17 Snacks to Avoid When You’re About to Head to Bed

There are foods that should always be avoided just before you go to bed. Ingredients can affect your body and keep you awake or cause irritation, which is the last thing you want before you go to sleep. Here are 17 snacks to avoid when you’re about to head to bed. 

Citrus Fruits

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The acid in citrus fruits can cause irritation in your stomach. For example, Dr. Mayank Shukla writes, “The citrus in oranges, clementines, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and kumquats will cause your stomach to produce excessive amounts of acid that will make it very difficult for you to sleep.” 

Spicy Foods

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Eating spicy foods before heading to bed can cause heartburn or indigestion, which is the last thing you want before going to sleep. Spices can also raise your body temperature, which makes it uncomfortable for you when falling asleep. Keep any spicy foods for your main evening meal. 


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Many people may not know, but chocolate contains caffeine, and this can keep you awake at night. Dark chocolate has a higher content of caffeine compared to milk chocolate, and white chocolate has no caffeine at all. Chocolate is also high in sugar, which can disrupt sleep. 

Fried Foods

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Fried foods are high in fat, which makes them hard to digest and can cause discomfort right before heading to bed. The high amounts of fat may also lead to heartburn or indigestion. Keep any heavy foods for meals earlier in the day; they’re better suited for lunch or dinner. 


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Verywell Health writes, “Whether you have had one or multiple drinks, it’s best to wait for your body to fully process the alcohol before heading to bed. In general, try to avoid drinking alcohol four hours before you plan on going to sleep.” This is because it affects the REM part of sleep, which means you won’t get a restful night. 


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Pizza is an incredibly fatty food, as it’s layered with high amounts of cheese. If you opt for meat toppings, these will also be high in fat. The tomato base is acidic and both of these components can cause heartburn. Pizza is a heavy food, and eating it before bed is going to disrupt your sleep. 

Ice Cream

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Even though it may seem like a tasty treat just before bed, ice cream is high in fat and sugar, and this can spike your blood sugar levels. It causes bursts of energy, which will disrupt your sleep. Dairy can also be difficult to digest, which can be uncomfortable when trying to fall asleep. 

Cereal and Milk

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Some cereals may be healthier than others, but the majority are high in sugar, as is milk. This can cause spikes in blood sugar levels and make falling asleep much harder than usual. If cereal is a favorite snack, try choosing low-fat options to reduce the increase in your blood sugar. 


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You may think that celery would be a great snack to have before bed due to its health benefits, but this isn’t the case. It can actually increase the need for urination, which means frequent bathroom trips. The vegetable also has a high water content and will disrupt your sleep. 


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Pasta is a heavy carbohydrate and this can disrupt sleep, especially if you’re eating white pasta. For example, Jefferson Health writes, “Sugary snacks and refined carbs such as white bread and pasta will cause your blood sugar to spike. This can give you a rush of energy, which is bad when you’re trying to fall to sleep.”

Chili Peppers

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Spicy chili peppers can increase your body temperature, and this can be uncomfortable when you’re trying to fall asleep. Not only will the chili peppers cause restlessness before falling asleep, but they can also cause vivid dreams. Try to avoid any spicy foods before bed.  


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This one goes without saying, as caffeine is commonly used as a drink in the morning to wake a person up. The effects of caffeine can last for several hours and heavily impact sleep. It’s best to ensure your last cup of coffee is either late afternoon or early evening. 

Potato Chips

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These flavorsome snacks are high in unhealthy fats and are often coated in salt. They’re an empty-calorie food and don’t provide you with any nutritional benefit, especially for sleep support. Overly salty chips can also lead to increased thirst, which makes falling asleep difficult. 

Heavy Cream Sauces

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Heavy sauces are usually rich and fatty and this can make them hard to digest. These heavy cream sauces can cause heartburn, leading to discomfort through the night. Avoiding these sauces before bed will ensure you have a much better night’s sleep. 

Energy Drinks

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These drinks contain high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants, which will keep you awake throughout the night. The purpose of an energy drink is to keep you stimulated, and during the night, you want the complete opposite. An energy drink before bed can significantly affect your sleep pattern. 

Nuts (High in Salt)

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Salted nuts can affect sleep because they can lead to thirst and more frequent bathroom trips. The fat content of nuts can also be hard to digest. Because of this, Benenden Health suggests not eating salty foods for at least two to three hours before heading to bed. 


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Different elements of sushi can have different effects on the body just before sleep. Rice is a carbohydrate that can affect sleep due to its sugar levels; condiments such as soy sauce are high in sodium, which increases thirst; and raw fish can be hard to digest.

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