Can’t Sleep? It Could Be Due to Your Late Night Eating & Drinking Habits

Book your next appointment

blog060315-heroWe’ve all been there. You eat dinner after getting home from a long day of work and just a few hours later, like clockwork, your belly starts telling your brain, “Hey, feed me!”

Now, eating a late night snack in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing; but eating the wrong foods at a late hour can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep, which, in turn, can set the stage for a lack of productivity and feeling of sleepiness the following day.

Fortunately, with a little education and self-discipline from our sleep apnea dentists, you’ll be armed with the information you need in order to avoid foods that may contribute to poor sleep, and instead, focus only on eating the right foods for your late night snack.

Why not try some Tryptophan-rich foods?

If you struggle with falling asleep when it’s time to turn out the lights, then trying some foods and beverages rich in Tryptophan may help you. In fact, Tryptophan is known for its ability to help people fall sleep, and can be found in many ordinary foods, such as dairy products, nuts, honey, seeds and more.

If you’re not lactose intolerant, then drinking a warm glass of milk loaded with Tryptophan may be just what you need to fall asleep and stay asleep, naturally.

A few great bedtime snacks to curb your appetite and promote good sleep

If you have trouble falling asleep without some food in your belly, try these snacks. They provide the body with both carbohydrates (which make Tryptophan more available to the brain) and a little protein.

Here are a few ideas:

  • A bowl of cereal with milk
  • A few crackers with peanut butter
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • A handful of walnuts
  • A small bowl of rice

Overeating any of these foods shortly before bed can lead to possible weight gain, but when done in moderation, they can assist you in falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.

Avoid caffeine and foods that are high in fat (stimulants)

It’s no secret that you shouldn’t go and drink several cups of coffee or a few sodas before trying to go to sleep. However, what many people don’t realize is that it isn’t just coffee and soda. There are a few common late night foods that you’ll want to avoid (or at least limit) if you want to fall asleep faster.

A few of them are:

  • Chocolate (I know…this one stings a bit). In fact, the darker the chocolate, the more caffeine blog060315-pic1it contains. This is why eating dark chocolate or drinking an espresso can be especially harmful to anyone who is trying to sleep well.
  • Spicy foods (beef jerky, salty foods with a spicy kick, etc.)
  • Late night burgers, tacos, bacon, etc. Any foods that are high in fat cause the body to increase acid production, which can lead to heartburn that can disrupt an otherwise restful night of sleep.

Any foods that are high in fat or high in caffeine can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle, and are best avoided.

In addition, these foods are also heavy and activate the digestive system, which can lead to multiple trips to the bathroom throughout the night.

Like a glass of wine or beer at night? Only in moderation

Since alcohol is a depressant, it must help you sleep better, right? Wrong.

Alcohol does seem to help some people fall asleep faster, but this effect is often countered when a person experiences night sweats and frequent trips to the bathroom during the night.

The best advice is to avoid alcohol in the hours leading up to your bedtime, but if a glass of wine or beer really helps you settle down, it’s best to have only one drink, and counterbalance the effects of the alcohol with a small glass of water.

As always, drink responsibly and in moderation.

Quit Smoking

The negative health blog060315-pic2effects associated with smoking are well documented, but one problem many smokers aren’t aware of is that smoking can actually disrupt your sleep schedule.

Nicotine is a stimulant, and much like caffeine and fatty foods, can significantly impair your ability to sleep well.

The solution is simple, but not easy. Stop smoking. At the very least, try to avoid smoking before bedtime or during the night, as a disrupted sleep cycle is just another one of the long list of side effects associated with smoking cigarettes.

What now?

Now that you understand what foods you can eat and what foods and beverages to avoid, it’s time to make a decision. Is it worth a better night’s sleep to give up some of your late night bad habits?blog060315-pic3

Or are you already doing everything that you can on your own to sleep better, but still struggling with getting peaceful sleep that you so desperately need to function at an optimal level?

At Babylon Dental Care (link red to homepage), we provide sleep apnea treatment services to our patients. Even if you think you couldn’t possibly have sleep apnea, it’s important to get tested so you can pinpoint the problem.

The tests are easy, painless, and can be done in the convenience of your own home (no overnight hospital sleep study required). For more information on sleep apnea testing and treatment give our Great South Bay or Patchogue location a call today!


Share This Article :

Related Posts

Leave A Reply



“I have never been to a dentist office that is sooo welcoming. I am not a fan of going to the dentist at all but when my sister recommended to try them, my thoughts about the dentist completely changed. This dentist office is very professional and do really care about the patient. I was amazed at the follow up phone call, email, and text! I highly recommend this dentist office to anyone and everyone.”

Jill S. from West Babylon


“Babylon Dental is the best! They are very flexible with their appointments and I am always greeted with a smile. I never have to wait very long once I am in the office and everyone is very professional. A truly great dental practice!”

Lesley E. from West Babylon


“This whole practice is wonderful!!! EVERYONE!! I used to panic going to the dentist, but this office made me finally do the right thing and take care of my teeth. Never thought I’d like going to the dentist… Thanks to all of the dentists and everyone who works there…”

Diane W. from West Islip


“I guess I could write this about every visit we’ve had for the past 25 years or so. Every visit we have, we’re treated like family…the good ones. Our options are always explained so we understand them & nothing is ever pushed on us. Thank you to everyone there.”

Robert U. from Lindenhurst


“I always LOVE my experience at Babylon Dental! Everybody is so kind, from the receptionist at the front to the billing staff on the way out. The dentists are thorough, friendly, and very attentive. The dental assistants are so knowledgeable and warm! This is the ONLY dentist I would ever consider going to. Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing you all again!”

Erin M. from West Babylon


“This is the kindest, most compassionate office I have ever been to. Every person on staff is polite and courteous; not something you see too often these days. I ‘hated’ going to the dentist so much that I would only go when I had a problem. Since I started using Babylon Dental about 8 years ago, I go 2 to 3 times a year for a cleaning and just to make sure everything’s ok. I recommend this practice to everyone I know!”

Nancie P. from West Babylon


“Everything went very well. The procedure was almost painless, and since it was my first cavity filling, I was surprised at how easy it was. Everyone was very nice and willing to answer any questions I had.”

Andrew L. from West Islip


“The staff at Babylon Dental Care are by far the most professional people I’ve encountered. I was greeted with a smile from the minute I walked in and that continued throughout my entire visit. The office from the waiting room to the exam room were immaculate. Everything that was done during my visit was explained to me in detail which helps for someone with a fear of the dentist. The best experience I’ve ever had at a dental office.””

Nickesha J. from Lindenhurst


“If you have a fear of the dentist, Babylon Dental Care is the place for you. I always have an amazing experience when I visit Babylon Dental Care and I used to be someone who was very afraid of the dentist. I highly recommend this dental practice for all of your dental needs. Fantastic group!”

Robert P. from Freeport


“Who knew! I have always been afraid of the dentist because of a bad experience 25 years ago. This office renewed my comfort, and gave me the confidence to move forward and take care of dental work that should have been done years ago. The staff doctors and office personnel were so caring and receptive to my fear.”

Loretta P. from Bay Shore


“I have been a patient of Babylon Dental since Dr. Brown’s Office was originally in TSS shopping Center- perhaps 26 years now? I am always pleased with the high quality, professional care that I receive. I would not go anywhere else! Also, Maritza is a wonderful dental hygienist!”

Peter G. from Bating Hollow


“As a new patient, I was impressed by each staff member’s level of professionalism, friendliness, and knowledge. Dr. Brown gave me a thorough explanation of what was causing my dental issues, and how they could be fixed. I left feeling confident that I was in really good hands.”

Alexandra H. from Lindenhurst


“As always, Dr. Brown made my experience most memorable! I look forward to coming, believe it or not.”

Marie D. from Babylon


“First the reception area was beautifully decorated. Your office runs very smoothly and efficiently, plus the staff are professional, friendly and great at what they do. Best run office I’ve ever seen.”

Michael C. from North Babylon


“Amazing. I am deathly afraid, and have been hurt by many dentists. But Melody, who did my x-rays and cleaning, was great. I was amazed how much they actually CARED about how I felt and was doing. Dr. Brown who read my x-rays sat and just talked To me not at me for a good 15/20 minutes. Didn't suggest root canals, posts n crowns, yell at me about my missing back teeth. He just talked to me about what is currently going on and his best suggestions to care for it, which didn't include root canals, extraction etc. Therefore I would highly recommend them. And thank you for a really positive experience”

Pat M from Patchogue


“From the call center ( Jo ) to the front desk ( Jennifer) and of course Dr. Peck , highly recommended. They are professional and truly concerned about the patient's experience”

Boni M from Babylon


“I am not one to write reviews but I always have such a pleasant experience at this office, so I felt the need to share. The staff is friendly, the wait is short, it's easy to get appointments (especially because of their long hours) and it's super clean. Thank you, Babylon Dental Care!”

Jacqueline C from Sayville


“Everyone is always nice and sooooo patient. I would highly recommend this office to anyone that has a fear of going to the dentist. They also do wonderful community outreach! Very happy with the work they do!”

Andrea B from West Babylon


“The staff is so wonderful! Best experience I’ve ever had a dentist office by far. They offer the cutest “comfort bar” with tons of options to make you feel right at home. Not many people can say that they actually enjoyed their time at the dentist, but I 100% can!! Looking forward to coming back for my next cleaning!”

Rachael L from Patchogue