Caffeine, whether it’s in the form of coffee, tea, or even chocolate, is a proven sleep disrupter, research has shown. But if you find yourself tossing and turning at night, those foods aren’t the only ones in your diet that may be causing your insomnia. Other things you eat before bed can also interfere with your sleep, depending on how your body reacts.
Many people aren’t aware, for instance, that a big meal right before bedtime can be difficult to digest and lead to heartburn and acid reflux, says Carrie Gabriel, RD, a dietitian based in Los Angeles. “People with a more chronic form of acid reflux known as gastrointestinal reflux disorder, or GERD, can have more issues with sleeping,” she says.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep a night for optimum health and well-being. And it’s not just about feeling tired and cranky, because chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a host of chronic health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, depression, and diabetes, according to research.
Gabriel and other dietitians say the following foods are the most common culprits when it comes to disrupting your sleep. Pay attention to what you eat before bed, and see if any foods stop you from catching the Z’s you want.
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