You’re lying awake at night, staring at the clock, waiting for sleep to come. What could be keeping you up? Was it something you ate? It’s certainly possible because the foods we eat before bed can have a surprising impact on the quality of our rest. Bedtime snacks that disrupt our blood sugar, rev up our nervous system, or mess with our digestion are common culprits behind sleepless nights. Even some foods that are quite healthy could still be considered the worst foods for sleep.
If you’re looking to get better shuteye, stay away from these 10 foods and drinks before bedtime. Then, for ideas on what is best to eat to help you slumber, check out the 8 Best Foods to Help You Sleep.
Forget about Taco Bell’s late-night “Fourthmeal”—tacos are a double whammy of high fat and spice that could add up to sleep disruption.
Spicy foods aggravate acid reflux, a condition that may give you chest pangs, sour burps, or stomach pain when you lie down. Enjoy your tacos well before bedtime, not as a midnight fast food run.
Red Chili Pepper
Speaking of spice, there’s no zippier ingredient than red chilies. Though the capsaicin in these spicy peppers is known for benefits like reducing inflammation and even alleviating pain, it’s not so great for lulling you to sleep.
One study found that red chili peppers aggravated acid reflux in patients with GERD. If you’re prone to reflux—especially the kind that disrupts your sleep—pass on spicy chilies.
No one ever said a cheeseburger was a healthy bedtime snack. But this high-fat entrée might not just do damage to your waistline—burgers can also mess with your sleep.
As a high-fat food, they’re tough to digest, potentially causing GI upset as you try to wind down.