Six Foods That Surprisingly Impact Sleep

Did you know that what you eat for your last meal of the day can seriously impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep? Some foods are, in fact, helpful for those who have trouble sleeping while others can seriously decrease your chances of getting enough shut-eye.

Food alone probably won’t solve your sleep issues – you may need an anti-snoring device or natural sleep aid as well – but eating right before bed can certainly be helpful. Here’s a look at some of the foods that are great for promoting sleep and some that are probably going to keep you up all night:

1. Good: Walnuts & Almonds

Almonds contain hefty doses of magnesium, tryptophan and melatonin, a trifecta of ideal sleep-promoting aids. Try eating a handful an hour or so before bed.


2. Bad: Grapefruit

There’s nothing like heartburn for keeping you up all night, and grapefruit increases your stomach’s acidity. If you’d like to avoid heartburn, stay away from grapefruit and other citrus fruits and juices before hitting the sack.

3. Good: Oatmeal

Most of us only eat the stuff in the morning, but the benefits of eating oatmeal before bed might change your habits. Oatmeal is full of plenty of sleep-promoting nutrients, like magnesium, potassium calcium and phosphorous. Add in a chopped banana and you’ll have an even tastier treat with the added bonus of even potassium and magnesium bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP, in turn, is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin, making it an even better bedtime snack.

4. Bad: Celery

Celery is certainly a healthy veggie, but it’s not best to eat it before bed. Why? Well, celery is a natural diuretic, and, unless you want to disrupt your slumber with a middle of the night bathroom run, it’s best to avoid it.

5. Good: Raspberries & Tart Cherries

Melatonin is a popular supplement for use as a sleep aid, and there are a few, though not many, natural sources of the stuff. Your best bets are raspberries and tart cherries. If you can’t quite stomach a big bowl of fruit at night try blending them up into a smoothie instead.

6. Bad: Greasy & Fried Foods

People who eat fatty, greasy and fried foods in the evening tend to get less productive sleep than those who don’t. Your stomach is working extra hard to digest the stuff, and can lead to indigestion and heartburn. It’s fine to indulge in calorie-rich foods every once in a while, but try to do so at least 3 hours before you go to sleep.


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