Top 5 Sleep-Killing Foods to Avoid

While there are plenty of foods that can help the brain and body rest, there are many more that may disrupt your natural sleep patterns and keep you awake. If you are having difficulty getting and staying asleep each night, be sure to omit these top 5 sleep killers from your nightly diet:

  • Chocolate

    As people age they become more sensitive to caffeine, and even a few chocolate chips in a sundae can affect their sleep. And also avoid that evening cup of hot cocoa. Chocolate contains tyrosine, a stimulating amino acid.

  • Energy Drinks

    It may seem obvious to avoid energy drinks late in the day, but research finds that energy drinks at any time of the day can interfere with your sleep. Mayo Clinic studies have shown that energy drinks like Red Bull contain caffeine and taurine, which can push your brain into overdrive for hours. Even one energy drink in the morning can affect your sleep that night.

  • Preserved and Smoked Meats

    While reaching for the bacon may seem harmful only to your diet, these kinds of meats contain the amino acid tyramine which prompts the brain to release norepinephrine and may triggering you to feel wired. Avoid sausage and processed deli meats like ham and bacon as much as possible.

  • Alcohol

    That nightcap may seem to help you sleep, but it may come back to haunt you later on by disrupting your dreams. Alcohol is both dehydrating and a diuretic, causing you to wake up and use the bathroom. Wine also contains tyrosine, the same stimulant found in chocolate.

  • Spicy Foods and Tomato Sauce

    While highly acidic and/or spicy foods can cause discomfort in the form of heartburn and acid reflux, many people fail to make the link between that chili they had for dinner and the gastric distress that is keeping them awake. Avoid these foods if you find yourself reaching for the Tums in the middle of the night.

Click here to find out what foods you should eat for better sleep.

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