Red meat, cola, caffeine & 7 others foods to avoid before going to bed

by Vanessa Luis



Chocolate bars are high in sugar and fat, which causes a sugar rush and can keep a person up for a long time. They also contain caffeine that is a known stimulant, which makes a person stay up longer. 

Most of us tend to lose sleep over stressful situations, so our last meal of the day, should not be one of the reason for our sleepless nights. What we chose to eat before we go to bed can drastically affect our sleeping patterns. While, there are some foods, which can induce sleep, other foods, particularly junk food or fired food can give us sleepless nights. So if you are looking for a good night’s rest, here are our top 10 foods to avoid before bedtime.


Caffeine is a stimulant, which causes an effect on the brain, which enables people to stay awake. This effect can last for up to five hours after consumption before its effects wear off. So unless you want a sleepless night, skip that cup of coffee after dinner.


You may think that a few glasses of alcohol will put you to sleep, but the truth is that it will only make you drowsy or make you pass out. Do not expect to have a good revitalising sleep after consuming alcohol.


Many people cannot do without their glass of cola after dinner. Colas contain sugar and caffeine and will keep you up. Even if you try to sleep, you may keep waking up to pee as cola contains no nutritional value and is simply flushed out by the body.

Spicy food:

Most Indian food is spicy and can cause an increase in the amount of stomach acid, which could result in a burning feeling in your chest and stomach along with bloating and uneasiness. So chose a mildly spice meal before bedtime or ensure that you have your dinner at least three hours before you go to bed.

Red meat:

Red meat is filled with fats and proteins and takes a very long time to digest. If you consume red meat before bed, your body will be busy all night long trying to digest it and will therefore, cause uneasiness or even cramping. When you go to bed at night, your body also needs to rest, so avoid eating red meat before bedtime.

Fried food:

Fried food is an easy way to curb hunger pangs, but one should know that fried food like chips and French fries are high in saturated fats and take a long time to digest. When you try to sleep after consuming junk food, you may feel discomfort or even cramping. Try a quick veggie snack like raw carrots or nuts, if you feel hungry before bedtime.

Chocolate bar:

Chocolate bars are high in sugar and fat, which causes a sugar rush and can keep a person up for a long time. They also contain caffeine that is a known stimulant, which makes a person stay up longer. So, avoid eating a bar of chocolate before bedtime.


A piece or several pieces of candy is usually an easy dessert substitute before bed. But a study published in The Journal of The Mind and Body, states that seven out of ten people have nightmares after consuming junk food like candy bars because they act like a trigger to create nightmarish brain waves. So, avoid eating candy and other hard boiled sweets before bedtime.


Ice-cream may be comfort food, but it can have an adverse effect when consumed just before bed. Ice-cream contains fat, which is not easily digested. It also has a lot of sugar that makes you stay up late. To top it off, there are studies which show that consuming sugary foods before bedtime can cause nightmares and disrupt sleeping patterns.

Excess Fruits:

A small serving of fruits is the ideal after-meal dessert option but if you go overboard with fruits, you will have a sleepless night. This is because, fruits contain a lot of sugar, which can cause gas as this sugar ferments on the top of other foods in your stomach. This will lead to indigestion and cause you to twist and turn all night long.


Read more in Health Me Up


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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