Can Oranges affect your sleep? While this might sound like a simple question to answer, there is much to know about oranges and sleep. So I started some orange sleep research and here’s what I found out.
Quick answer: Yes, oranges do affect your sleep. They are a very acidic fruit which promotes body activity. Medical research shows that orange juice can cause heartburn at night, especially when you drink it right before bedtime. Also, the high fructose level of oranges increases your blood pressure which is destructive for your sleep.
Now that you have a basic answer, here’s what we’re going to talk about in more detail.
- How do Orange Fruit Acids affect your sleep?
- How does Fructose Affect Your Sleep?
- Does Orange Juice Affect Your Sleep?
- Does Vitamin C in Oranges Improve Your Sleep?
- Which Fruit Can I Eat Before Sleep?
So let’s take a look at the first topic.
How do Orange Fruit Acids affect your sleep?
Oranges are awesome fruit. They look great and taste delicious. But is it a wise decision to eat them right before going to bed? They contain all kinds of different things that might have an impact on your sleep. The first one we’re taking a look at is the fruit acid.
Fruit acids are part of nearly every fruit. But especially citrus fruits are full of them. That’s the reason they are so intense in taste. You can easily tell that a lemon is full of sour acids. Oranges also have a lot of these sour acids but we don’t notice them that much because oranges are also sweet. How do these fruit acids affect your sleep?
Fruit Acids Cause Acid Reflux
According to this study on MedicalNewsToday, fruit acids will cause heartburn or acid reflux. That is when stomach acids flow back up into the food pipe. If you have had that before, you know that it is a very uncomfortable burning feeling. It can damage your throat and cause burning feelings in and around the chest area. But it can also occur on the upper part of your throat.
When you eat oranges or drink orange juice before going to bed, it will be more likely you will end up with heartburn at night. And when you lie down for sleep, the acids have an even easier way up the food pipe so the chance increases even more. And when it has happened, then you won’t be able to fall asleep that easily.
Other Fruits with High Acid Levels
Here are some other fruits that are very high in acid (from this list on healthline.com) which you should avoid eating before sleep:
- lemon juice (pH: 2.00–2.60)
- limes (pH: 2.00–2.80)
- blue plums (pH: 2.80–3.40)
- grapes (pH: 2.90–3.82)
- pomegranates (pH: 2.93–3.20)
- grapefruits (pH: 3.00–3.75)
- blueberries (pH: 3.12–3.33)
- pineapples (pH: 3.20–4.00)
- apples (pH: 3.30–4.00)
- peaches (pH: 3.30–4.05)
- oranges (pH: 3.69–4.34)
The lower the pH-value, the more acidic it is. A value of 0 is incredibly acidic (for example battery acid) and 7 is neutral (like water).
Luckily not everyone is affected by acid reflux and heartburn. But still, there are other things to worry about when it comes to eating oranges before going to bed. For example the high fructose content in oranges. Let’s take a look at that.
How does Fructose in Oranges Affect Your Sleep?
Like other fruits, oranges have a vast amount of fructose in them. That is a simple and sugar molecule that gets digested really fast because our digestive system doesn’t have to split it like other complex sugars. The website nofructose.com wrote in this article that avoiding fructose intake before going to bed leads to deeper sleep during the night. That might be connected to the fact that fructose, like all other simple sugars, leads to increased blood pressure (see this study). It triggers your body to become more active.
Other studies showed that fructose stops your brain from working well. That can also have an impact on the melatonin production in your brain and how quickly you get tired. The fructose intake we get from oranges supplies you with a quick burst of energy that your body is not prepared for at night. On top of that, fructose is heavily connected to increasing body-fat.
So if you don’t want to gain weight and sleep better at the same time, avoid fructose from oranges and other fruit at night.
Does Orange Juice Affect Your Sleep?
We now that the most sleep harming contents of oranges are fruit acids and fructose. Fruit acids can cause acid reflux and fructose causes increased blood pressure and body activity. Both of these things aren’t beneficial to your sleep.
But what happens when you drink orange juice? How does orange juice affect your sleep? The sad answer is that orange juice will make things even worse. Orange juice prevents you from falling asleep even more than a simple orange. Fruit acids and fructose are both mainly contained in the juice itself. Basically, that makes oranges and orange juice the same. But there’s a problem with the juice. When you drink only one glass of orange juice it is equivalent to eating more than 3 oranges.
The reason is that one orange contains about 75 ml of orange juice. Whereas a glass of orange juice contains about 250 ml. By drinking just one single glass of juice you are making things three times as bad as eating just an orange. On top of that, orange juice does not contain any fibers which cause fructose and acids to be digested even faster. So if you can’t resist the taste of orange before going to bed, it’s a better decision to pick the orange instead of the juice.
Does Vitamin C in Oranges Improve Your Sleep?
Now that you know that oranges are generally not that great for falling asleep, you probably wonder about the vitamin C. And you are absolutely right about it. If you lack vitamin C then the chance of you falling asleep is actually worse. About any vitamin deficiency can cause sleeplessness.
However, if you don’t have a vitamin C deficiency then eating more vitamin C will not benefit your sleep. At least there’s no solid research about this yet. There have been studies but the results are not clear enough.
That means in case you have a vitamin deficiency, oranges will, in fact, help you sleep better. But you still should not eat the orange at night. Because the fructose and fruit acids will compensate for the benefits of vitamin C.
If you are on a balanced and healthy diet, then you can assume that your vitamin levels are well balanced. The vitamin C of oranges before sleep will not benefit you then. Think of it as a glass that’s already full of water. You won’t be able to pour more in it, because it will overflow. The same is true for the benefits of vitamins. You can’t enhance them if you are already at a good level.
Which fruit can you eat before sleep?
Before going to bed, you should generally avoid anything that is sour and sweet. These are signs of acid and fructose. Most fruits contain both of them and that’s why you should eat fruit at any time of the day but not at night.
However, there’s one fruit you can eat which will not have that much of an impact on your sleep: It’s the banana. Bananas taste pretty good and are safe to eat before going to sleep. The sugars they contain are complex structures which are a little harder to digest than the sugars of other fruits. A banana will therefore not instantly boost your blood pressure, but it will supply you with energy for a longer time. Long and continuous energy supply is much better for our sleep than a quick burst of sugar. Also bananas are high in fiber and they are low in juice.
That makes them harder to digest. And on top of that, the low juice level will not cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet.
So, if you want to eat something, you can grab a banana before sleep.
Can Oranges Affect Your Sleep? – Yes, They Can!
Oranges are great fruit. Sadly, they have ingredients that prevent you from falling asleep. These are fructose (the sugar inside of fruits) and fruit acids. You should avoid these ingredients because they cause increased activity in your digestive system and they also increase your heart rate.
If you like oranges and if you want to get the most out of them, you should eat them during daytime or in the morning. The acid and fructose will then have no impact on your sleep. On top of that, the vitamin C in oranges will be very healthy for your sleep, especially if you have a vitamin C deficiency that needs to be balanced.
Better Eat Oranges In The Morning
Oranges do affect your sleep. If you eat them in the morning or during the daytime, they will help you sleep by balancing vitamins. If you eat them before going to bed, they will prevent your sleep because of the increased body activity some ingredients cause.
I’ve never thought I will ever write so much about oranges and sleep, but it’s something that came to my mind suddenly and I had to find out more about it. If you have something to say about that topic, I’ll be glad to hear from you in the comments!
Also, if you not only want to know whether oranges affect your sleep but also how you can improve your sleep every day, definitely check out the other sleep improvement articles on this page! I managed to be able to fall asleep within a few minutes instead of hours and I’ll tell you exactly how I do it, so you can fall asleep fast as well!