Foods That Can Cause Insomnia and Sleeping Issues

Posted April 27, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

If you’re having difficulty sleeping, you’re not alone. Insomnia affects millions of people around the world.

The disorder can cause many issues such as:

  • Feeling sleepy and lethargic during the day
  • Being mentally and physically unwell
  • Making you moody, irritable, and anxious

Prolonged insomnia can lead to more severe problems, so you have to be aware of what causes it and take action to avoid these triggers.

Many factors can affect your ability to slumber. Your bed and sleeping position are two common ones. That’s why, if you sleep on your tummy, experts suggest you get a mattress designed for stomach sleepers.

However, there’s another critical aspect you must consider. That’s your diet. Studies show that what you eat can affect the quality of your rest.

Here are some foods you should avoid if you want to sleep well:


According to Carl E. Hunt, MD, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, caffeine stimulates wakefulness.

Studies show that the substance interferes with your body’s circadian rhythms and can delay sleep if you consume it close to your bedtime. 

The most straightforward rule is not to drink coffee at least six hours before you plan to go to bed. The reason is the effects usually last that long.

Be aware that caffeine is not only found in a cup of joe but in chocolate and soda too. So, if you have a craving at night, stay away from those beverages and snacks.


If you think that taking a puff before bed is relaxing, know that it has the opposite effect. 

Research shows that consuming nicotine either through vaping or smoking cigarettes in the evening can disrupt your sleep. Experts recommend you stop this practice at least four hours before bedtime.


Many people think that a nightcap helps them unwind, but just as with nicotine, alcohol also adversely affects your sleep cycle.

While a glass of wine may make you fall asleep quicker, you won’t have a sound quality slumber. You might also wake up with a headache the next day. 

If you consume liquor in the evening, drink lots of water to reduce the effects of the alcohol.


Another cause of sleep disruption is the need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If you want to have uninterrupted rest, you should cut down or stop drinking water and other fluids a few hours before bedtime.

It helps if you don’t consume liquor in the evenings because you’ll have to up your intake of liquids to negate the alcohol effects.

Spicy Foods

What does eating a spicy meal have to do with getting a good night’s sleep?

These foods can cause heartburn, and it gets worse when you’re lying down. If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux), it’s going to cause you severe discomfort.

Red Meat

It’s best to eat red meat earlier in the day and not close to bedtime because your body will have a tough time digesting it. 

Tips for Getting Quality Sleep

While adopting healthy eating habits can improve your ability to sleep well, you should also consider other factors such as getting a good mattress, meditating, exercising, and many more. 

If your insomnia is severe, you must consult your doctor as the disorder can lead to illness and many other health issues.