Sleep Robbing Grub: 16 Foods That Literally Steal Your Z’s

For many people, getting more sleep and getting a better night’s sleep, are high on our lists of goals. We’ve tried everything…a new pillow, white noise, blackout shades, herbal tea before bed…nothing seems to work. Well, it turns out that your poor sleeping habits might not be the result of something you are doing, but rather something you are eating during the day. There are certain foods that keep you awake, and those foods could be quite literally stealing your Z’s.

According to the American Sleep Association, approximately 50-70 million people in the US have a sleep disorder, about 30% of adults in the US suffer from insomnia at some point, and over 35% adults report short sleep duration. What does this mean? It means that most adults are not sleeping enough, which explains why we are all exhausted all the time. And what we eat could be negatively impacting how we sleep, how long we sleep, and our ability to fall asleep in the first place.

If you want to get more rest at night so that you can feel better during the day, you need to know what foods prevent sleep, and you need to get smart about avoiding the foods that cause insomnia.

Here are 16 Foods That Keep You Awake

1. Coffee

Not entirely surprising, but any drinks with caffeine are likely to have the opposite effect you are looking for at bedtime. Coffee will stimulate your mind and body, and increase neurological activity, all of which makes it extra challenging to calm down and relax when you hit the mattress. In fact, a study on how early risers reacted to caffeine found that “the more caffeine in their bodies, the more time they spent awake during the night after initially falling asleep.” So, while coffee can energize you and be a great wake-up in the morning, try avoiding that cup of Joe at night.

2. Green Tea

Similarly, green tea is packed with caffeine and can keep you from achieving a good night of sleep, leaving you tossing and turning instead. Green tea might not be as high in caffeine content as black coffee — a cup of brewed coffee may have anywhere from 95-165 mg of caffeine, and green tea has 25-29 mg — but it’s still enough of the powerful stimulant to keep you up, or wake you up at night.

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