Ok, so dark chocolate seems to interfere with my sleep

(Bob M) #1

I got a bunch of 72+ percent chocolate bars for Christmas. What I’ve found is that if I have one (and they’re small, 1.65 ounces or less) before bed, I get up in the middle of the night and stay up for 1-2 hours. It’s happened every time. Gah!!

Anyone else have this? Is it theobromine? Or something else?

I have one more small bar, which I’ll eat away from bedtime, maybe at “lunch”. And I’m going to cease having chocolate near bed or perhaps at all.

(Take time to smell the bacon) #2

Along with the theobromine, there is also caffeine in chocolate, and possibly some theophylline, as well. Methylxanthines (which is what all these chemicals are), have a number of different effects on the human body.

I don’t know how much sugar per chocolate bar there is in 72% chocolate, but that might also be making you wired.

(Laurie) #3

I enjoy a cup of hot cocoa sometimes. No sugar, but sometimes cream. If I have it in the evening, it does keep me awake.

(Take time to smell the bacon) #4

I find that a glass of warm milk helps put me to sleep, but apparently, the chemicals involved are not in the cream part, but rather in the skim.

(Allie) #5

I’ve had to stop eating my 90% dark chocolate as it makes me feel bad, heart racing and upset stomach - also affects my sleep. Have decided it’s another thing my body cannot tolerate.

(Bob M) #6

Thanks, all. I had more chocolate last night, same thing. Got up and couldn’t go back to sleep. Ugh.

The good news is that all my Christmas chocolate is now gone.

I don’t think it’s the sugar, as I had one night of real ice cream, but did not get the same effect.

It could be anything Paul mentioned, though I doubt it’s caffeine, but don’t know.

Some of the chocolate was 72%, others were higher. I know that plenty of people say 72 % is “sweet”, but to me, it’s still bitter. I had gotten to 90% at times, but I had to back off due to taste. 72-80% is about all I can do, taste-wise.

(Allie) #7

85% seems sweet to me, I would have 100% on occasion but 90% is more easily available, however now it seems they’re all off the menu for me.


good ya know
72 is way too much sugar content

one needs 88 to 90% (WELL AT least for me when I did low carb!) to survive and control and not feel weirdo on it.

90 on carnivore is horrible for me now. dropped it all and never looked back on chocolate. It only kept my sugar monster alive (again, this is ME and my journey) :slight_smile:

Agreeing all in with Allie’s post. When it has to go it has to go :100:
for me it had to go

edited to say this too: The National Sleep Foundation recommends avoiding chocolate — as well as coffee, tea and soft drinks — before bedtime. But there is an alternative. White chocolate does not contain any theobromine, and little if any caffeine. Eating chocolate at night can potentially keep you awake .

(Will) #9

I’m not able to have any of the dark chocolate. I have a built in hair trigger when it comes to anything even remotely sweet. I’d find myself elbow deep into a 10lb bad of peanut M&Ms is I allowed any type of chocolate in to my plan. Maybe one of these days I will have the willpower that some of the rest of you have. If not that’s okay too.

(Bob M) #10

You might try 100% chocolate then. It tastes so bad (in my opinion) that you won’t want anymore. :wink:

Certainly, if “sweet” is a trigger, then it’s best not to go there.

(Edith) #11

Dark chocolate does the same to me.


I don’t even remember what is 80% like… I just know I disliked them over 70%.
It doesn’t mean they aren’t sweet. I prefer my own chocolate (without cocoa butter as it didn’t make it any better just more expensive but it’s chocolate to me) where I can control the coffee (very very important) and sweetener content and sweetener type.
Well okay I don’t even want chocolate anymore, carnivore quickly killed that but sometimes off carnivore I do try a little :smiley: And it’s pretty meh and I stop after 5g, usually. Sometimes earlier, it depends on the spoon (I have them in a jar. tiny jar for “mine” that I use on desserts mostly not for me, big jar for my SO who uses it every day unless we have gift chocolates to eat. Mine is empty now).
I kept changing the recipes for me and my SO as our preferred chocolate changed. I think we arrived at our final one.
He’s a high-carber with a huge sweet tooth, he eats cakes and fruits including raisins all the time (I doubt he has many days without raisins in the year) but he dislikes added sugar and that alone changed his sweetness perception. When I was a newbie ketoer, ours were about the same. He prefers about 10% xylitol in his chocolate. It’s not overly sweet to me as it has way too much cocoa and that’s bitter, I prefer it fattier. Just like he dislikes mine. Mine (with a lot of coffee) had 0-5% erythritol in the last years and if it’s not zero, it’s sweet.
And sometimes I think of chocolates with a 50% sugar content and can’t comprehend it. But I remember I liked those ages ago. Oh. My. God. And I could eat ripe pears and grapes without problems (I mean they are almost inedibly sweet. I can avoid sugar poisoning with the right method).

As for the topic, well I am simple, I sleep the same, no matter what I eat or drink before as far as I know. I ate cocoa at night for sure, no problem.

(Take time to smell the bacon) #13

After going keto, I was buying unsweetened chocolate and mixing it with artificial sweetener and heavy cream to make a sort of milk chocolate/fudge. After about a year of that, the mixing just got to be too much trouble, and I tried some chocolate plain. To my surprise, it was no longer too bitter to eat. It tastes nothing like chocolate with sweetener in it, but it’s actually quite tasty in its own right.

I got a bar of 90% chocolate for Christmas, but it was both too sweet and not sweet enough to be tasty.

(Bob M) #14

At one time, I tried some very good 90+ percent chocolate. It was OK, even good.

But it has to be really good chocolate. This stuff, for instance (though this is only the 70% stuff):


Taza is great.

But I have since learned that I can’t have it near bedtime, which is the only time I have it. So, I started going backwards, to 80, then 70, now 60%. Even there, I have to limit quantities.

I’m trying not to have any near bedtime. That’s not always possible, though.

(Anthony) #15

I frequently have chocolate (Lindt 85% for me) with breakfast. It goes nicely with my Cabot 10% fat Greek yogurt. May be too many carbs for some though.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #16

There’s another active topic discussing the pros and mostly the cons of coffee. I’m pro coffee, very pro coffee, because in addition to loving the taste of it, coffee and caffeine are nutritionally beneficial in multiple ways. Chocolate not so much. So, I’m here to say to all you chocolate addicts: ‘Meh…’ :neutral_face:


Coffee has no benefits to me. Chocolate was nice before carnivore but it’s still a very unneeded item to me. But if I eat it, I use plenty of coffee in it :smiley: They are good together. Mom always put coffee into cocoa and vice versa when she made a frosting for a cake… When I made my first chocolates, I tried it without coffee. It was way worse (the same with cashew. my chocolate always has it. way more important than the sweetener). My chocolate jar is always very coffee-y, my SO gets only a little because he prefers cocoa overpowering everything even added fat…

I still like thinking about non-carni food :slight_smile: I don’t want to eat them, just remember them :slight_smile:

(Bob M) #18

Do you still drink alcohol? I found a really good coffee liquor (I know, higher carb). I’ll see if I can remember to take a picture of it.

I usually make a “white Russian” with it, which is 1:1:1 vodka, coffee liquor, and cream. I think this liquor is strong enough that it could be diluted a bit though.

And, as with most alcohol, you have no idea what the calorie or particularly carb content is.

For me, the carb content is not a big deal, as I only have one of these every few weeks, and it’s normally after exercising in the morning, then working on the house all day.


Oh a good coffee liquor is great! I never made a cocktail with it but white Russian must taste really good :wink:

Maybe I try to make a coffee liquor like thing myself one day. I tried egg liquor in December and eggnog too. Neither are my thing, it seems (or I don’t make them right but what can possibly go wrong with my fav ingredients…? let’s blame carnivore, it changed me). But once I made an eggnog ice cream, that was fabulous!

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #20

Yes, I do in very small amounts. I still drink my cinchona succirubra ‘bitters’ each morning as described here. Although I drink it ‘straight’ and don’t bother diluting with soda. This amounts to 15.75 ml (12.3 gr) of ethanol.

I also drink most days, but not every day, either my C4/RB or Tonic energy drink as described here and here. The C4/RB mix amounts to 20 ml (15.8 gr) of ethanol. The Tonic mix amounts to 24.75 ml (19.4 gr) of ethanol.

I’ve also experimented a little making coffee ‘liqueur’ by adding ground coffee to a bottle of vodka. The amount can be varied to taste, of course. This eliminates the sugar. You can pour it through a paper coffee filter. Or, alternatively, which I have yet to try, use whole coffee beans instead of grounds.

PS: I’ve tried white Russians (both with and without coffee liqueur) but the cream has curdled. Maybe too much vodka?