You’re taking your multivitamin at night
You probably know that many medications – from allergy medications to statins to antidepressants – can disrupt your sleep. But some vitamins can, too. In particular, B vitamins can interfere with your nightly rest. There’s evidence suggesting vitamin B6 may trigger vivid and bizarre dreaming, which is more likely to wake you during the night. And research shows vitamin B12 may increase your sensitivity to light, inhibiting the sleep hormone melatonin and disrupting normal sleep-wake rhythms. The best time to take a multivitamin? In the morning after breakfast.
You eat chocolate at night
I love a square or two of dark chocolate as a treat. But I avoid eating chocolate before bed, and I suggest my patients do the same. Chocolate has several health benefits but it’s not a sleep-promoter. Chocolate is an often-overlooked source of caffeine. The greater the cocoa content, the higher the caffeine level in chocolate. If you’re making the healthier choice by opting for dark chocolate, and having it as a before-bed snack, you’re getting an extra, unwelcome jolt of caffeine when you least need it. Plan to get your chocolate fix earlier in the day, and try more sleep-friendly nighttime snacks such as a banana, toast with nut butter, or a small bowl of whole-grain, low-sugar cereal.
Sugary snacks before bed are your thing
It’s not only chocolate that can be problematic for sleep – other sugary foods can disrupt sleep, too. Most people love a sweet treat at the end of the day but feeding those cravings for sweet food before bed elevates blood sugar. A jump in blood sugar – and the crash that follows – can have negative effects on sleep.
Here’s how to kick the sugar habit without missing the sweet stuff.