9 Things You Should Never Eat If You Haven't Gotten Enough Sleep

by Olivia Youngs

The word "tired" is essentially another word for "adult". Whether you've got kids at home who insist you stay in a permanently exhausted state, you work a full time job that demands your constant energy, or a combination of both, it's a safe assumption to say that you're tired most of the time. Most people, depleted or not, don't realize that what they eat can have a negative or positive effect on your energy levels. Believe it or not, there are several things you should never eat if you haven't gotten enough sleep, because they'll only make matters worse.

From specific nuts, to meats, to vegetables even, there are a bunch of surprising foods that you should avoid if you are tired. And although ordering another shot of espresso or getting a cup of tea may be the standard method for getting through the day when you're dealing with lack of sleep, maybe caffeine isn't the best option since it turns out that what you do or do not eat during the day can have a significant effect on your energy levels and ability to stay awake.

Everyday Health noted that, when it comes to your energy levels, your diet is more powerful than you may realize. So next time you are experiencing a mid-day crash, take a step back and consider the most recent thing you ate because even the most common foods can be contributing to your afternoon (or, let's be honest, all day) energy slump.



Sugar is perhaps the biggest culprit of exhaustion out there. Dawn Napoli, R.D., tellsWomen's Health that eating sweets, even after a nutritious meal, can put you in a sugar coma quicker than anything else.


Sweet Potato

Despite it's nutritional benefits, eating sweet potato can contribute to your tiredness. According to Jaclyn London, R.D., Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, sweet potatoes are high in potassium and magnesium that, although healthy, will help you relax. Not ideal for someone who is already running on just a few hours of sleep.



Pistachios are high in Vitamin B6 which, again, is great for you, but when you're tired, Alaska Sleep noted that eating the nuts can make matters even worse by heightening your serotonin and melatonin levels.



Prunes are another food that raise your B6, magnesium, and calcium levels, which encourages sleep, the aforementioned Good Housekeeping piece noted.


Herbal Teas

Herbal teas, although perfect when you're winding down after a long day, won't help if you're already worn out. The Sleep Judge noted that herbal teas contain no caffeine, which will help you relax, not stay awake.



Carbs are great for a quick energy boost, but the aforementioned Good Housekeeping noted that in the long run, they also come with a slump after your glucose levels drop back down.



The Thanksgiving favorite has long been accused of making people sleepy. The reason is this: high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid found in many protien-rich foods, breaks down in your system and, after a while, is metabolized into melatonin, your body's natural sleep aid, the Huff Post noted.


Dark Chocolate

Although dark chocolate contains caffeine, the National Sleep Foundation noted that it also contains seratonin which helps you relax. Conversely, milk chocolate, the piece noted, can help you feel more awake.



Bananas are another food with lots of health benefits but an unfortunate hindrance when it comes to staying awake. The Huff Post noted that the high levels of magnesium and potassium in bananas can make you more relaxed and prone to sleepiness.

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