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10 Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime

Updated on April 16, 2024

There's nothing wrong with a midnight snack, but certain foods can disrupt sleep or even cause bad dreams.

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If you're hankering for a bedtime snack or beverage, don’t just grab the first thing that sounds good. While some foods — a light, carby snack like crackers or an apple — can actually help your sleep, many can disrupt it, causing nightmares, digestive issues, insomnia and sleep-interrupting trips to the bathroom.

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You might want to rethink that late-night order for pizza. That cheesy topping might give you nightmares, according to a 2015 study, and the acidic tomato sauce can lead to late night tummy aches. While pizza can healthy, it’s really too substantial for a bedtime snack; eating a second dinner adds a lot of extra calories that you probably don't need.

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While some people seem able to down a late-night espresso without losing a wink of sleep, most are not so lucky. Try to cap caffeine six hours before bedtime to give it time to process out of your system.

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Sugary Cereal

A bowl of cereal at bedtime may seem to check all the boxes, but only if you choose a low-sugar, high-fiber variety like Cheerios or bran flakes. Sugary cereals digest rapidly and the spike in blood sugar could throw off sleep hormones. Low-fiber diets are also linked to lower quality sleep.

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