7 Foods That Are Messing With Your Sleep

You may want to rethink that nightcap.


Natalie Rizzo |

You may want to rethink that nightcap. – By Natalie Rizzo

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Some mornings you jump out of bed, raring to go when that alarm goes off. Other mornings? Going for a run is the last thing you want to do. What you’re putting on your plate may actually mess with your sleep cycle. Limit these nighttime eats, and your morning self will thank you.

1. Tomato Sauce

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, this pasta favourite has two strikes against it. Not only can it cause heartburn for people who suffer from acid reflux, it also contains the amino acid tyramine. This triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a stimulant that boosts brain activity and inhibits sleep.

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2. Chocolate

Chocolate naturally contains caffeine, which may be problematic for those who aren’t used to consuming it regularly. Chocolate also has a compound called theobromine, a heart stimulant that causes an increase in heart rate, making it difficult to fall asleep. Still not ready to ditch your favourite dessert? Try a piece of white chocolate.

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3. Alcohol

Hear us out: While alcohol is a natural depressant that may help you fall asleep, it makes it difficult to go into a deep sleep, affecting sleep quality. Plus, a hangover may not be the way you want to start your long run.

4. Steak

Sure, once in awhile, treat yourself to that hearty steak dinner, but not when you need a good night’s rest. Research has shown that eating foods high in saturated fat, like a good steak, interferes with deep sleep. These foods also take longer to digest, causing indigestion, which can make it hard to sleep.

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5. Spicy Food

Spicy foods – looking at you, curry! – can trigger heartburn in those who have acid reflux, which can be exacerbated when laying down. And new research has found that eating less salt throughout the day will reduce your bathroom trips at night.

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6. Fizzy Drinks

Regularly consuming soda, which has caffeine and sugar, has been linked to a short sleep duration. On the flipside, a glass of tart pineapple juice before bed can help ward off insomnia.

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7. Water

A glass of water before bed is fine (and encouraged!). But trying to hydrate for your morning run by chugging several glasses can lead to frequent bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. Instead, drink water throughout the day and bring a water bottle on your morning run. You can also snack on water-rich fruits, like kiwi, which is 60 percent water and a good source of sleep-inducing serotonin.

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