Sleep better: Foods that are keeping you up at night

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Published November 21, 2013

| epicurious

Sleep better: Foods that are keeping you up at night

Sleep better: Foods that are keeping you up at night

Caffeine isn't the only thing that could be keeping you awake at night. 

Steak

"It's a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it's going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

 

Wine, Beer and Booze

A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don't spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it's better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

 

Tomatoes

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there's a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Chocolate

Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

For more foods that may be keeping you awake, check out the full story.

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