Coffee To Spicy Curries, Avoid 7 Foods Cause Sleep Disturbance
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Food and sleep—you may ask if there is even a connection there between the two. But ask any foodie and you will know that eating satiating foods does make them feel relaxed and sleepy. A tummy full of good food, every foodie will agree, does lead to a great nap or a night’s sleep. But while these are food-related emotions foodies experience, science says that there is a more established link between sleep and food than most people know. 

According to a 2021 study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences, our eating behaviours affect the quality and quantity of sleep due to something known as the gut-brain axis. Basically, when we eat food, our gut breaks it down to generate nutrients. These nutrients are supplied to various parts of the body, including the brain and hormonal glands. The brain’s pineal gland then produces melatonin, which is known as the sleep hormone. Other hormones like serotonin, progesterone and cortisol can also impact your sleep. 

So, clearly, what we eat certainly affects our sleep. This very study also says that the timing of our meals as well as the things we eat can have both positive and negative impacts on our sleep patterns. In fact, there are a number of foods which impact our hormones so negatively that it leads to sleep disturbances, insomnia, nightmares and even sleep disorders in the long run. These foods are best avoided, or consumed long before our sleep times.  

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Wondering which foods to avoid to get a good night’s sleep? Here are seven foods that cause sleep disturbance and nightmares. 

Coffee & Caffeinated Beverages 

Consuming caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some sodas close to bedtime can interfere with sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you awake and make it difficult to fall asleep. So, make sure your last coffee drink is at least three-four hours prior to bedtime. 


It is a common misconception that drinking alcohol puts you to sleep for a long time. While alcohol can initially make you feel drowsy, it can disrupt the quality of your sleep. It can cause fragmented sleep, increase the likelihood of snoring, and lead to more frequent awakenings during the night. 

Spicy Foods

Here’s one more good reason to avoid heavy, rich and spicy curries for dinner. Spicy and heavily seasoned foods like curries can cause indigestion, heartburn, or acid reflux, especially when consumed close to bedtime. These discomforts can disturb sleep and make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep. 

High-Fat Foods 

Thought that dinner of mac-n-cheese or mutton biryani was a good idea before bedtime? Wrong! Foods that are high in fat can take longer to digest, which can lead to discomfort and indigestion. This may result in disrupted sleep or the need for frequent trips to the bathroom during the night. 

Heavy Meals 

This is one of the most common reasons behind why Indians who eat big thalis or elaborate meals like biryanis for dinner have troubled sleep. Eating large or heavy meals close to bedtime can overstimulate your digestive system and cause discomfort. This can interfere with sleep and contribute to issues like indigestion or acid reflux. 

Foods High in Sugar

It might be customary to have a sweet dish like kheer, halwa or sondesh after dinner to complete the meal, but it does not bode well for your sleep quality. Foods that are high in sugar, especially refined sugars, can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels. These fluctuations can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to more frequent awakenings during the night. 

Fried Foods 

You might crave a snack of pakoras or chips after dinner, but here’s why that;s a bad idea. Foods that are greasy or fried can be harder to digest and may cause discomfort, bloating, or heartburn. These discomforts can interfere with sleep and make it more challenging to achieve restful sleep.