleep. If you want to eat large meals, eat them at lunchtime, not dinnertime. If possible, limit your calorie intake at night.

Another night-time eating tip is to avoid eating spicy foods. That way if you are prone to experiencing heartburn and indigestion, you won’t suffer the consequences, and you will get to sleep without the added pain and discomfort.

Avoid Snacking After Dinner

One more thing. If you have been good and had an early dinner, don’t spoil it by after-dinner snacking! Perhaps your stomach is sending out grumbling signals near supper-time. Ignore them and go to bed. Sleeping on a full stomach will disrupt your body’s ability to follow its natural sleep-wake cycle.

Plus, after eating, your body produces C-peptide, which helps insulin perform its job, and the production of C-peptide has also been associated with decreased levels of melatonin. Melatonin is required by the body to get to sleep, and food consumption lowers melatonin levels in the body. This means your body has a harder time getting to sleep. 

Don’t Drink Bladder Stimulating Beverages

Avoid drinking too much fluid, especially the bladder stimulating ones, before bedtime. If you do, you will naturally be woken up by the call of nature. Beverages that contain stimulants also speed up your heart rate which can prevent you from falling asleep.                 

Most of us are already aware of how caffeine can affect sleep patterns. Even moderate amounts of caffeine can cause sleep disturbances. Coffee, tea, cola, and some chocolate drinks may contain caffeine. It is advised to drink any of these beverages at least four to six hours before retiring.

Don’t Drink Alcohol for Sleep

Many people drink an evening ‘night-cap’ thinking it will help them get a good night sleep. Unfortunately, this is not what studies indicate. Research shows that alcohol can interfere with a person’s REM sleep. This will cause them to feel foggy-headed in the morning. It is not necessarily the alcohol causing the foggy head, but the lack of good sleep. Although a person can feel sleepy soon after drinking a few glasses of alcohol, it is a short-term effect of alcohol in the body.

Alcohol intake has never been associated with quality sleep. Alcoholic may send you off to sleep faster, but it may also cause you to experience periods of wakefulness. Just like caffeine, it is best to avoid any alcoholic beverages at least four hours before your bedtime.


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