Health+Wellness • Article

Foods and Drinks That Get in the Way of a Good Night's Sleep

Nicole McDermott

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Research shows that certain foods and drinks can decrease our chances of falling and staying asleep:



While alcohol induces sleep, a study in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research found that drinking any amount disrupts sleep during the second half of the night. Kicking back a few too many during waking hours can also lead to daytime sleepiness.



Guzzling 500 milligrams of caffeine or more per day can lead to insomnia, according to a review study published in the journal Current Signal Transduction Therapy. Two tall coffees from Starbucks or two and a half 5-Hour Energy shots equal roughly 500 milligrams of caffeine, as noted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.


spicy foods

Foods that cause heartburn and indigestion—including spicy items—can impair sleep too, according to UCLA's Sleep Disorders Center.


high-fat foods

Unhealthy fat intake can negatively impact the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. People who consumed the most saturated fat experienced lighter, less restorative sleep than those who consumed less saturated fat, according to another study published there.


sugary foods

High sugar intake is also associated with lighter, less restorative sleep and more arousals from sleep, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.


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about the author

After graduating from Syracuse where she studied magazine journalism and nutrition, Nicole wrote and edited for the health and fitness site, Greatist. Her written work has appeared on TIME Healthland, Shape, USA Today, Men's Fitness, The Huffington Post, Refinery29, and Lifehacker, among others. For the last seven years, she has served as managing editor at Ghergich & Co. and editorial director at Brado.



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