Food can fuel sleep

Your diet and getting quality sleep

Sleep is a basic human need, which is important for our overall health and wellbeing. There are steps we can all take to help get a good night’s sleep, but did you know that what you eat and drink can also impact how you sleep?

Some foods and drinks contain high amounts of specific antioxidants and nutrients, such as magnesium and melatonin, that are known to enhance sleep by helping you fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer.

To reap the benefits of sleep-enhancing foods and drinks, it's best to consume them 2–3 hours before bed. Eating immediately before going to sleep may cause digestive issues, such as acid reflux.

If you’re in need of a good night’s sleep, why not give these sleep-promoting foods and drinks a try?

10 foods and drinks to help you drift off

1. Almonds

Almonds are a great source of melatonin and the sleep-enhancing mineral magnesium - making these nuts a great option for a pre-bed snack. Just a handful of these and you'll be dozing off in no time - almond butter or peanut butter will also work. You can spread it onto healthy crackers or a banana, but make sure to keep your dollop under a tablespoon so you're not feeling too stuffed before heading to bed.

2. Turkey

Turkey contains a high level of protein, it also contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which increases the production of melatonin in the body. Both of these qualities may help you feel more tired.

3. Chamomile tea

Drinking chamomile tea can help boost your immune system while also reducing anxiety - it also contains antioxidants that can improve overall sleep quality and even reduce insomnia (this is when you regularly have problems sleeping).


4. Kiwi

Kiwi fruits are bursting with nutrients that can benefit your overall health. They are also rich in serotonin and antioxidants - both of these can help you get a better night’s sleep.

5. Cherries & cherry juice

The best way to get a good night's sleep is to increase your melatonin intake. Cherries, along with nuts and oats, are a natural source of melatonin. When eaten regularly, they can help regulate your sleep cycle and even reduce insomnia.

Sometimes, we all need a healthy snack to keep us going

Tasty & healthy 100 calorie snacks

6. Watermelon

Since dehydration can impact your ability to fall and stay asleep (not to mention your energy levels overall!), choosing watery fruits like watermelon can make up for any deficits. A 2-cup serving is half (you guessed it) water, which will hydrate you before bed and eliminate post-dinner hunger pains due to fibre and volume. Find other foods to keep you hydrated here.


7. Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout and mackerel, are a great source of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have properties that may improve the quality of your sleep. They have been shown to increase the production of serotonin (which can help produce healthy sleeping patterns).

8. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which helps your body and mind to relax. Having dark chocolate as a little after-dinner treat could help you get those much-needed Z’s.

9. Walnuts

Walnuts have many properties that can help promote better sleep, as they’re a great source of melatonin and healthy fats. Did you know they provide over 19 vitamins and minerals? But, that’s not all they can also boost heart health and reduce high cholesterol levels.

10. Passionflower tea

Passionflower tea has many calming properties that can promote sleepiness, which may be beneficial to drink before going to bed. It is a rich source of flavonoid antioxidants, which are known to help in reducing inflammation, boosting immune health, and reducing heart disease risk.

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If you would like more support with sleep, try our free 'Space for Sleep' online program to help you improve your sleep. Sign up for free and get started today, using the access code: ben.

Remember, if you need support with this, or anything else, we’re here for you. You can chat with us online or call our free and confidential helpline on 08081 311 333 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm).

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