Having trouble sleeping? It could be for this surprising reason, experts say

When creating your ideal sleep environment, you may think about light, temperature, and sound, but what about food?

According to experts, what you eat during the day can have a surprising effect on the quality of your sleep at night.

food selection This is an important consideration to ensure a good night’s sleep. “Some types of foods can promote sleep, while others can cause sleep disturbances,” Dr. Chelsea Loescheib, head sleep expert at New York-based sleep analysis company Wesper, told Fox News Digital.

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Here’s what you need to know:

Signs your food is disrupting your sleep

If after a meal you have trouble falling asleepIf you wake up frequently during the night or experience heartburn, acid reflux, or indigestion, your food choices may be to blame, says Dr. Raj Dasgupta, chief medical consultant in Sleepopolis, Calif. .

Experts say what you eat can affect the quality of your night’s sleep. (St. Petersburg)

Other warning signs include experiencing restlessness or stomach discomfort, needing frequent bathroom breaks during the night, and feeling groggy or unrested when you wake up. .

Dasgupta said “extreme dreams or nightmares, or noticing changes in your usual sleep habits” are also signs that food may be disrupting your sleep.

“Paying attention to these clues can help you decide whether you’re sure food and drinks “Your sleep quality is compromised, so you can make adjustments as needed to get better rest,” he said.

Best foods to eat for quality sleep

Foods that promote better sleep include: Adequate amount of lean proteinA diet high in fiber and a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, Rohrscheib says.

“This food combination will keep you full and satisfied throughout the night and prevent you from waking up hungry,” she said.

midnight snack

“Experiencing intense dreams or nightmares, or noticing changes in your usual sleep habits” are also signs that your food choices may be disrupting your sleep, experts said. (St. Petersburg)

“It also reduces the risk of indigestion and heartburn.”

Foods containing dairy are particularly beneficial, she said, because they contain tryptophan, an amino acid essential for the production of serotonin and melatonin, two chemicals needed for sleep.

“Food choices are an important consideration to ensure quality sleep.”

According to Dasgupta, bananas can also promote sleep.

“They contain magnesium and tryptophan, which have the effect of promoting the production of hormones that help you relax and induce sleep,” he told Fox News Digital.

bowl of peanuts

Experts say almonds contain magnesium, which helps relax muscles, and they also contain protein and healthy fats, which help stabilize blood sugar levels. (St. Petersburg)

Almonds also provide magnesium to relax muscles. They contain protein and healthy fats to keep blood sugar levels stable, he said.

“Cherries contain natural melatonin, which may help regulate your sleep-wake cycle,” says Dasgupta.

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Oatmeal is also a good food for sleep.

“the complex carbohydrates It increases serotonin levels and its melatonin content helps regulate sleep,” Dasgupta said.

As we all hear around Thanksgiving, turkey is rich in tryptophan, which stimulates the production of serotonin and melatonin, Dasgupta noted.

Bunch of bananas placed on the scale of the cash register.

Experts say bananas can help you sleep better because they contain magnesium and tryptophan, which promote relaxation. (St. Petersburg)

“Kiwi is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and serotonin, all of which help regulate sleep patterns,” he said.

Dasgupta also recommends eating Greek yogurt to promote better sleep, as the calcium in Greek yogurt helps the body utilize tryptophan for melatonin production, and the protein helps maintain blood sugar levels. doing.

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“Finally, warm milk, which contains tryptophan and has a soothing warmth, helps you relax,” leading to a good night’s sleep, he said.

People with lactose intolerance can choose warm almond milk.

Foods that can disrupt your sleep

According to Rohrscheib, some foods are more likely to cause indigestion and heartburn, which can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.

“This includes foods that are high in fat and acid content, foods that contain caffeine, and spicy foods,” she said.

Dasgupta agreed that eating heavy or spicy foods before bed can cause stomach discomfort, heartburn, and acid reflux, which can make it difficult to settle down comfortably.

fried chicken

Experts say eating heavy or spicy foods can cause stomach discomfort, heartburn, and acid reflux, which can make it difficult to get through the night. (St. Petersburg)

“Fatty or heavy meals take longer to digest, can cause discomfort and disrupt sleep,” he advised.

Caffeine is also a common cause of sleep disturbance, and experts recommend avoiding it for several hours before bed.

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“Foods containing caffeine, even in small amounts, should be avoided to prevent sleep disturbances,” Rohrscheib said. “This includes coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and chocolate.”

It is best to refrain from alcohol Dasgupta said the same. “It may seem like a nightcap, but it can disrupt your sleep cycle and lead to poor sleep quality.”

person drinking soda

Caffeine is also a common cause of sleep disturbance, and experts recommend avoiding it for several hours before bed. (St. Petersburg)

Rohrscheib warned that highly processed foods and foods with high amounts of sugar can cause blood sugar levels to spike quickly, increasing the risk of a “glycemic crash,” also known as hypoglycemia.

“When we have low blood sugar, our brain tries to wake us up to eat more food to normalize blood sugar levels,” she says. “Therefore, these foods should be avoided before bedtime.”

“Eating too much and feeling too full can cause discomfort and reduce the quality of your sleep.”

“lastly, processed foods and junk foodIt’s loaded with additives and unhealthy fats, which can throw off your sleep patterns,” Dasgupta added.

Both experts agreed that the amount of food you eat is also a factor in the quality of your sleep.


“Regardless of the type of food you eat, if you eat too much and feel too full, you’re more likely to feel uncomfortable and have poor sleep quality,” says Rohrscheib.

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