Health Advocate Blog

Is your diet keeping you up at night?

We all know sleep is important and necessary, yet we don’t often think about how our habits while we’re awake influence our quality of sleep. Sufficient sleep is just as essential to your health and well-being as healthy eating and exercise. But many things can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, including your eating habits! These tips may help you determine if your diet is keeping you up at night and what you can do to fix it.

Avoid eating too close to bedtime. Eating too close to bedtime can cause disruptions in your sleep, especially if you have indigestion. If you wake up at night with your esophagus burning, you may want to try these ideas to sleep better:

  • Do not eat within 4 hours of bedtime
  • Avoid eating foods that trigger your indigestion before bed
  • Sleep propped up to keep the acid from creeping up your throat
  • Try drinking a glass of milk before bed

At the same time, what you eat or drink before bedtime can affect your sleep, even if you don’t have indigestion.


For some people, caffeine before bed is no problem; for others, it can cause a restless night.

Caffeine is considered to be a stimulant, which is why it keeps you up. If you have trouble with caffeine before bed:

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages like soda, coffee or tea
  • Reduce your consumption of foods with caffeine such as chocolate
  • Be aware that it takes 8 hours for your body to fully process 8 ounces of coffee from your body

Sugary foods

Similar to caffeine, in some people, consuming foods with sugar may help prevent them from sleeping. If you’re a dessert-after-dinner person:

  • Try eating fruit. The natural sugar of fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth due to its natural sugars that break down slower, allowing you to have a sweet treat without getting a jolt from added sugars, which tend to spike your glucose faster
  • Don’t make dessert an everyday occasion. Desserts and treats are best enjoyed in moderation. It may be a good idea to save them for special occasions


Avoid alcohol. If you want to get the deep sleep required for restorative rest, it might be best to stick with non-alcoholic beverages.

For a better night’s sleep, be careful about what you consume and how long before bedtime you consume it!