By Emma Jackson

If you’re anything like me, late night snacking before bed is your norm. There is just something so satisfying about laying down with a full tummy to get a good night’s sleep. But all too often I find myself staring at the ceiling until the early hours of the morning, unable to fall asleep or stay asleep. After some research I’ve found that the foods you eat, especially later at night, can play a role in causing insomnia. Let’s talk about some of the types of foods that may be the culprit according to

Spicy foods
I enjoy a little spice in foods now and then. Not enough to burn my tongue and esophagus, but just enough for some flavor. But spicy foods could be causing you to lay awake at night. These types of food create an acidic and heated environment in the body. Limiting your spice intake can help you when it comes to sleep.

Fried foods
Fried goodies could also be the cause of your sleepless nights. They can cause digestive issues and acidity in your body, resulting in stomach pains. Instead of snacking on something battered and fried before bed, try something roasted, baked, or even grilled!

This might seem like common sense, but caffeine late in the day can be the reason for your lack of sleep at night. What you might not realize is that caffeine can come disguised in more than just that cup of coffee that you enjoy daily. Items such as soda, tea, and even dark chocolate contain caffeine. Try swapping those beverages for water to limit your extra caffeine intake.

While alcohol is certainly good for helping you fall asleep quickly, it’s been proven to cause you to have trouble staying asleep. It also reduces your REM sleep, causing you to wake up tired and miserable the next day. Be mindful of your alcohol consumption when you are planning on retiring for the night soon after.

Fermented foods contain something called Tyramine. It is an amino acid which stimulates brain activity. Obviously, increased brain function results in a being unable to fall asleep. Tyramine can be found in foods like sour cream, aged cheese, yogurt, and more. Limit your intake of these foods at night for a more restful sleep.

That’s right, sugar. It seems like that bowl of ice cream before bed could be the reason for your sleep issues. Sugar gives you a quick boost of energy which will cause you to feel awake for a while after eating it. Sugar can be found in more than just desserts, too. Condiments like ketchup and sauces like marinara are common places where sugar likes to hide.
Lacking nutrients
If you aren’t getting the vital nutrients you need from your meals, it might be hard for you to feel like you’re ready to settle down for the night. There is a strong correlation between digestion and sleep. Choosing foods that contain good vitamins and minerals can aid in digestion, and in turn help you sleep better. So, basically, eat your fruits and veggies, kids!

Acid reflux
Foods that trigger an abundance of acid in the stomach could cause sleep issues. Foods like tomatoes, caffeine, alcohol, and spices can cause acid reflux. The feelings of discomfort will definitely keep you up at night!

Be sure to think twice when choosing what you’re snacking on before bed if you want a restful night’s sleep!

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