5 “Healthy” Foods That Are Sleep Stealers

Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for your long-term brain health, energy, moods, and even weight management. But I hear from so many Warriors who either have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. I know how tough it can be. I struggled with insomnia due to a thyroid condition, and it took me a while to find a sleep routine that worked for me.

In a previous post, I shared my “dream diet” of foods that help you sleep. In this blog, I want to make you aware of 5 surprising foods that could be keeping you up at night. If you’re having trouble getting your zzz’s, it might be time to nix these foods from your evening meals.

5 Surprising Foods That Could Be Keeping You Up At Night

Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce

Tomatoes are full of vitamin C and antioxidants like lycopene, but despite packing a powerful nutritional punch, they can mess with your sleep. Tomatoes contain an amino acid called tyramine that causes the brain to secrete norepinephrine, a stimulant that can keep you up at night.


Celery has become a weight-loss staple thanks to its high-water content, but all that water acts like a natural diuretic and can make you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.


Some research suggests the scent of peppermint stimulates certain regions of the brain, increases alertness, and improves memory. Sounds great, but that is not what you want when you’re trying to settle into relaxation mode.


Spices are known for their amazing antioxidant benefits, but chowing down on red-hot chili that makes your head sweat right before bedtime can cause heartburn, which can make you toss and turn all night. Research shows that spicy fare that contains the compound capsaicin—think jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, and cayenne peppers—also elevates body temperature, which has been linked to poor sleep quality.


If you think alcohol is a health food that helps you feel drowsy, think again. Although it may initially make you feel sleepy, it causes a spike followed by a crash in blood sugar levels, which can disrupt your slumber. Research shows it can reduce restorative REM sleep and can lead to a full bladder that you need to empty in the middle of the night.

By watching what you eat, you can hack your way to better sleep. Check out my “Sleep Hacks” video to see how I overcame insomnia, and be sure to take our Sleep Quiz to find out what’s keeping you from getting a good night’s rest, and take advantage of 21% off the Restful Sleep supplement (promo code TANA21).


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