Which Foods Can Help You Sleep? Healthy Diet for Sleep Update 12/2022

A sound night’s sleep is critical to your general well-being.

Your immune system and brain health may benefit, as well as your risk of getting certain chronic diseases.

Many people find it difficult to get the necessary amount of sleep each night, which is between 7 and 9 hours.

Changing your diet, for example, can help you get a better night’s sleep because certain foods and beverages have been shown to have sleep-inducing characteristics.

Here are the nine best things to eat or drink before going to bed to help you get a better night’s sleep.

1. Almonds

There are numerous health benefits of eating almonds, a type of tree nut.

One ounce (28 grams) of dry-roasted nuts contains 18% of an adult’s daily phosphorus requirement and 23% of a person’s daily riboflavin need.

In addition, one ounce offers 25% of the daily manganese needs for men and 31% for women.

Several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, have been linked to the regular consumption of almonds. Their healthful monounsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants are to blame for this.

You may be able to keep some chronic diseases at bay if you take antioxidants.

Almonds are also said to improve sleep quality, according to certain studies. This is due to the fact that almonds, along with a number of other nuts, are rich in the melatonin hormone. Your body’s internal clock is regulated by Melatonin, which tells your body it’s time to sleep.

A single ounce of almonds provides you with 19% of your daily magnesium need. People who suffer from insomnia may benefit from taking magnesium supplements in order to get a good night’s rest.

Magnesium’s capacity to reduce inflammation is suggested to play a role in its ability to promote sleep. Sleep disturbances can be alleviated by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Almonds have been shown to improve sleep, however, there is little study on the subject.

The effects on rats of 400 mg of almond extract were studied in one study. It was found that the rats slept longer and deeper when they were given almond extract.

Almonds may have some sleep-inducing properties, but further human trials are needed to confirm this.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds, or roughly a handful, should be enough to see if they affect your sleep quality.

2. Turkey

There are many health benefits of eating turkey.

Roasted turkey provides nearly 8 grams of protein per ounce of meat (28 grams). Protein is essential for the maintenance of healthy muscles and the control of hunger.

Some vitamins and minerals that can be found in turkey include riboflavin and phosphorus. Selenium is abundant in this food, with a 3-ounce portion supplying 56% of the RDA (DV).

After eating turkey, some people feel drowsy and believe that the food favors sleep. In particular, it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the generation of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

In addition to promoting sleep, turkey’s high protein content may possibly play a role in this effect. Moderate protein consumption before bed has been linked to better sleep quality, including fewer night wakings.

The role of Turkey in aiding sleep needs further investigation.

3. Chamomile tea

Herbal teas like chamomile tea, which is very popular, may provide a number of health benefits.

As a result, it is renowned for its flavonoids. Antioxidants in the flavone family work to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of chronic illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

In addition, there is some evidence that drinking chamomile tea can help boost your immune system, reduce anxiety, and improve your skin’s health. chamomile tea’s special sleep-inducing effects are another reason to try it.

Apigenin is a compound found in chamomile tea. Taking this antioxidant may help you sleep better by binding to particular receptors in your brain.

When 34 individuals were given 270 mg of chamomile extract twice daily for 28 days, they slept 15 minutes faster and woke up less frequently than those who did not take the supplement.

In a separate study, women who drank chamomile tea for two weeks reported better sleep quality than those who did not drink tea.

Sleep issues are often linked to depression, which can be alleviated by drinking chamomile tea.

If you’re looking to get a better night’s sleep, consider sipping on chamomile tea before bed.

4. Kiwi

In terms of nutrition, kiwis are one of the healthiest fruits around.

There are 42 calories in one fruit, but it’s packed with nutrients, including 71% of the daily value for vitamin C. It gives males and women, respectively, 23% and 31% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K.

Many trace elements and a good deal of folate and potassium can be found in this food.

In addition, eating kiwis may help your digestion, inflammation, and cholesterol. Fiber and carotenoid antioxidants play a large role in these effects.

Kiwis may also be one of the finest foods to eat before bed, according to studies on their ability to increase sleep quality.

To help them sleep better, 24 individuals in four-week research chewed on two kiwifruits an hour before turning in for the night. Participants who ate before bedtime fell asleep 42 percent faster than those who didn’t.

As a result, they were able to sleep through the night for an additional 5%, while their overall sleep time increased by 13%!

Serotonin may play a role in the kiwi’s ability to induce sleep. The brain chemical serotonin aids in the regulation of your sleep cycle.

Vitamin C and carotenoids in kiwis, as well as other anti-inflammatory antioxidants, may have a role in the fruit’s ability to promote sleep.

There is a lack of scientific data to support the claim that kiwis improve sleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, a small serving of 1–2 medium kiwis may assist.

5. Tart cherry juice

The health benefits of drinking tart cherry juice are numerous.

The tiny amounts of magnesium and phosphorus it offers are just the beginning. As a potassium source, it’s a good choice.

An 8-ounce (240-milliliter) portion has 13% of a man’s daily potassium need and 17% of a woman’s daily potassium requirement.

Additionally, it contains anthocyanins and flavonols, both of which are potent antioxidants.

Also renowned for promoting tiredness, tart cherry juice has been investigated for its potential role in treating insomnia. Drinking sour cherry juice before you go to bed may help you sleep better because of these reasons.

Due to its high melatonin content, sour cherry juice promotes a good night’s sleep.

After drinking sour cherry juice twice daily for two weeks, persons with insomnia were able to sleep better, according to small research. When they drank the juice, they slept an additional 84 minutes and reported higher sleep quality than when they didn’t.

More research is needed to validate the positive effects of sour cherry juice on sleep and insomnia, although these initial findings are encouraging.

Even so, if you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep at night, consider drinking some sour cherry juice before you go to bed.

6. Fatty fish

A diet rich in fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel is extremely beneficial. Vitamin D is what sets them apart from the rest.

Sockeye salmon, for example, has 570 international units (IU) of vitamin D in a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving. 71% of your DV has been consumed. 81 percent of your daily value can be found in a single serving of farmed rainbow trout.

Fatty fish is also a good source of healthful omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA (DHA).

It is well known that EPA and DPA have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 fatty acids may also reduce the risk of heart disease and improve cognitive function.

As both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in fatty fish have been found to promote the production of serotonin, a combination of these two nutrients could improve sleep quality.

It has been shown that eating 300 grams of Atlantic salmon three times a week for six months causes males to sleep 10 minutes faster than those who eat chicken, beef, or pig.

Vitamin D was first blamed for this effect. Higher vitamin D levels were connected to improved sleep quality in those who ate fish.

You may sleep better and faster if you consume a few ounces of oily fish before you go to bed at night. More research is needed before a definitive conclusion can be drawn about the effectiveness of fatty fish in improving sleep..

7. Walnuts

Tree nuts such as walnuts are very popular.

In a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, they include over 19 vitamins and minerals, as well as 1.9 grams of fiber. Magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper are particularly abundant in walnuts.

The omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid found in walnuts are excellent sources of healthful fats. In addition, they include 4.3 grams of protein per ounce, which may help curb cravings.

Heart health can be improved by eating walnuts. Their capacity to lower cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart disease, has been examined extensively.

Adding to that, several studies claim that walnuts, one of the finest food sources of melatonin, increase sleep quality.

Walnuts’ fatty acid composition may also aid in a more restful night’s sleep. Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is converted to DHA in the body, is found in several foods. There is some evidence that DHA may boost the synthesis of serotonin.

Walnuts supposedly improve sleep, although there isn’t much data to back this up. There haven’t been any studies done on their ability to help people fall asleep.

Even if you don’t have a problem sleeping, eating a few walnuts before going to bed could assist. A little handful of walnuts should suffice.

8. Passionflower tea

Traditionally, passionflower tea has also been used to cure a variety of health issues.

Flavonoid antioxidants abound in this food. Reduced inflammation, improved immunity, and a lower risk of heart disease are all attributes of flavonoid antioxidants.

In addition, passionflower tea has been examined for its ability to alleviate stress.

Passionflower’s anti-anxiety properties may be attributed to the antioxidant apigenin. Adhesion to specific receptors in the brain is what causes Apigenin to have a calming impact on you.

Aside from gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), passionflower has been shown to boost GABA synthesis in the brain (GABA). Other brain chemicals that cause stress, such as glutamate, can be inhibited by GABA.

Drinking passionflower tea before bed may help you sleep better because of its sedative effects.

In a seven-day experiment, a cup of passionflower tea was consumed by 41 people. When they drank the tea, they reported greater sleep quality than when they didn’t drink the tea.

To find out if passionflower aids in sleep, more research is required.

9. White rice

Many countries’ diets include white rice as the main ingredient.

There is a key difference between white and brown rice in that the bran and germ have been removed from white rice, making it easier to digest. Folic acid and antioxidants are also reduced.

Despite this, white rice is still a good source of a few nutrients.

White rice, in a 4-ounce (79-gram) serving, provides 19% of your daily folate needs. It also supplies men and women with 21 and 22 percent of their daily thiamine needs, respectively.

Manganese is 13 percent of your daily value (DV) in a 4-ounce (79-gram) serving of long-grain white rice (10Trusted Source).

Carbohydrates abound in white rice, with each 4-ounce (79-gram) portion containing 22 grams. It has a high glycemic index because of its high carbohydrate content and lack of fiber (GI). A food’s glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly it raises your blood sugar level.

Eating high-GI foods like white rice at least one hour before bedtime may aid enhance sleep quality, according to some research.

The sleep habits of 1,848 persons were matched to their consumption of rice, bread, or noodles, according to a study. Longer sleep duration was linked to a higher rice intake than to a higher bread or noodle intake.

White rice, despite its possible role in supporting sleep, should be consumed in moderation due to its low fiber and nutrient content.

Other foods and drinks that may promote sleep

Sleep-inducing qualities can be found in a variety of other meals and beverages. Tryptophan, for example, can be found in significant concentrations in these foods.

In certain circumstances, there is insufficient evidence to support their role in improving sleep.

  • Dairy products: Tryptophan can be found in dairy products such as milk, cottage cheese, and plain yogurt. Drinking milk before bed can help older persons sleep better, especially if they also do some mild activity.
  • Bananas: The amino acid tryptophan is found in banana peels, whereas the fruit itself has only moderate magnesium content. A good night’s sleep could be helped by both of these features.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a high-carbohydrate food with a little more fiber than rice, and it has been shown to make people sleepy when eaten before bed. The melatonin that is found in oats has also been shown to help people sleep.

Diet and Sleep: The Big Picture

It’s understandable that you’d like to discover the one food that will put you to sleep, but being realistic is just as vital. Mental health, light exposure, and underlying physical disorders all play a role in the process of sleep.

There are several aspects to diet, too. Food isn’t simply one item; rather, it’s cumulative, influenced by how much we eat throughout the day and over time. It’s impossible to generalize about the best diet for everyone because each person’s body reacts differently to different diets.

As a result of these issues, it’s difficult to create research studies that provide definitive answers concerning the best meals for sleeping. In spite of the fact that it’s tempting to extrapolate from a single study, the scientific evidence does not support such conclusions.

We can’t focus just on specific foods and drinks when trying to achieve a good diet and sleep schedule because it can be overwhelming for many individuals.

Healthy Diet for Sleep

Eating a diet high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains is the best way to stay healthy. Stable sources of critical vitamins and minerals are provided by this diet, including those that can help you sleep. The Mediterranean Food, an example of this sort of diet, has been linked to heart health and better sleep.

Dietary suggestions that can help you sleep better at night go hand in hand with ideas for eating a healthy, well-balanced diet:

  • The stimulant effects of caffeine can keep you awake at night if you consume it in the afternoon or evening.
  • Alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum because it might disrupt your sleep patterns, even if it makes you feel drowsy at the beginning.
  • Try not to eat too late in the evening so that you don’t have to worry about acid reflux at night. Spicy and fatty foods should be avoided late at night.

Sleep Hygiene

Having a good night’s sleep depends on the quality of your sleep environment and daily routines, which are known as sleep hygiene. Mattress, pillows, sheets, and dcor all play a role in creating a peaceful sleep environment.

There are several foods that may aid sleep in general, but if you have poor sleep hygiene, these foods will be less helpful. Sleep-promoting food can be counteracted by noise and light pollution in the bedroom, as well as by electronic devices in the bedroom, which can inhibit the body’s ability to produce the hormone melatonin.

As a first step in improving your nighttime slumber, it’s a good idea to take a look at your existing sleep habits and see if you can integrate foods that promote sleep into your daytime and pre-bed routines.

The bottom line

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to your overall well-being.

Several foods and beverages may be beneficial. This is because melatonin and serotonin, two sleep-inducing brain chemicals, can be found in them.

Magnesium and melatonin are two minerals and antioxidants found in high concentrations in some meals and beverages that have been shown to improve sleep quality by assisting you in falling asleep more quickly and remaining asleep longer.

2–3 hours before bedtime may be the ideal time to ingest sleep-enhancing meals and beverages. Acid reflux and other digestive problems can occur if you eat too soon before going to bed.

Foods and beverages may play a role in improving sleep, but more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.

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