Foods to Make You Sleep
|Almonds||Rich in magnesium, supports relaxation|
|Chamomile Tea||Contains apigenin, promotes sleepiness|
|Tart Cherry Juice||High in melatonin, aids sleep regulation|
|Turkey||Contains tryptophan, which converts to melatonin|
|Fatty Fish||Provides vitamin D, essential for sleep quality|
|Pistachios||Offers prebiotic fiber, melatonin, and magnesium|
|Passionflower Tea||Traditionally used for insomnia and anxiety relief|
|Kiwi||Low-calorie, high in prebiotic fiber and antioxidants|
|Bananas||Rich in magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan|
|Oatmeal||Contains melatonin and magnesium|
|Cottage Cheese||High in casein protein, supports satiety|
|Hummus||Natural source of tryptophan for relaxation|
|Walnuts||Rich in tryptophan, melatonin, and omega-3 fatty acids|
Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for both physical and mental health. However, many people struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. Diet and nutrition can play a big role in sleep quality. Certain foods contain compounds and nutrients that promote relaxation and help regulate your circadian rhythm. Eating these foods before bed may help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Here are 12 of the best foods to eat before bed to enhance your sleep:
Almonds are a great source of magnesium, with one ounce providing 19% of your daily needs. Magnesium helps calm the nervous system and muscles, allowing you to unwind. Some studies show that magnesium supplements can improve sleep quality, especially in people with low magnesium levels. Almonds also provide prebiotic fiber to feed your beneficial gut bacteria, which can positively impact sleep.
Chamomile tea is well-known for its soothing, sleepy-time effects. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. Drinking a warm cup of chamomile tea before bed helps you relax and drift off to dreamland.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is naturally high in melatonin, a hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm. In one study, adults with insomnia who drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day slept longer and better compared to a placebo. Tart cherry juice may support healthy sleep cycles, especially if you have jet lag or shift work.
Turkey is delicious and filling. It also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that gets converted into the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. Tryptophan may help you fall asleep faster and get more deep sleep. Enjoy some roasted turkey, cold cuts, or a turkey sandwich before bed for its natural soporific effects.
Certain types of fish like salmon and halibut are great sources of vitamin D. Studies show that vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor sleep quality and disrupted sleep patterns. Low vitamin D levels may reduce melatonin production, leading to difficulties falling and staying asleep. Getting enough vitamin D from fatty fish like salmon may help you achieve more restful sleep.
Pistachios contain prebiotic fiber that gets fermented into short-chain fatty acids in the gut. This provides nourishment for your beneficial gut bacteria. Having a healthy gut microbiome is linked to improved sleep. Pistachios are also a good source of melatonin, magnesium, and antioxidants. A one-ounce serving makes for a healthy, filling pre-bedtime snack.
Passionflower tea has traditionally been used to treat insomnia and anxiety. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant also found in chamomile that may induce drowsiness. Drinking a cup of passionflower tea before bed helps promote relaxation and sleepiness, without morning drowsiness. However, check with your doctor before trying Passionflower if you take any medications, as it can cause interactions.
Kiwis are a low-calorie, nutritious fruit that can help you sleep better. They contain prebiotic fiber to support your microbiome’s health. Kiwis also have antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids that may reduce inflammation. Unwind before bed with a couple of sliced kiwis. The combination of prebiotic fiber and antioxidants makes them an ideal pre-sleep snack.
Bananas are one of the best sources of magnesium and potassium, containing 16% and 12% of your recommended daily intake, respectively. These minerals help calm your nervous system. Bananas also have prebiotic fiber and tryptophan, which converts to sleep-inducing melatonin. Enjoy a banana along with some nuts or nut butter before bed for a sleep-promoting snack.
A warm bowl of oatmeal contains melatonin along with the natural muscle-relaxant magnesium. Oats soaked overnight in water naturally boost their melatonin content. Oatmeal also has prebiotic fiber to nourish your gut microbiome. Top your oats with banana slices, cinnamon, and walnuts for an extra sleep-enhancing kick.
Cottage cheese contains a significant amount of casein protein. The digestion of casein protein is slow, which may help keep you satiated at night. One study found that consuming 40 grams of casein protein 30 minutes before bed improved sleep quality in healthy young men. Enjoy a bowl of cottage cheese topped with fruit, nuts, or seeds before bed.
Chickpeas and other legumes are natural sources of tryptophan, which gets converted to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin and then to melatonin. Hummus makes for a filling, plant-based pre-sleep snack. Pair hummus with raw veggie sticks, whole grain crackers, or a slice of toast. The protein and complex carbs will help regulate blood sugar levels as you sleep.
Walnuts are a great source of tryptophan, melatonin, and the sleep-promoting antioxidants melatonin and magnolol. They also contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that lowers inflammation. The combination of tryptophan, melatonin, and healthy fats makes walnuts the perfect pre-bedtime snack. Keep a bag of walnuts on your nightstand to munch before bed.
In summary, eating certain foods before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality. Good options include almonds, chamomile tea, tart cherry juice, turkey, fatty fish, pistachios, passionflower tea, kiwis, bananas, oatmeal, cottage cheese, hummus, and walnuts. These foods contain compounds like tryptophan, magnesium, calcium, melatonin, and healthy fats that can reduce anxiety, relax your muscles, and regulate your sleep-wake cycles. Developing a regular bedtime routine that involves unwinding with a warm cup of tea or a light snack high in sleep-promoting nutrients is key for a good night’s rest.
Q1: How do these foods promote better sleep?
A1: These foods contain various compounds such as tryptophan, magnesium, melatonin, and antioxidants that can reduce anxiety, relax muscles, and regulate sleep-wake cycles, ultimately improving sleep quality.
Q2: Are there any side effects or interactions to be aware of when consuming these foods before bed?
A2: While these foods are generally safe, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you have allergies, dietary restrictions, or are taking medications that may interact with certain ingredients.
Q3: Is there a specific time to eat these foods before bedtime?
A3: It’s recommended to consume these foods about an hour before bedtime to allow your body to digest and benefit from the sleep-promoting properties.
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