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Foods Not To Eat At Night

Although humans can eat at any point in time, day or night, there are some foods better left for daytime digestion. Here's a list of foods to avoid after 8pm.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Think broccoli and cauliflower, which are loaded with vitamins and fiber. Although these foods are great for you, and certainly a vital part of every healthy eater’s diet, they do take a while to digest. That means if you eat them too late, and go to sleep, your body is having to exert more energy on breaking it down in your system. You’ll be able to sleep, but you’ll have a hard time getting comfortable.

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Especially in sauce form, but really in any form, tomatoes are high in acid, better known as the culprit behind things like heartburn and indigestion. They’re the reason why you might wake up feeling terrible, with a pain in your chest. Or even in the middle of the night!

Does this mean spaghetti night is ruined? Not exactly. As long as you go easy on the sauce, and eat the meal a minimum of 3 hours before bedtime, you should be just fine.

Red Meat

Red meat has been linked to things like cancer, so they’re best left off the menu altogether, really. Or at the very least, eaten in extreme moderation. But definitely make sure you don’t eat it before bed, unless you want a terrible night’s sleep.

See, red meat, steak, and ground beef is high in protein. Protein helps to repair your muscles after workouts, and it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. That means you’re able to avoid snacking and munching on things as much. It’s great for daytime, before and after hitting the gym, and even for those who are watching their figures and opting for less carbs in their diet.

But the thing is that protein takes a long time to digest. It takes your body much more time and energy to break it down in your system, which means if you eat it too soon before bedtime, you’re in for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.


It’s delicious, we know. Cheese is pretty much life in food form. It goes great on meat, in sandwiches, in salads, on fries, on pizza, on pasta, or even by itself. It can be stuffed in a chicken, it can be fried, or served at room temperature with some crackers.

It’s basically the best food ever, if we’re being honest. But have you ever realized that cheese has this strange way of making you feel… good? It’s not just psychological, you’re not imagining that mood boost. Cheese has tyramine, an amino acid that makes you more alert. You’re more capable of feeling awake, which means you can pick up on things easier. Hence, the mood boost. Plus, when you eat it, you get that boost of dopamine in your brain that you also get from having sex or eating chocolate.

But all this happiness and alertness from eating cheese, well, it makes it hard to fall asleep! So, best leave it to 3-4 hours before bed. What a shame.

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We hinted at it in the last section, along with the cheese, but chocolate is also on this list. It’s unfortunate, but chocolate actually has several ways to ruin a night’s sleep for even the heaviest of sleepers.

For one thing, chocolate carries up to a quarter of the caffeine you’d normally find in a cup of coffee. And that means that if you’re easily affected by that, then you’re in for a restless sleep.

Furthermore, chocolate contains another amino acid much like the one found in cheese and cured meats. It makes you much more alert, awake, and capable of processing information quickly. It’s great for daytime, but at night, your body is just trying to wind down. Don’t make it harder by throwing obstacles in its way.


Soda isn’t good for you for a variety of reasons. The sugar alone is enough to pack on unwanted weight for anyone who’s overindulging in the drink. Not to mention the tooth decay and cavities.

Even diet soda is terrible, since it all contains aspartame, a sugar substitute known for causing terrible things like brain tumors.

But aside from all of those terrible things, it’s also going to give you a major sugar rush. Even if you’re not susceptible to it, even if you don’t pick up on it, anytime there’s that much sugar involved, there’s a level of alertness to contend with later. It leads to a restless night’s sleep, and even a delayed bedtime, because you’re just “not tired yet.”

Soon, your sleeping schedule is messed up, and you’re waking up later for important things like work, or phone conferences.


It doesn’t make any sense, we know. Water is supposed to be this healthy elixir of life, basically. And it is. It does wonders for your skin, your digestive system, even your waistline. So, we’re certainly not saying that water is bad for you, unlike soda.

However, drinking too much water before bed is a bad idea because it means you’ll have to get up to use the bathroom pretty often. And nothing breaks up your sleep like that urgency. Having to get up, urinate, and go back to sleep only to get up again? It’s just not worth it.

Instead, try drinking your water during the day. Drink it first thing in the morning, along with your lunch, and even with dinner, if you eat 3 hours before bedtime. Anything after that will just disrupt your sleep.

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Spicy Foods

It goes without saying, but spicy food can have a variety of effects. It can give you heartburn, much like tomato sauce. It can irritate your stomach, leading to bathroom trips you didn’t account for. And it can also make you feel more alert, thanks to your sense having to deal with being invaded by this spicy thing you’ve eaten.

If you absolutely must eat spicy food, opt for it a solid 3-5 hours before having to go to bed. Any later than that, and you’re asking for the world’s worst night’s sleep. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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