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6 Warning Signs Your Diet Is Ruining Your Sleep

If you're experiencing any of these, take a closer look at what you're eating—and when.
Depressed woman awake in the night, she is exhausted and suffering from insomnia

Do you ever wake up feeling even more groggy and lethargic than you did going to bed the night before? Your diet actually may be to blame. While it's always pleasurable to wind down the night with a glass of wine or enjoy a light night slice of pizza, those things actually may be causing you to have a restless night's sleep. So next time you're experiencing one of these listed warning signs, it's likely because your diet is ruining your sleep.

1

You're feeling tired.

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A feeling of tiredness could be a result of many things. But if you're waking up feeling tired, it's likely because your body was going through some serious digesting while you were in bed—particularly with any foods that can cause you acid reflux or heartburn. Pepperoni pizza is one of the biggest culprits for acid-reflux due to the pepperoni and acidic tomato sauce. The heartburn or acid reflux can awaken your partially, disrupt your deep sleep, and leave you feeling exhausted when you wake up.

2

You're waking up in the middle of the night.

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Did you know that your body goes through a "rebound effect" after you consume alcohol? According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it takes about four to five hours for alcohol to leave your system, and it will take some time for your body to adjust to. If this process is happening during your sleep, it can disrupt it. Even if a glass of wine seems like a relaxing way to end the day, you probably won't go through a good REM sleep cycle because of it, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night.

3

Your muscles are cramping.

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If you aren't getting enough water, your body is likely dehydrated and causing muscle cramping—especially when you sleep. Late-night drinking can cause dehydration, so it's important to get enough water throughout the day—or to even drink water as you are sipping on your alcoholic beverage. Remember, keep it earlier during happy hour so you won't wake in the middle of the night.

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4

You can't fall asleep.

sad and depressed black african American woman in bed sleepless late night feeling desperate looking worried and anxious suffering depression problem and insomnia sleeping disorder
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Can you guess why? Caffeine will do it. Coffee and tea are obvious culprits, but even snacks like chocolate or apples have high levels of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that alerts your central nervous system to wake up and fight fatigue. If you're not feeling tired, it will be hard to fall asleep in the first place.

5

You always have to pee at night.

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If you're feeling dehydrated and drink a lot of water before bed, chances are you're going to be getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Even if you drink alcohol and want to avoid dehydration and leg cramps, drinking a lot of water before bed won't stop you from going to the bathroom. Instead, try to drink a sufficient amount of water throughout the day so you give yourself plenty of time to go to the bathroom before bed.

6

You're feeling lethargic.

tired woman
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If your body isn't going through full REM sleep cycles, you will likely feel lethargic in the morning. Heartburn and acid reflux obviously cause this, as does alcohol consumption and any serious digestion your body may be going through. If you snack on something or even enjoy a late-night dinner, your body will have to work through digesting your meal when you go to bed. Studies do show digestion and sleep disruptions to be related, so it's best to eliminate any late-night snacking before bed. Because if your body has to work on digesting food, you likely won't get a good night's sleep.

Here are 40 Best and Worst Foods to Eat Before Sleep.

Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in recipe development, food, and diet coverage. Read more
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