What Foods Make You Sleep?

There’s nothing worse than trying to stay awake at work and it’s only 2:00pm. You’re on your third cup of coffee and nothing seems to be working. The possibility of a nap after work keeps you motivated, but it’s hardly enough to keep you focused on what’s right in front of you. Other than a lack of sleep, one of the many factors for feeling tired all the time is our diet. Now, in some cases, consuming certain food/drink before bed might help you fall asleep faster; drinking red wine with dinner is a great example. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. This is about getting your energy back. So what foods make you sleepy?  It could be certain types of foods such as carbohydrates that make you sleepy. It could also be the portion sizes you’re having at lunch. The larger the portion, the sleepier it’ll make you. After that you have what I call the Post-Lunch Drag, a state of melancholy and fatigue that you have no power against. Once the PDL shows up, that’s it. Game over. According to Medical News Today, another factor for this is, “Some researchers believe that a person feels tired after eating because their body is producing more serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that plays a role in regulating mood and sleep cycles.” (Fisher, 2020).  The worst part about this whole thing is that the foods that you should avoid are foods that are also delicious. Why is life like that? What tastes good is bad for you and what tastes horrible (looking at you, kale) is actually a superfood. Anyway…

Sleepy foods

Some of these foods are actually good for you, but not for your energy. If you’re trying to find a solution to falling asleep faster, certain foods on this list are great options. Some, not-so-much. The Ear, Nose and Throat Institute always advocates for healthy eating. 
  • Pasta – a heavier meal like this will destroy your energy. Maybe save for dinner and skip for lunch. 
  • Donuts, cookies, cake, pies – the good stuff. 
  • Milk – especially warm milk.
  • Sugar – gives quick energy but has a dropoff. 
  • Cereal – combine this with milk before bed and you’ll be off to Sleepy Town, USA,
  • Oatmeal – this one’s good for your health, so eating before bed is a good idea. 
  • Almonds – these are great for your health, so a few of these before bed will do great. 
  • Dark chocolate – as said before, the good stuff should be avoided, at least at work. 
donuts make you sleepy Well there you have it. Don’t go messing around with these foods while you’re trying to stay productive. Food will win that fight every time.  Be aware that not all daytime fatigue and sleepiness is diet related. It may be that you have an undiagnosed and untreated sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea. If this is the case, then more extensive measures should be taken. At the ENT Institute, we can do in-office or at-home sleep studies to determine if you’re dealing with sleep apnea. To schedule a same-day appointment, call 770-740-1860 or fill out the form at the top of the page. 

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Ever felt like you’ve had a constant lack of motivation at work? Too tired to get through the post-lunch drag? Need a 5th cup of coffee and it’s not even 2p.m.?  So, what can you do to better your productivity? I’m sure you guessed it: better sleep means better productivity. Read More

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Stress is everywhere. There’s no escaping it. We live in a fast-paced society that distributes quite a bit of stress to the masses. It might be a job that’s causing it or a test coming up. It might even be family or friend related. Could be the bumper-to-bumper traffic and commute you deal with each day. Whatever the case, stress affects your sleep. Read More


Fisher, A. (2020, January 09). Why do people feel tired after eating? [Health Article] Retrieved February 28, 2020 from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323379