What foods and beverages can make insomnia worse?

I have insomnia, but it's not too serious. I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to make it better. I know drinking caffeine too close to bed time is bad, but what other foods and beverages should I stay away from?

Doctors Answers (2)

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 3/31/2014

Insomnia can be exacerbated by caffeine, sugar and any other type of stimulants, including chocolate. Try to avoid caffeine and stimulating foods close to bedtime when possible. Nicotine is also a stimulant, and should be avoided, if possible, close to bedtime.

J. Douglas Hudson, MD, DABSM
Answered on: 3/26/2014

Foods and beverages that may make insomnia worse include those which contain caffeine. These include the obvious coffee, cola, and tea, plus many candies, especially chocolate. Caffeine blocks a substance called "adenosine," which promotes sleepiness gradually throughout the day and evening. Many foods secondarily promote insomnia due to their effect upon systems that stimulate wakefulness, either directly or in a rebound fashion. These include alcohol and spicy foods, which are a component of many recipes. Many people have found that certain foods that contain artificial sweeteners affect their ability to sleep. If you Google the question, you will find many more examples.