Updated at: 05-01-2022 - By: Jane Brody

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

Your chance of getting some chronic illnesses, as well as boosting your immune system, may be reduced by taking this supplement.

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.

For a better night’s sleep, these are the 9 ideal pre-bedtime snacks and beverages.

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1. Almonds

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

Many nutrients can be found in just one ounce (28 grams) of dry-roasted nuts, including 18% of the daily phosphorus needed for an adult and 23% of the daily riboflavin requirement for women.

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

Regular consumption of almonds has been linked to a lower risk of developing some chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Their healthful monounsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants are to blame for this.

Your cells may be protected from the damaging inflammation that can contribute to many chronic diseases by taking antioxidants.

Almonds may also aid improve sleep quality, according to some reports. Melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, can be found in almonds and a number of other nuts. Your body’s internal clock is regulated by Melatonin, which tells your body it’s time to go to sleep.

A single ounce of almonds provides 19% of your daily magnesium requirement. People who suffer from sleeplessness may benefit from taking magnesium supplements.

Magnesium’s capacity to alleviate inflammation is thought to be connected to its role in promoting sleep. The stress hormone cortisol, which is known to disrupt sleep, may be reduced as a side effect of this therapy.

Despite this, nothing is known about the relationship between almonds and sleep.

Rats were given 400 milligrams (mg) of almond extract in one study. It was found that the rats slept longer and deeper when they were given almond extract.

Almonds may have sleep-related benefits, but further human trials are needed.

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

Delicious and healthful, turkey is a must-have.

Roasted turkey provides nearly 8 grams of protein per ounce of meat (28 grams). Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and controlling your hunger.

There are a few vitamins and minerals found in turkey, including riboflavin and phosphorus. Selenium is abundant in this food, with a 3-ounce portion supplying 56% of the RDA (DV).

If you find yourself feeling drowsy after eating turkey, there are a few reasons why. In particular, it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the generation of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

Turkey’s high protein content may possibly play a role in its potential to make you fatigued. It’s been shown that eating a small amount of protein before going to bed improves sleep quality, including fewer nighttime awakenings.

To be sure that turkey can help you sleep better, more studies are needed.

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3. Chamomile tea

There are numerous health benefits associated with drinking chamomile tea, which is a popular herbal beverage.

Flavones, which are found in abundance in this plant, have made it famous. Flavones, a group of antioxidants, has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Drinking chamomile tea may also help your immune system, lower your stress and depression levels, and enhance the condition of your skin. chamomile tea’s special sleep-inducing effects are another reason to try it.

Apigenin is found in chamomile tea specifically. 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 didn’t take it.

Women who drank chamomile tea for two weeks reported better sleep quality than those who didn’t.

Depressive symptoms, which are frequently linked to sleep issues, were less common among those who drank chamomile tea drinkers.

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

4. Kiwi

Kiwis are nutritious and low-calorie fruit.

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

In addition to potassium and folate, it also includes a number of trace minerals.

In addition, eating kiwis may help your digestion, inflammation, and cholesterol. The high levels of fiber and carotenoid antioxidants that these foods supply are to blame for these benefits.

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

Twenty-four adults participated in a four-week trial in which they consumed two kiwifruits an hour before going to bed every night. It was found that participants fell asleep 42% faster when they ate anything before going to bed compared to when they didn’t.

Additionally, they saw a 5% increase in their capacity to sleep through the night without waking up and a 13% increase in overall sleep time.

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.

This may be due to kiwis’ high levels of antioxidants including vitamin C and carotenoids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

More research is needed to discover whether kiwis can help with sleep quality. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, a small serving of 1–2 medium kiwis may assist.

5. Tart cherry juice

There are numerous health advantages of drinking tart cherry juice.

It supplies a few essential elements, such as magnesium and phosphorus, in little levels. As a potassium source, it’s a good choice.

A woman needs 17% of her daily potassium intake from an 8-ounce (240-milliliter) portion, whereas a guy only needs 13%.

Anthocyanins and flavonols, two powerful antioxidants, abound in this fruit.

Tart cherry juice has been examined for its ability to alleviate insomnia and promote sleepiness. Taking a sip of tart cherry juice before going to bed may help you sleep better.

The high levels of melatonin in sour cherry juice are what give it its sleep-inducing properties.

Over the course of two weeks, persons with insomnia were given sour cherry juice to drink twice daily in short research. Compared to when they didn’t drink the juice, they slept an average of 84 minutes longer and had improved sleep quality to show for it.

Tart cherry juice can improve sleep and avoid insomnia, although further research is needed to clarify its impact on these processes.

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.

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6. Fatty fish

Salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are excellent sources of healthful fats. One thing that sets them apart is their high vitamin D levels.

The vitamin D content of sockeye salmon, for instance, is 570 international units (IU) per 3-ounce (85-gram) serving. That’s 71% of your daily value (DV). Eighty-one percent of your DV is contained in a similar dish of farmed rainbow trout.

EPA and DHA, two beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, are particularly abundant in oily fish like salmon and tuna (DHA).

EPA and DPA are well-known anti-inflammatory supplements. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish may also help prevent 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 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of Atlantic salmon three times a week for six months reduced the time it took men to fall asleep by roughly 10 minutes.

This effect was attributed to vitamin D, it was thought. Those who ate fish had higher levels of vitamin D, which was associated with better sleep quality.

You may sleep better and faster if you consume a few ounces of oily fish before you go to bed at night. In order to draw a definitive conclusion about the effectiveness of fatty fish in improving sleep, more research is needed

7. Walnuts

Walnuts, a type of tree nut, are a popular choice for snacks and desserts.

In a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, they include more than 19 vitamins and minerals, as well as 1.9 grams of fiber. You may get a good amount of minerals and vitamins in walnuts.

Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid, both of which walnuts contain in high concentrations. Additionally, they include 4.3 grams of protein per ounce, which may help reduce hunger.

It has also been shown that walnuts can improve cardiovascular health. High cholesterol levels are a key risk factor for heart disease; they have been examined for their capacity to lower cholesterol levels.

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 help people sleep better. Omega-3 fatty acid ALA is metabolized in the body to omega-3 fatty acid DHA. 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. As a matter of fact, there hasn’t been any research on their ability to help people sleep.

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.

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8. Passionflower tea

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

Because of the abundance of flavonoid antioxidants, it’s an excellent food choice. Inflammation, immune system health, and heart disease risk all benefit from the antioxidant properties 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. Apigenin has a soothing impact on your brain by attaching to specific receptors.

Passionflower may also boost levels of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid, according to some data (GABA). GABA inhibits stress-inducing brain chemicals like glutamate.

For those who find it difficult to fall asleep, drinking passionflower tea before bedtime may help.

In a seven-day experiment, a cup of passionflower tea was consumed by 41 people. In comparison to when they didn’t drink the tea, they assessed their sleep quality as much better.

Passionflower may help with sleep, but further research is needed to confirm this.

9. White rice

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

Because white rice has been stripped of its bran and germ, it is distinct from brown rice. A lack of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants makes it less nutritious.

The nutrients in white rice, on the other hand, are quite adequate.

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

79 grams (or 4 ounces) of long-grain white rice has 13% of your daily value (DV) for manganese (10Trusted Source).

A 4-ounce (79-gram) portion of white rice contains 22 grams of carbohydrates. Insufficient fiber and high carbohydrate content are to blame for the high glycemic index (GI). A food’s glycemic index is a measure of how rapidly it raises your blood sugar..

White rice, which has a high glycemic index (GI), has been shown to improve sleep quality if eaten at least an hour before bedtime.

In one study, the sleep patterns of 1,848 persons were compared to the amount of rice, bread, or noodles they consumed during the day. Longer sleep duration was linked to a higher rice intake than to a higher bread or noodle intake.

Due to its lack of fiber and minerals, white rice is best ingested in moderation despite its possible role in supporting sleep.

Other foods and drinks that may promote sleep

There are a number of additional foods and beverages that can help you fall asleep. Tryptophan, for example, is a nutrient that may be abundant in these foods.

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

  • Dairy products: One of the most well-known food sources of the amino acid tryptophan is milk and other dairy products like cottage cheese and plain yogurt. When combined with gentle exercise, milk has been demonstrated to help elderly persons sleep better.
  • Bananas: Tryptophan is found in the peels of bananas, and the fruit provides a little amount of magnesium. Both of these characteristics may aid in your quest for a restful night’s rest.
  • Oatmeal: While rice is high in carbohydrates, oatmeal provides more fiber and has been shown to produce sleepiness when eaten before bedtime. The melatonin that is found in oats has also been shown to help people sleep.

Diet and Sleep: The Big Picture

The desire to discover a sleep-inducing food or a single sleep-inducing food is understandable, but realistic expectations should be set. Several factors, including mental wellness, light exposure, and underlying medical difficulties all have a role in how well we sleep.

Diet has many facets as well. A person’s health is influenced by a variety of factors, including when what, and how much they consume during the course of a day and over the course of weeks, months, and even years. It’s difficult to generalize about the best diet for everyone because various people react differently to different diets.

It’s difficult to construct studies that provide definitive answers about the best meal for sleeping because of these considerations. While it may be tempting to extrapolate from a single study, the research does not support this.

There are so many variables involved in healthy eating and sleeping that it may be more helpful for many people if they concentrate on the overall picture — good sleep patterns and diet — rather than specific foods and drinks.

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Healthy Diet for Sleep

Eating a diet high in fruits, veggies, and whole grains is the best way to stay healthy. In a well-thought-out diet, vital vitamins and minerals, including those that aid in restful sleep, can be reliably sourced. The Mediterranean Food, an example of this sort of diet, has been linked to heart health and better sleep.

Consistently adhering to a well-balanced diet will help you avoid sleep disturbances caused by food and drink.

  • Caffeine’s stimulant effects can keep you awake at night, so limit your intake in the afternoon and evening.
  • Only drink in moderation if you’d like to avoid disrupting your sleep patterns.
  • In order to avoid acid reflux and not still be digesting at bedtime, avoid eating late in the evening. Late at night, avoid eating hot or fatty foods.

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. Finding the right mattress, pillows, linens, and decor is the first step in creating a good sleep environment.

If you have poor sleep hygiene, even meals that may help you sleep may not be as helpful as they may be. 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 melatonin needed for sleep.

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

The bottom line

The importance of getting enough sleep cannot be overstated.

Several foods and beverages may be beneficial. Melatonin and serotonin, which regulate sleep and mood, are found in these products.

Some foods and beverages, such as magnesium and melatonin, include high levels of specific antioxidants and nutrients that are known to improve sleep by allowing you to fall asleep more quickly or to stay asleep longer.

2–3 hours before bedtime may be the ideal time to consume sleep-inducing foods and beverages for maximum benefit. Acid reflux can occur if you eat right before you go to sleep.

While additional research is needed to pinpoint the precise function that foods and beverages play in helping people sleep, their already-observed effects are quite promising.

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