7 Foods that are bad for sleep

Are you struggling to wake up in the morning because of fitful sleep? Are you groggy every morning, yet cannot seem to sleep at night? You may not know it, but it may be related to the food that you consume for dinner – and yes, that goes beyond sweets, water, and coffee. Surprisingly, it turns out that numerous healthy foods are actually bad for you when you are trying to get some shuteye – and we   know how important sleep is to your daily functioning.

Even though the science is not as solid due to ongoing research findings, it is important to be mindful of what you consume. For every food that we will mention on this list, there are other foods that will boost your sleep quality.


There is some research that suggests certain vegetables are better as breakfast or lunch instead of dinner – and cruciferous veggies fall into that category. These veggies include cauliflower, cabbages, and broccoli.

While they have plenty of great vitamins that promote your health, they also contain insoluble fiber. This is great to help in bowel movements, but the problem is that it takes forever to digest. That presents a problem when you are trying to get better sleep quality – your body is still trying to digest them even after you drift off.


Cruciferous vegetables


Chocolate is great for you, as long as you take it in limited amounts. However, its benefits will not apply if you take it before bedtime.

Due to the high caffeine levels in chocolate, it becomes a poor choice for late-time snacks. The latter sleep stages are adversely affected by caffeine in particular, because it causes REM (rapid eye movement) sleep to happen more frequently, leading to sleep fragmentation and increased grogginess the following morning.

If you are taking chocolate, stop consuming it 4-6 hours before going to bed. The same applies to all other drinks and foods containing caffeine, such as energy drinks, tea and coffee.


Spicy foods such as curries, mustard, chilies, and hot sauce, contain high capsaicin levels. This chemical raises the body temperature through modifying the thermoregulation process, which raises metabolism – but disrupts sleep. You add this to the high energy levels that are necessary to break down the spices, and you can say goodbye to a restful sleep.


Tomato sauce

You might love tomato sauce in your fries and pasta, but it is best to avoid it before going to bed. Because it has high acidity levels, it can easily lead to morning-after indigestion and heartburn. While you can still eat a plate of spaghetti for your dinner alongside tomato sauce, it is best to eat it at least 3 or 4 hours before bed. Just always be aware of the different types of tomatoes too, as they can cause different effects on your body, as well as being able to create different things on your plate. 

While cured cheeses and meats are great to eat for lunch or a day picnic, they are not good for dinner. You would rather have them much earlier in the day, because they contain the amino acid tyramine, which makes you stay alert for longer.

Cured cheese and meats

Orange juice

Out of all the picks on this list, this has to be among the most surprising despite its health benefits – however, it becomes less surprising when you look at its nutritional content.

Orange juice is among the most acidic fruit juices, which makes it a bad idea to drink before bed, regardless of whether you struggle with acid refluxes or not. It is also high in sugar content, which is bad news for you if you are struggling to fall asleep easily.


This really applies to all fried foods – they contain high salt levels. The higher the salt content, the more your body suffers from dehydration due to water retention, and this increases fatigue and tiredness along with poor sleep quality. 

In fact, a study found that salty foods were among the worst foods to eat before bed because they result in ‘superficial’ sleep. According to experts, it is best to avoid eating those at least 2-3 hours before bed.


Fries and chips


It is important to be careful about the foods you consume, especially if you are trying to get a good night’s sleep, whether on your bed or Jordan’s. Avoiding these foods on this list can help you get better sleep quality overall.