5 Sleep Harmful Foods That Cause Insomnia

If you’ve tried every sleep remedy under the sun, check your diet. That’s right — you may be simply eating the wrong foods before going to bed. If you’re having trouble, here are 5 sleep harmful foods that may be keeping you up at night.

Before we begin, here are a few things that will keep you up at night. As a rule, don’t eat late at night as your body converts food into energy. Also, pay attention to portion control, as large portions disrupt your digestion. And AVOID AVOID AVOID stimulants, such as sugar and caffeine.

Now let’s take a close look at how you can improve your zzzzz’s by avoiding these 5 sleep harmful foods late at night.


Curry, or any heavy spicy cuisine, is a sleep killer. Lying down with a full belly can make you uncomfortable since the digestive system slows down when you sleep. It can also lead to heartburn, as can spicy cuisine. If you indulge in a heavy meal, Sleep MD recommends finishing it at least 4 hours before bedtime.

Ice Cream

That serving of Ben & Jerry’s you’ve been spooning before crawling between the sheets isn’t doing your sleep schedule any favors.  For starters, ice cream is high in sugar, which can spike your insulin levels. And high insulin levels have been shown to make it difficult to fall asleep. So, next time, leave the late-night comfort food in the fridge.


Yes, not exactly a “food”, but many people drink a glass of wine or a bottle of beer to “wind down” at night. The opposite could not be more true. Alcohol prevents you from fully indulging in REM sleep, which is needed for a good night’s rest. In fact, research shows that drinking alcohol before bed can make you more likely to wake up throughout the night and diminishes the quality of sleep. In short, put the glass of wine down.

High-Sugar Cereals

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but eating high-sugar anything will keep you up at night. That’s because it will make your blood sugar spike and crash. I only include high-sugar cereals as many children (and many adults) like to eat late-night cereal snacks before going to bed. Don’t do it!

Cheeses and Cured Meat

While ideal picnic foods, don’t ever consume these before going to bed. They contain tyramine, an amino acid that keeps you awake or alert for a long time.


Did these suggestions help you which sleep harmful foods to avoid? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. If eating bad foods late at night tends to be a problem, please read “How to Stop Overeating Late at Night“. Also, be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each Friday.

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