10 Worst Foods To Eat Before Bed

Getting a good night’s sleep is usually easier said than done. You might be sabotaging your chances of deep sleep by eating and drinking the wrong foods before bed. 

Do you know what those foods are? 

We have 10 of the worst foods to eat before bed. 

Make sure you read to the end of the article because I have left some of the worst offenders to the last. 

10. Cheese 

eating cheese before bed

Cheese is one of these foods to avoid before bed. It is not an old wives’ tale; eating cheese before bed can really negatively affect your sleep, causing indigestion, insomnia, and even nightmares.

This goes double for anyone with any bit of dairy intolerance or allergy. If you chow down on a cheese platter before trying to sleep, it will certainly disrupt your sleep. 

A charcuterie board with friends can ruin your restful sleep, as it sometimes takes time to build up. 

Any intolerance can cause gas and bloating, leading to discomfort and pain that could make it much, much harder to get quality sleep.

In addition, strong or aged cheese contains naturally high levels of the amino acid tyramine, making us feel alert by increasing brain activity and potentially causing sleeplessness.

9. Fatty Foods 

eating fatty foods before bed

These are the usual suspects, like burgers, pizza, french fries, doughnuts, fried chicken, or a massive loaded burrito – whatever fits your fancy! 

High-fat, especially high trans-fat foods, are some of the worst foods to eat before bed. They take longer to digest, keeping your body working longer rather than relaxing as it should be. 

Also, they’re known to cause bloating and indigestion, which will interfere with a good night’s rest. Your sleep will be more fragmented and can hinder you from feeling refreshed the following day. 

Read Also: How To Stop Farting – Gassy Foods To Avoid And Tips For Quick Relief.

8. Hot Peppers And Spicy Foods

Eating spicy foods right before bed

Spicy foods are great if you’re looking to boost your metabolism, but they can also ruin your chances of getting a full night’s sleep. 

Spices like Cayenne and Tabasco get their metabolism-boosting properties from capsaicin, which can trigger heartburn in more sensitive individuals. 

Spicy foods can also get your blood pumping, with thermogenic properties that can increase the body’s core temperature and cause you to feel more awake and struggle to stay asleep. 

7. Chocolate

woman eating chocolate at night

This may come as bad news to some, but an after-dinner treat of chocolate is not doing your REM any favors. Especially dark chocolate, which contains a higher amount of caffeine, has a stimulating effect and prevents your body and brain from slowing down. 

This will decrease your ability to develop or sustain deeper stages of sleep. Any sort of chocolate will have varying levels of caffeine. Though milk chocolate has less, it’s higher in dairy and sugar contents that come with its own baggage. 

6. Coffee And Soda

drinking coffee before bed

This is a bit more obvious, especially given the last point. Still, coffees and cola drinks, and many other soda drinks are high in caffeine, stimulating the central nervous system several hours after consuming it. 

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, this can lead to you lying awake anywhere from 8 to 14 hours after drinking it. 

Read Also: Which Coffee Has The Most Caffeine?

5. Cruciferous Vegetables And Dried Fruit

eating fiber before bed

Consuming too many high-fiber foods, like dried fruit and cruciferous Vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprout, can upset your stomach and lead to gas and cramps through the night. 

Their high-fiber, low-water content can further disturb your sleep. If it’s not waking you up every few hours, you may not get a “restful” night overall due to the heaviness and discomfort in your tummy. This can lead to you being more tired in the morning despite sleeping all night. 

Read Also: 19 Foods That Are Super Low In Fiber.

4. Ice Cream

eating ice cream before bed

That serving of your favorite frozen treat that you’ve been spooning before crawling into bed isn’t doing your sleep schedule any favors, as it turns out. 

Ice cream contains dairy and sugar, which is not a good combination before bed. It may spike your insulin levels and cause bloating, gas, and stomach pain, making sleeping difficult. 

Not only that but eating ice cream late at night can raise your cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone that could easily ruin your sleep.  

Read Also: 7 Dairy-Free Ice Creams.

3. Grapefruit

eating grapefruit at night could exacerbate heartburn

Any acidic food will worsen heartburn symptoms by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (valve at the lower end of the stomach), which can cause sleep-disrupting acid reflux. 

While fruit may seem like a healthy treat, it doesn’t get much more acidic than grapefruit and oranges, which can wreck your ability to sleep in one fell swoop. 

2. Alcohol

things that keep you awake at night

After drinking alcohol, you will get an increased production of adenosine. Adenosine is a chemical in the brain that causes sleepiness, allowing one to fall asleep faster. But unfortunately, it would subside as quickly as it comes.

So, this relaxing glass of chardonnay may be the opposite of its intention. 

You’ll fall asleep and unwind quicker, but your body will struggle to fully indulge in the REM cycle, where genuinely restful sleep and dreaming occurs. 

You’re more likely to wake up through the night, which will diminish your quality of sleep overall. 

Alcohol will also dehydrate the body, which causes muscle cramping and multiple trips to the toilet in the middle of the night, disrupting the sleep cycle further. 

1. Water

drinking water close to bedtime

You’ll probably be surprised to hear this, but you might want to rethink having a tall glass of water on your bedside table – unless you’re saving it for the morning. 

Keeping hydrated is essential throughout the day. Even slight dehydration will significantly drain your energy levels. However, if you drink too much right before bed, you may have to make frequent toilet trips through the night, which can disrupt your sleep.

It’s best to taper off fluid intake about three hours before bed but keep consistent throughout the day. While Alcohol can dehydrate you, too much water can also be a problem – it’s all about balance! 

Now, if you have eliminated all the worst foods and drinks from your bedtime routine but are still struggling to sleep, check out these 7 Amazing Herbs That Help You Sleep Better And Doze Off Faster.

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About Jen Evansy

Nutritionist, researcher, avid home cook, and writer interested in everything nutrition and food-related. Striving to inform, encourage, and inspire all the readers to make healthy and informed choices when it comes to cooking, food, diet, and nutrition.