The 12 Foods That Will Keep You Up at Night (Besides Caffeine)

Foods That Will Keep

If you ever wake up in the middle of the night feeling restless, it might be something you just ate. Not every meal meets the criteria for being a decent late-night meal, and many foods have hidden components and qualities that might actually keep you up and prevent you from falling asleep, which is bothersome and uncomfortable.

You might be shocked to learn that certain vegetables might contribute to some of the items that keep you awake. If you don’t want to stay up too late, you should avoid the 12 foods on my list of things that can keep you up at night.

12 Foods That Can Keep You Awake at Night

1. Alcohol

Now, this can be a little perplexing because drinking alcohol right before night has been known to put people to sleep. Alcohol, however, is not a depressant. People who consume alcohol before going to bed do not obtain the finest sleep possible that night and frequently wake up in the middle of their sleep cycles.


One mechanism through which the body controls sleep is the circadian rhythm. Alcohol disrupts this pattern, making it more difficult for the body to determine when it is time for bed and when it is not.

Alcohol may shorten sleep duration and impair REM sleep, according to a published study. Rapid eye movement sleep is referred to as REM. There are fast and erratic eye movements during this crucial stage of sleep. Healthy rest is dependent on this stage. Every healthy person needs at least seven hours of REM sleep each night, and alcohol use may negatively affect this, resulting in less restorative sleep overall.

2. Fatty Foods

There is proof that eating fatty foods disrupts your sleep. A 2016 study found that consuming a lot of saturated fats made sleep feel brief and inadequate. This occurs as a result of the fact that while we sleep, our digestive systems are not extremely active. Because they are challenging to digest, fatty meals can be a little trouble when it’s time to go to bed.
Avoid items that are oily and filling, such as fried chicken, fries, mozzarella sticks, and potato chips.


3. Spicy Foods

Spicy dishes are thought to have a lot of spices, such as curry, mustard, and chili peppers. Spices cause a sensation that veers between pleasure and agony.

Even though spicy food may be delicious, eating spicy food right before bed will likely keep you up all night. This occurs for a variety of reasons. Indigestion, acid reflux, and heartburn are a few examples. A 2019 study discovered that spices do have a detrimental effect on sleep quality. You can feel a little rise in temperature after eating a meal that is heavily spiced. Despite how slight the rise may be, it nevertheless affects sleep. The body needs to maintain a temperature between 66 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit in order to effectively commence sleep. Anything outside or within of this range may have a negative effect on sleep.

4. Celery

Such a rich veggie is celery. It has almost all of the nutrients you require, including vitamins and antioxidants. Additionally, it lowers inflammation. The reason it is considered a snack that can keep you up at night is as follows: It is diuretic in nature. The meal is widely regarded as a natural diuretic. This implies that you might need to use the restroom more frequently after eating celery. Such sleep disruptions will undoubtedly affect the quality of your sleep.


5. Foods Containing a Lot of Salt

Food tastes better with salt. You won’t want to finish eating a meal if the proper amount of salt is missing. Similar to how too little salt in your dinner will interfere with your ability to sleep.

According to a European Society of Endocrinology publication, salt has an effect on how well a person sleeps at night. This study found that persons who consumed salty meals right before bedtime slept more “superficially” and were more likely to experience sleep problems. To get water, they either got up earlier than normal or got up in the middle of the night. They felt a little sleep deprived and less satisfied when they woke up. They also desired to sleep more during the day.

This occurs because salt, especially when consumed in high amounts, increases water retention. Allow some time to pass between eating salty foods and going to bed.


6. Cruciferous Vegetables

Arugula, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are a few examples of cruciferous vegetables. Your body needs these vegetables, so you must include them in your meals because they are so beneficial to it. The issue is that while they make you feel fuller than beans, they could make it difficult for you to go asleep and keep you up at night.

Since the body has some difficulty breaking down the indigestible carbohydrates found in cruciferous veggies, eating them may also cause you to feel bloated. Why don’t you just stick to consuming vegetables for breakfast or lunch instead of those late-night vegetables?

7. Beans

One of the most nutrient-dense edible legumes is the bean. Given that it has a lot of protein and just the right quantity of fiber, it is packed with health advantages. Ironically, it may also interfere with your ability to sleep. Many people experience “gassing,” or feeling fuller than usual, after eating beans. When you feel so full that you need to use the restroom every three minutes, it will be difficult for you to fall asleep at night.


Finding a comfortable sleeping posture can be challenging if you have a lot of gas in your stomach. It may also cause you to burp more frequently. If beans are a requirement, try to eat them for lunch. When it’s time to go to bed, it’s best to limit your diet to things that won’t give you gas. Foods high in fiber may help you sleep better, especially if you don’t experience any gas after eating them.

8. Dairy Products

People with lactose intolerance should be aware of this in particular. Simply explained, lactose intolerance refers to a problem with lactose digestion. It is brought on by a lactase deficiency.

When consumers consume lactose-rich goods, they experience symptoms like bloating, abdominal pain, and occasionally diarrhea. When it’s time to go to bed, it’s better to stay away from dairy products and anything with a lot of lactose. Even if you have lactose sensitivity, you should avoid drinking a lot of milk because it may make you feel full for a long time after taking them.


9. Meat (Cured Meats)

If you have asthma problems, cured meats should be your number one priority when it comes to meals to avoid at night.

Processed meat may make asthma symptoms worse, according to a study, and since asthma symptoms are worst at night, this is problematic. Tyramine, an amino acid that triggers the body to release norepinephrine, is abundant in processed meats. A neurotransmitter that primes the body for action is norepinephrine. When we are asleep, it is at its lowest. Therefore, any chemical whose concentration rises before bed may severely impair sleep.

10. Foods with a High Glycemic Index

Simply defined, meals that have a high glycemic index raise our blood sugar levels. They can be found in many different meals, such as bread, prepared foods, foods high in processed sugar, etc.


It is fair to say that eating meals high in processed sugar has been connected to insomnia. Your body releases hormones in response to changes in your blood sugar levels, which might disturb your sleep by changing the hormone levels in your body. High sugar foods may make you desire to urinate more frequently if you have diabetes, which will cause you to wake up from sleep more frequently and interrupt the quality of your sleep.

11. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory foods, but they also contain a lot of tyramine, much like processed meat. Your brain should be less active while you are sleeping, but this protein makes the neurotransmitter norepinephrine more readily available.

12. Water

Water can interfere with your ability to sleep, as you may already be aware. Just before night, if you drink a lot of water, you’ll feel full and have the want to use the restroom. It can be detrimental to your sleep quality to get up frequently.


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