While a high-quality mattress is a big part of healthy sleep, it isn’t the only important factor. Your diet affects your sleep in a significant way. What you eat and drink can impact your quality of sleep, some foods impede sleep and others promote sleep. To get the best rest, we recommend eating more of the best foods for sleep and following a sleep diet in the hours before bed.
In this guide, we have compiled a list of 10 simple foods and drinks to boost your quality of sleep:
Right before bedtime, a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea can do wonders. It is relaxing and soothes your throat. Also, it provides antioxidants that may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and boost your immune system. To keep anxious thoughts and worries away, consider a cup of warm tea. For best sleep, we recommend drinking chamomile, peppermint, ginger, and passionflower tea.
Fruits are often a high source of magnesium and tryptophan. Both of these are known to help promote better sleep. To promote better sleep, we recommend eating more bananas, cherries, pineapple, oranges, prunes, raisins, plums, and kiwis.
Fruits can help you fall asleep faster and prevent interrupted sleep. Additionally, they are also considered beneficial in combating certain sleep disorders.
A Handful of Nuts
Full of heart-healthy fats and melatonin, nuts are great for promoting a night of sound sleep. Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in your body that controls your sleep-wake cycle. The increased presence of melatonin signals to your body that it’s time to go to bed.
Both walnuts and almonds offer a range of nutrients, such as phosphorus, manganese, and riboflavin. Not only are they great for a good night sleep, but they are beneficial to your physical and mental health.
Fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, and mackerel are considered “fatty fish”. These fish are a great source of high vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease.
Incorporating fatty fish into your dinner recipes can promote better sleep. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D increase serotonin production. Serotonin promotes the production of melatonin, which readies your body to hit the hay.
While we suggest that you only eat a small amount before bed, turkey is an excellent food for promoting quick sleep because it contains higher levels of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan, as mentioned earlier, can help foster better sleep. Turkey is also nutritious and offers a lot of proteins, vitamins, and minerals including selenium, phosphorus, and riboflavin. Additionally, turkey is protein, and protein has been shown to promote restorative REM sleep.
In the hours before bed, we recommend passing on refined pasta and white rice. Instead, we recommend incorporating whole grains into your last meal before bed. Whole grains such as wheat bread are high in carbohydrates, which can help raise tryptophan levels in your body. Tryptophan converts serotonin to melatonin, promoting a restful night’s sleep.
Oats are high in carbs. Eating a bowl of oatmeal or instant oats before bed can make you feel drowsy, making you more likely to fall asleep quicker. Additionally, oatmeal is high in melatonin and full of nutrients.
Similar to hot tea, drinking warm milk is great for relaxing your brain and body. Warm milk helps your body unwind. Additionally, it is an excellent source of tryptophan and melatonin.
Almond butter is a great source of magnesium. Having low levels of magnesium puts you at risk of developing certain sleep disorders such as insomnia. Ensuring you’re getting enough magnesium helps keep your sleep-wake cycle in rhythm.
Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels as well as promote the production of tryptophan and serotonin. Eating foods rich in carbohydrates can cause you to feel drowsy and fall asleep.
Overview of the Best Sleep Diet
There are a lot of variables influencing your quality of sleep, your diet included. Small changes in your diet can help boost your night’s sleep. If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep, we recommend eating more of the foods discussed in this guide to help you get more restorative rest.
In addition to modifying your diet, we recommend finding the best mattress for yourself as a sleeper. If you your mattress is getting old, or if you think it isn’t the right fit for you, it can hinder your sleep. If you’re thinking of upgrading your mattress, check out our guide of finding the best mattress where we cover our favorite mattresses of the year and provide insight into what factors to consider when buying a mattress.