Insomnia and Nutrition

Posted on:

It’s difficult to overstate the impact that insomnia can have on your health and happiness. A decent sleep is essential to keep your body functioning efficiently, and of course to allow you to live a happy life. Your diet can have a massive effect on your ability to sleep well at night, and certain foods can inhibit, or conversely, aid your attempts to get into a healthy sleep routine.


In general, a routine of regular, healthy meals will certainly aid your ability to sleep well. Your body performs best when you adopt a routine in terms of eating and sleeping at the same times each day. If your body knows when to expect both food and sleep, it will eventually seem an automatic adjustment when you go to bed at night – your body will relax and fall asleep because it expects to.

Ingredients impeding your sleep

A number of ingredients in food and drink will negatively affect your sleep patterns. Any kind of stimulant, such as caffeine will necessarily decrease your ability to relax and fall into a healthy sleep at night. If you’re struggling with insomnia, it can therefore be best to either greatly reduce or even completely eliminate stimulants such as caffeine from your diet. This means that you should think twice before drinking tea, coffee or many fizzy drinks – ironically enough people who suffer from insomnia will often rely on coffee to keep them alert during the day, even though this is actively helping to perpetuate the sleep problem that they have.

Refined foods, such as carbohydrates and including sugars, can also have a negative effect on your ability to sleep. Similarly, processed foods and additives, preservatives etc can stop you from being able to unwind effectively at the end of the day. For this reason, it’s best where possible to try to eat fresh food rather than pre-packaged or fast food.

Everything in moderation

Your evening meal is also an important factor in your sleep routine. It’s best to keep the meal to a reasonably moderate size. If you eat too much at tea-time or supper time, your body will likely still be struggling to digest it when you’re lying in bed trying to get to sleep. In the same vein, you should avoid eating substantial amounts close to bed time, as the energy your body invests in processing the food will more than likely keep you awake.

Other issues

As well as all of the above generic considerations for tackling insomnia, it’s possible that you have some other underlying health issue that’s keeping you awake. Whether physical or mental, many aspects of your lifestyle will have an impact on your sleep patterns. In nutritional terms, it’s also possible that you may have an allergy or an intolerance to certain foods that’s affecting your sleep. A combination of medical advice and keeping a close eye on how your food choices relate to the quality (and of course quantity) of sleep that you get afterwards will help you to move forward in this regard.