8 Foods That Keep You Up All Night

8 Foods That Keep You Up All Night
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8 Foods That Keep You Up All Night

Start the new year off right with a few simple and wise food choices. With stress and worrying, falling asleep is hard enough. Cut out some of these foods before bedtime and be fast asleep before you even start counting sheep.

Dairy Products

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.

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Spicy Foods

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

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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 sleep disruptions.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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With the new year comes a list of resolutions to get healthy and fit. Eating right and getting regular exercise are important, but nothing keeps you in better health than a good night's sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep each night can leave you feeling rested and ready to take on the day. But falling asleep easily greatly depends on what you ate for dinner.

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To make sure that you get the best night's sleep possible, we spoke with Dr. Michael Gelb, DDS, MS, a New York-based sleep doctor, and he helped compile a list of foods that disrupt sleep. Turns out, there are quite a few foods that you should avoid eating as a late-night snack.

If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, think about what you ate for dinner or dessert. For example, you might want to skip the dark chocolate since it contains caffeine and other stimulants. It's also important to leave out fatty foods and avoid a high-protein diet. Check out more of Dr. Gelb's tips on which foods to avoid for better night's sleep.

Check out the slideshow above for eight foods that can keep you up at night.

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