Why You Should Avoid Eating Pizza Before Going To Sleep

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study in 2016 that found one-third of adults do not get enough sleep. In their press release, they noted that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society suggests that in order to be on top of their game mentally and physically, adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night. When you aren't hitting that minimum hourly, you are putting yourself at risk of several health conditions that include high blood pressure, obesity, and mental distress. One element that can disrupt our sleep is the food we consume before heading off to the land of Nod. And not only can eating certain foods before bedtime wreak havoc on our sleep cycle, but it can also pack on the pounds. 

According to Eat This, Not That!one of the worst culprits is pizza, and pepperoni pizza to be exact. That sounds absolutely blasphemous to us and probably every college student studying for a big test, but there's some veracity to this claim. And, apparently, if you are a fan of sprinkling red pepper flakes on top of your favorite slice of za (and honestly, who isn't?) it can cause you even more issues in your pursuit of beauty sleep. How does pizza mess with our sleep? 

Pizza's high acid and high fat can interrupt our sleep

Per the blog, The Sauce by Slice, Americans eat 3 billion pizzas a year and over the course of a lifetime, we're on track to individually consume 6,000 slices of this favorite food. But as much as we love pizza, we probably should avoid it before bedtime. Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Erin Palinski-Wade told Eat This, Not That! the reason pizza can impact our sleep has to do with two instigators: the fat in all that melted cheese and the acid in the tomato sauce. Palinkski-Wade said, "High-acid foods can trigger acid reflux, especially when eaten close to bedtime. Even if you don't feel 'heartburn,' this reflux can cause you to awaken partially from sleep and leave you tired the next day." HuffPost seconds this, noting that if you gobble up a few slices of pizza and then lay down for beddy-bye, it makes it easier for that stomach acid to travel back up your esophagus, and trust us when we say no one wants to experience the type of reflux that has you enjoying your pizza a second time. 

Still, you also want to be careful about eating pizza at bedtime because as WebMD points out, while eating late at night doesn't necessarily mean you will gain weight, eating foods that are high-calorie and high-fat, like pizza, just isn't the healthiest option.