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8 Foods That Keep You Up All Night (Slideshow)

8 Foods That Keep You Up All Night (Slideshow)


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There are quite a few foods that you should avoid eating as a late-night snack

Milk contains tryptophan, which can cause you to sleep better. However, consumption of dairy products can make mucus thicker, though this does not actually increase the amount of mucus produced. Thicker mucous will make nasal breathing more difficult and disrupt sleep.

Dairy Products

Milk contains tryptophan, which can cause you to sleep better. Thicker mucous will make nasal breathing more difficult and disrupt sleep.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can give you indigestion and may cause reflux or heartburn, as the digestive system slows down when you sleep and the acidity can disrupt sleep.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate contains caffeine, especially dark chocolate, which is a stimulant. It also contains theobromine, which acts as a stimulant and can cause sleeplessness. A good alternative for a chocolaty snack is white chocolate, which does not contain theobromine.

Caffeinated Foods and Beverages

Caffeine, which is in caffeinated beverages such as carbonated drinks, tea, and coffee, is a stimulant. It may also increase the risk of dehydration, which can lead to thicker mucus, which can keep you up sniffling and coughing. Drink plenty of water instead of these drinks, as they will dilute your secretions. However, avoid drinking too much water, as with all the water you will have to make frequent trips to the rest room and that will cause disruptions of sleep.

French Fries

High-fat foods such as french fries can keep you from going to sleep. Having a few before bed won't keep the dreams away, but indulging in an entire serving may start your digestive system into overdrive and possibly heartburn — both of which can cause you to lose sleep at night.

Steak

Besides the risk of raising your cholesterol and increasing your chances for obesity, fatty foods that are high in protein, like steak, digest slowly and run the possibility of disrupting our circadian rhythm if eaten close to bedtime. Also, it's important to mention that high-protein diets have also been linked to sleep apnea.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

There is a time and place for eating your vegetables, and right before you go to bed isn't one of them. Vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower contain tryptophan, which can actually help you fall to sleep, however when eaten close to bedtime, vegetables with high amounts of slow-to-digest fiber can keep your body working long into the night while you're trying to catch some Zs.

Alcohol

Alcohol will make you sleep faster, but that is followed by frequent awakenings and later feeling more fatigued and tired in the morning. Alcohol is also a potent muscle relaxant and can increase your risk of snoring.


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


The Epicurious Blog

If you&aposve kicked your afternoon coffee habit and stopped looking at your blue-light emitting phone before bed but still can&apost sleep, it might be time to take another look at what you&aposre eating before you go to bed.

"Sleep is part of your overall health so the same things that you do to take care of your body and health are good for your sleep," says Janet K. Kennedy (a.k.a. NYC Sleep Doctor), a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. "If you&aposre snacking at night, make sure it&aposs a healthy snack that&aposs not loaded with sugar, which can alter blood sugar. Eliminating foods one by one will give you a sense if one may be affecting your sleep."

Here, Kennedy reveals foods that may be keeping you awake at night and the surprising reason why you should choose ice cream over cookies as a nighttime snack.

Wine, Beer, and Booze A nightcap before bed may not actually be a good idea. "Alcohol is sedating but it alters the sleep cycle so you don&apost spend as much time in deep sleep," says Kennedy. "The process of metabolizing alcohol wakes you up so your sleep is fragmented. Wine, beer, and cocktails have the same effect on the metabolism. It varies from person to person but it&aposs better not to go to bed feeling the effects of alcohol."

Tomatoes According to the American College of Gastroenterology, at least 20 percent of the US population has symptoms of reflux, one of the main causes of sleeplessness. Tomatoes and other foods with high acid content like onions, garlic, and spicy foods are the most likely to cause reflux. "Reflux is a big issue for sleep and eating those kinds of reflux triggering foods is better in the early evening so you make sure you have enough time to digest before going to bed," says Kennedy. "If you eat them right before bed there&aposs a good chance that you may have an acid problem as soon as you lie down."

Steak "It&aposs a heavy, high fat protein which the body takes longer to digest than a leaner protein, vegetable or carb," says Kennedy. "You should not be going to bed on a completely full stomach. Having your body work so hard when you want to be sleeping is going to impact your sleep. When you sleep, your metabolism is supposed to slow down, so if you have a big meal, it&aposs going to take longer for your body to decelerate."

Chocolate Sure it tastes great but chocolate has caffeine, which disrupts sleep cycles. "It takes a lot of chocolate to get a lot of caffeine so chocolate in moderation is your best before bed," says Kennedy. "People differ in their response to chocolate. If you need your chocolate fix, have it but be aware that for some people, a whole chocolate bar is fine and for others a chocolate square is all they can handle."

Cookies, Doughnuts & High Sugar Carbs "People turn to comfort foods as a way to wind down but they&aposre not healthy for sleep because they cause fluctuations in blood sugar and keep it from going down," says Kennedy. "It&aposs a comforting thing to have sweets at night. A salad isn&apost comforting. It&aposs fine to have a snack but rather than diving into the Oreos, have a piece of fruit and cheese or some peanut butter, which has protein and fat. Even ice cream is better than cookies because it has fat, which isn&apost metabolized so quickly that it spikes blood sugar and causes a crash."


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