These Foods Disrupt Sleep

I have to confess. You know how I say that cheese isn’t so great for hormone imbalance and aging well?

Well, last night rather late, we had a little bite to eat with my Dad while he’s here visiting. And we pulled out some special cheese that’s my husband’s favorite, Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese. I felt rather silly – I didn’t even know we had it! (That’s what happens when your husband takes over the grocery shopping.)

Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese

And, darn if we didn’t eat it all. Of course. It’s so addictive.

Our piece was the size of the slice there in the photo, not the big wedge. We enjoyed every bite because it’s so delicious. But this morning my husband, Eric, wasn’t such a happy camper because he didn’t sleep well at all last night.

He tossed and turned and finally got up to read for a couple of hours. Very unlike him because usually nothing keeps him awake. (Thank goodness I wasn’t the one who bought the cheese.)

Many foods can disrupt our sleep, making us feel 10 years older over night. And it’s not only the obvious ones like those that contain caffeine. There are many others. I’ll share with you why they can cause insomnia and what they are.

Tyramine Foods

Tyramine Foods (Lila Volkas)

Many foods contain a substance called “tyramine” that can increase a brain stimulant called norepinephrine. It can increase your blood pressure, mental alertness and heart rate. Not great just before bedtime, and for some, not any time.

Because tyramine foods can also trigger migraines. And if you already have high blood pressure, limiting these foods may really help.

Here’s a quick list of foods to avoid at dinner time (or shortly before bed):

  • Aged foods like aged cheeses and cured meats (think bacon and deli meats),
  • Alcohol: tap beer, Korean Beer, Vermouth
  • Smoked fish
  • Soy sauce, miso
  • Chocolate
  • Eggplant
  • Sauerkraut/Kim Chee
  • Fava and Broad Beans
  • Tomatoes, potatoes and raspberries – maybe – see how you feel
  • Overripe and dried fruits
  • Yeast extracts and homemade breads made with yeast

Wine contains tyramines but not all have higher levels. Some may affect you and some may not. Beer as well, but we know beer contains wheat so we avoid that anyway.

If you are prone to insomnia – trouble falling asleep or staying asleep – see if you feel better once you limit the above foods after lunch time.

Sleep is essential for balancing hormones and feeling fabulous. Let me know what you notice around your sleep when you change up your diet a bit.