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These Sneaky Foods Are Secretly Making You Sleepy

You’ve drunk three cups of coffee before noon and you still can’t keep your eyes open. What’s the deal? You may be snacking on foods that secretly make you drowsy, sabotaging your work and daytime hobbies. Learn what five foods to avoid during the day to get rid of those sneaky sleepies!


There’s a reason your mom always told you to have a warm glass of milk before bed. Dairy contains tryptophan, commonly related to Thanksgiving turkey naps, and also calcium, which fosters absorption of the former. It’s fine to put a bit in a morning smoothie, but maybe opt for Greek yogurt at work, just to be safe.



Oh no, not oatmeal! So many people regularly prep oatmeal for a quick and easy breakfast, but it can actually be the culprit that’s causing you to doze off at your desk. It has a carb and vitamin B6 combo that can trigger the sleep hormone melatonin. Combine it with honey, protein, and healthy fats to balance out its effects.



Everyone needs that little plastic bag of snacks to keep by your workspace. Usually, pretzels are a good go-to since they’re dry and easy to nibble on while you stave off lunchtime hunger. But be warned, sleepy head! Pretzels contain refined carbohydrates that cause the blood sugar to quickly rise, and then quickly crash.



Be weary of nuts, too! If mixed nuts are your mid-afternoon pick-me-up, know that they might actually be doing quite the opposite. Almonds, cashews, and walnuts are heavy in magnesium, and can trigger exhaustion if your body isn’t getting enough of the mineral. However, if you take a daily multi-vitamin and get a regular dose of magnesium, you should be fine.

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If fruit is your jam for a lunch pairing or mid-day nibble, steer clear of cherries. While delicious, this tart treat is a natural source of melatonin and can really make you sleepy, prepping you for a daytime slumber. Opt for Vitamin C-rich oranges or pineapple slices that naturally convert body fat to energy, keeping you alert and wide awake.

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