Foods Hampering Your Sleep: Revealed by a Sleep Expert

Liv Butler
Authored by Liv Butler
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2022 - 21:05

Get Laid Beds has joined forces with Katherine Hall, a renowned Sleep Expert for an in-depth look into the science behind good sleep. 

Katherine Hall, a Sleep Expert with over 13 years of clinical experience in public and private sectors, has revealed the foods people need to avoid and include in order to improve their sleep.

Spicy Food

Katherine says:

"Whether you’re a fan of covering your Nando’s with Extra Hot sauce or a spice hater that can barely stomach a jalapeno, spicy food and the amount of spice we have in our food, is a fairly divisive topic. That being said, for anyone struggling to sleep, avoid spicy foods altogether. 

"Digesting the various spices and chillies you have in your curries or other hot dishes can severely disrupt our body’s ability to thermoregulate, which essentially means managing our temperature. 

"Capsaicin is the chemical in spicy food that causes our temperature to sky rocket, so combine this with the energy your body needs to digest the remainder of the meal and you can really struggle getting some solid sleep.”

Salty Food

Katherine says:

“This can often go under the radar when we talk to people about their nutrition and sleep. While some are obvious such as high sugar intake, salt can be overlooked. 

"If you can’t fall asleep or struggle to stay asleep, salt could be the root of the issue. Sodium-high meals result in fluid retention and increased blood pressure, making it hard for the body to switch off completely after eating snacks like crisps or salted nuts.

"This then results in something called superficial sleep, where the sleep isn’t very deep and can often involve disturbances like going to the toilet more, as studies show this can be brought on more by too much salt in the diet.”

Acidic Food

Katherine says:

“This one may seem obvious to some and is sure to disappoint lovers of a glass of red wine shortly before bed, but if we take a deep dive into certain acidic foods, those struggling to sleep will want to avoid some more than others. Tyramine is an amino acid that is normally a great addition to anyone’s diet as it stimulates natural brain activity.

"For those of us looking to get more sleep however, it’s something to avoid completely if possible. As Tyramine stimulates the production of norepinephrine, triggering the ‘fight-or-flight’ response and sending your body into a hyper-aroused state. Foods that are high in tyramine include tomatoes, aubergines, soy sauce, red wine and cheeses.”

Kartherine also made suggestions of the foods that can actually help promote a good sleep routine:

“While there are a whole host of different remedies out there that allegedly help improve our sleep, some foods can benefit just as much at a fraction of the cost or change in lifestyle."


Katherine says:

“Tart cherry juice has been proven to hold many health benefits, not least helping with sleep. Cherries are naturally rich in melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, so getting more of this in your system before bed can contribute significantly to a better routine.“

Fatty Fish

Katherine says:

“Lean, fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel and sardines are well documented to be extremely good for you, though their benefits to sleep can be missed. Their combination of high omega 3 and vitamin D levels are unmatched for producing serotonin, a chemical in the brain that causes happiness, relaxation and a strong link to sleep.”


Katherine says:

“This one may raise a few eyebrows and for good reason, as bananas are so heavily associated with starting the day as opposed to ending it. However, bananas contain both tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes melatonin and magnesium, a muscle relaxant. Both of which promote relaxation and sleep so put the crisps aside and have a banana before bed.”

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