Trouble Sleeping? An Expert Says to Avoid These 5 Foods If You Want to Sleep Like a Baby Tonight

Nov 17 2018 - 1:20pm

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep [1] on a regular basis." A lack of sleep can impair your alertness and concentration, can increase your risk for health problems like high blood pressure, and can even make you gain weight [2], according to WebMD [3].

Determining the reason behind your sleep deprivation can be difficult, which is why we spoke to Alon Avidan, MD, MPH, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center [4] for tips on how to improve your sleep beginning tonight. Dr. Avidan explained that simply watching what you consume in the hours leading up to your bedtime can make all the difference when it comes to the quality of your sleep. If you're tired of waking up groggy, continue reading to found out the foods and products that are more than likely messing with your sleep.

Caffeinated Drinks and Products

We absolutely get that caffeine, especially coffee, is a must-have to get through your day, but Dr. Avidan told POPSUGAR your coffee addiction could be doing more harm than good "disrupting the sleep architecture." His recommendation? "Avoiding caffeine, particularly after 10 a.m. because [the effects of] caffeine can last for as long as six to eight hours."

Foods High in Fat

Caffeine isn't the only thing that you should avoid for better sleep. Dr. Avidan also recommends avoiding "heavy, fatty foods that tend to lead to reflux and problems with discomfort," especially when eaten right before bed. We're not saying cut out the steak and french fries, just don't eat it right before hitting the sack.

Foods High in Sugar and Simple Carbs

You're almost halfway through this post, and we completely understand if you're feeling slighted bummed. We're not saying to never consume these products again, just be smarter about when you're consuming them.

Chocolate ice cream may sound like an amazing dessert option, but it's more than likely going to keep you tossing and turning in bed tonight. According to Dr. Avidan, foods that contain simple carbohydrates and tend to be sugary like candy and juice are a no-go.


Say no to the glass (or two) of red wine tonight. According to Dr. Avidan, "Alcohol can fragment your sleep, particularly in the first half of the night." Although alcohol may make you feel drowsy and sleepy initially, Dr. Avidan explained that "alcohol tends to be very disruptive and can make people have a fairly fragmented sleep architecture."

Tobacco Products

The final item on Dr. Avidan's list of things to avoid is tobacco products in the evening, as smoking can can lead to impaired sleep [6].

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