Consumption

The Best Foods To Promote Sleep

    You’ve heard that abs are made in the kitchen, but did you know that your sleep can also be enhanced by the foods you eat? While there’s no one magic food that will always help you get a good night’s sleep, there are certain nutrients and minerals present in common food groups that can make it a little easier.

You’ve heard that abs are made in the kitchen, but did you know that your sleep can also be enhanced by the foods you eat? While there’s no one magic food that will always help you get a good night’s sleep, there are certain nutrients and minerals present in common food groups that can make it a little easier.

Tryptophan-Rich Foods

Have you ever felt sleepy after a big Thanksgiving meal? Here’s why: turkey is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that is commonly present in certain foods and is associated with improvements in overall sleep time and quality. Studies have shown that participants who consume a tryptophan-rich diet report increases in sleep time and efficiency, as well as “less difficulty in falling asleep and less waking at night, total activity, and fragmented sleep.” Tryptophan can be found in a variety of foods such as chicken, cheese, oats, bread, and chocolate.

Milk

“A glass of warm milk” before bed has long been touted as a sleep solution, and for good reason! Milk contains melatonin, a naturally-occurring sleep hormone. In fact, the time that a cow is milked has an effect on the melatonin content of their milk. When a cow “is milked at night, their milk has more melatonin, and this milk may be useful in providing a natural source of the sleep-producing hormone.”

Cherries

Cherries, specifically tart cherries, have been found to contain high concentrations of serotonin as well as “above-average concentrations of melatonin”. These hormones are helpful in regulating your circadian rhythm and are associated with improvements in sleep quality. A study conducted using Montmorency tart cherry juice resulted in the subjects spending “less time napping and more time sleeping” and reporting “higher total sleep efficiency scores” than those who did not consume the cherry juice.

Seafood

Different varieties of seafood can have different positive effects on your sleep. For example, studies have shown that consuming zinc-rich food, such as oysters, can be beneficial for your sleep. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with serotonin production. These promote better sleep and have also been reported to improve “daytime functioning”. Additionally, tuna is another great source of tryptophan.

Nuts

Speaking of tryptophan, nuts and seeds such as peanuts also contain high levels of tryptophan, but that’s not all. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews contain nutrients like melatonin, magnesium, and zinc in varying quantities. This combination has been proven in studies to “help older adults with insomnia get better sleep.”

Regardless of the food you choose to consume, always remember to stop eating at least 2 hours before bedtime so that the digestion process doesn’t disrupt your sleep.

Did you enjoy this article? Make sure you check out our blog on Food & Drink next.

references

  1. Binks, Hannah, et al. “Effects of Diet on Sleep: A Narrative Review.” Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 4, 27 Mar. 2020, p. 936, dx.doi.org/10.3390%2Fnu12040936, 10.3390/nu12040936.

  2. Suni, Eric. “The Best Foods to Help You Sleep.” Sleep Foundation, 19 Sept. 2022, www.sleepfoundation.org/nutrition/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep.

  3. WebMD Editorial Contributors. “Top Foods High in Tryptophan.” WebMD, 22 Nov. 2022, www.webmd.com/diet/foods-high-in-tryptophan.

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