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Does Dieting Affect Insomnia?

By Derek Buckner ; Updated August 14, 2017

Diet can affect insomnia to a degree. Sometimes insomnia can occur due to a variety of reasons. If you have constant trouble falling or staying asleep at night, tell your doctor. You may have to undergo one or more sleep studies and keep a diary of your diet and activities so your doctor can determine the exact cause, or causes, of your insomnia.

Diet and Dieting

Eating and drinking certain foods can contribute to insomnia, and if those foods part of your diet plan, it could cause insomnia. Soda, tea, coffee and other foods that contain caffeine, such as chocolate, can cause insomnia if they are eaten too close to bedtime. If you’re on a diet, it’s unlikely that you’re eating too much chocolate at any point during the day but having a small chocolate dessert or a cup of coffee or tea after dinner can stimulate you, which will make it harder to fall asleep. If you eat lightly throughout the day and save your largest meal for dinner, eating a large or high-fat meal late in the day can make you uncomfortable and cause heartburn, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.

Too Much Liquid

You may already know that drinking water helps keep you feeling full, but some dieters use this as a strategy to keep themselves from becoming hungry and eating to help them lose weight. Drinking too many fluids, especially later in the evening, can cause you to lose sleep by waking up and making continuous trips to the bathroom at night. Water should be part of everyone’s normal diet, and should not be used as a way to keep you from eating. Stop drinking fluids a few hours before you go to bed so that you do not have to wake up repeatedly to use the restroom.


Sometimes when you’re dieting, you may get into the mindset that you have to cut calories at all costs to fit into that dress or suit for your upcoming reunion, but skipping snacks can cause insomnia. According to, going to bed hungry can cause you to have difficulty sleeping because you’re too hungry to relax and fall asleep. To avoid hunger pains at bedtime, have a small snack, such as yogurt with granola or a cup of fruit. If you’re carefully watching your calorie count, plan your meals and snacks ahead of time so that you allow yourself enough calories throughout the day and evening so you’re not going to bed hungry.


If you’re dieting, then there’s a good chance that you’re also exercising to aid in your weight loss success. Too much stimulation at bedtime, whether it’s caused from diet or exercise, can prevent you from falling asleep and having a good night’s sleep. Too much excitement and exhilaration can cause difficulty sleeping.

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