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15 foods you should never eat before bed

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The INSIDER Summary: 

  • Some foods are a bad idea to eat before bed — and not because of the calories.
  • Certain foods can cause sleepless nights and digestive issues.
  • Even healthy foods like tomatoes and watermelons should be avoided before sleeping.

Tossing, turning, wondering why you can’t seem to drift off to bed… Was it something you ate? Maybe. It’s not as ridiculous a notion as it sounds.

Some foods are a really bad idea to eat before bed — and not because of the calories. Studies have disproven the idea that eating late at night results in poorer health outcomes than eating earlier in the day. So the dietary concern isn’t the problem; a few of the foods on this list are low-calorie and actually really healthy.

Worrying about more than just your waistline, we compiled foods that have other qualities that make them set-ups for sleepless nights. A few of them might even cause you to wake up multiple times throughout the night, infuriatingly snapping you back awake. You need your rest, especially because of sleep’s crucial role in maintaining your natural energy cycle, keeping your cravings regular, and jacking up your metabolism. Find out which foods you should avoid if you ever want to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow.

SEE ALSO: 7 snack foods, ranked by how unhealthy they are

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Attention, everyone: Do not use alcohol as a sleep aid. It doesn’t work! Sure, it might make you feel drowsy and put you to sleep a bit faster. However, the quality of your sleep severely suffers — meaning that you’ll be way more tired in the morning. Your circadian rhythm gets jumbled; you might wake up throughout the night or you might sleep right through, but not as deeply. Either way, the sleep situation is not ideal.


It’s a fatty meat — that much we know. If you’ve ever eaten a lot of bacon in one sitting, you’re probably aware of the digestive upset it can cause. That, along with the stimulating chemical tyramine hiding in every slice, is enough to stave off sleep until the digestion process has finished.


Cereal makes for a quick and easy snack and gets some tryptophan-rich milk in your system (unless you’re eating it right out of the box), but store-bought varieties are often coated with sugars and syrups. With your blood glucose running on high, you’ll be down for a dance party — not for bedtime.

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