Effects of Food & Alcohol on Sleep | DFI Beds

Effects of Food & Alcohol on Sleep

Effects of Food & Alcohol on Sleep

You always hear the saying ‘Don’t eat cheese before bed or you will have nightmares’ or ‘no cups of coffee before you sleep,’ yet you are still lying wide awake seeing every hour on the clock, you didn’t eat no cheese, you didn’t have no coffee before bedtime. Why is it so hard to sleep? As part of our How To Sleep better series we look at routines, habits and tips that may help you get better sleep.

Well the question is ‘What else have you had before bed?’ 

Your food and drink choices affect how well you sleep.

 People thinking having a quick snack and a glass of wine in the evening can help unwind and relax when in reality it actually plays with your sleeping pattern at night and causes a lack of sleep.

I am going to show the food that is just not recommended before your head hits the pillow.

  • Carbs – I know all the nice foods are Carbs, which sucks but sweets, breads, Chinese’s is a major no no.
  • Spicy foods – such as curry, hot sauces, not only causes heartburn and also rises the body temperature which disrupts sleep.
  • Chocolates – High levels of caffeine are found in chocolate, other foods and drinks that have caffeine should also be avoided, no coffees, energy or energy drinks, put the kit kat down and take a break from some chocolate before bed. (See what I did there?)
  • Cheese – If you are a cheese lover like myself, I have some sad news. Cheese is generally considered comfort food, cheese and crackers, cheese on toast, cheese on everything, but it is actually one of the worse foods to eat before bed! It has high levels of an acid which can actually makes you feel alert for hours. (so not only gives us nightmares but could turn the next day into a nightmare if you haven’t got your proper sleep.)
  • Crisps – no more sneaky bags of Tayto Salt and Vinegar before you go to bed – too much salt dehydrates the body which increases tiredness.


Here are some effects alcohol has on sleep –

  • Alcohol disrupts the ‘REM’ stage in sleeping. Basically the REM sleep is the most important sleep for your body at night, it is known as the deep sleep stage, this is what helps reduce stress in your everyday life and also improves your memory.
  • More wakening up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night which not only disrupts your sleep but makes you feel dehydrated which leads to many disadvantages to the body.
  • Headaches – one of the main ingredients in alcohol releases a chemical which triggers migraines, all those mornings after where you can’t get rid of the banging headache and having the hangover from hell, this is why. 


If you are drinking regularly to maybe help yourself fall asleep, try some other tips to improve your sleep –

Check out our How to sleep better guide, to help get to sleep naturally, but I would also suggest try a hot milk drink or tea before bed instead and try and stick to the recommended alcohol limits so you can have a good night’s sleep.

Brian McCann

Our Managing Director Brian's expertise in crafting comfortable sleep experiences makes him a reliable voice for all things bedding-related. Brian publishes advice and tips on mattresses, beds and the overall sleep experience based on extensive industry experience.

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