foods to cure insomnia
Representational image.Creative Commons

Struggling to fall asleep while the clock tick-tocks away, barely leaving you any scope for enough rest, is never a jolly pastime. And while it could be a tell-tale sign of your body not being in a perfectly healthy state, it turns out that sleeplessness can be caused by anxiety as well.

Insomniacs are often troubled by anxiety – even though it is believed to be a psychological condition, and as inherent as the issue is, it has been now revealed that there are certain foods that can cause anxiety too.

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Eating the right kind of food at the right time, balances the nervous system and can prevent anxiety from piling up to trigger insomnia, believe nutritionists Kavita Devgan and Tripti Tandon. Speaking to Hindustan Times, they revealed the specific list of foods that without your knowledge could increase your anxiety and prevent you from enjoying a good night's sleep.


Probably one of the biggest beverage craze on the planet, coffee also happens to be a major contributor towards budding anxiety and insomnia in people. Coffee's primary function is to block sleep, but a little-known fact is that it achieves that by increasing stress hormones.

Also, it takes around 16 to 24 hours to leave the system, once consumed. Therefore, the wise thing to do is cut down its consumption.


Not just lumps of sugar, but basically every food item containing refined sugar should be avoided. Excessive amounts of refined sugar give the body an insulin surge and make energy level go up.

And soon after the sugar rush, the sugar level in the body goes down, causing hormones adrenaline and cortisol to be released, which leaves one feeling anxious.

Aged, fermented or cured food

Cheese and salami – as delectable as they sound – can actually cause anxiety, just like any other item that is fermented, smoked or cured.

This is primarily due to the fermentation process, which breaks down the protein content in the food by the bacteria into tiny molecules called biogenic amines.

These tend to pile on as the food ages and one of the most common type of them – histamine – is a powerful neurotransmitter, causing anxiety by increasing adrenaline in the body.


Apart from acting as a depressant, alcohol produces serotonin and hinders the metabolism. As uninhibited and tempting the numbing effects of alcohol might feel, it actually spikes blood sugar levels, leaving one feeling restless.

Plants from nightshade family

Think potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and goji berries – while delicious and addictive in their own way – also produce a natural pesticide called glycoalkaloids.

Produced to kill insects and worms to protect the plants, the consumption of this is toxic for us too – mostly because they block the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, causing an over-stimulation of our nervous system leading to anxiety.

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While there are a lot of other factors contributing to crippling anxiety – most of which are psychological issues that can be treated with medication – refraining from consumption of these foods can bring about a certain amount of relief too.

So try and cut these out to welcome a functional sleep schedule back into your life!