What Foods Keep You Awake? | Atlanta ENT Institute
bad food before bed

What Foods Keep You Awake?

Many factors contribute to lost sleep, but there’s one you might not have thought about: food. It’s obvious that caffeine does it. But did you know even healthy foods do it too? With this blog, you’ll know what food keeps you awake so that you can enjoy better sleep when you cut these items out. Not all foods have a direct link to sleeplessness, but eating anything just before bed is never a good idea. Give yourself a few hours to digest a meal before it’s quittin’ time. 

Ready to go through what foods keep you awake? 


Although this one’s a bit more of a “duh” item on the list, the Food Network cites that even decaf coffee has enough caffeine to prevent sleep. And for those students out there who drink their mochas late at night to get work done, you’re definitely losing sleep. I’m sure you already knew that, but still…


Sugary Foods

Everything from chocolate to ice cream to candy messes up the sleep cycle by overloading our bodies with sugar. That means giving us a quick shot of energy just before bedtime. Removing this a few hours before bed will ensure better rest. These items also contain fats that our bodies digest slower, causing restlessness.


drinking water

Anything from milk to water will create the need to go to the bathroom. Although water is healthy, it’s not something to down just before bedtime. Unless you want to get up in the middle of the night and walk all the way to the bathroom. Forget that. 


According to the Food Network, raw vegetables like celery and carrots digest slower, so it potentially keeps us awake. Also, tomatoes (it’s a fruit, but bear with me here) contains tyramine, which causes higher brain activity. 

Spicy Foods

Anything with a kick like peppers and chili powder contain the right ingredients to cause a lack of sleep. The Globe and Mail states that spicy foods can have negative effects on sleep patterns. Many of these foods contain fats that digest slower. But there’s also a chance spicy food causes GERD or reflux sensations, keeping you awake. 

spicy foods


Wait? So what about people that drink alcohol and fall right to sleep? WebMD says alcoholic beverages might help you fall asleep, but deter you from staying asleep. And those later hours of rest are the most important. 

So you might be asking, “then what foods might I consume for better sleep?”. There are a few great options right here: 

  • Almonds and walnuts – contain melatonin 
  • Oatmeal
  • Decaf teas – chamomile and ginger
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Turkey (good news when Thanksgiving rolls around!)
  • White rice
  • Kale and spinach 

What foods keep you awake?

If you’re lacking in sleep quality and cutting out certain foods doesn’t do the trick, a sleep study from the ENT Institute will be the best option. To learn more about sleep studies and sleep disorder treatment, join the email updates group at the top of the page. Otherwise, call 770-740-1860 to schedule a same-day or Saturday appointments. 


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