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Top 10 Foods And Drinks To Have Before Sleep

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more


Getting sound sleep is incredibly important for your health. For many people having insomnia in this age, this might save them from the whole night’s struggle.  

Many factors affect our sleep patterns. Coronavirus affected our sleep so badly that an average person lost two hours of sleep a night due to concern about the pandemic, and 37% of people in Britain are sleep deprived.  

As per recommendations, you should get almost 6-7 hours’ uninterrupted sleep daily. Eating healthy, well-balanced meals supports your body’s function and also impacted your sleep patterns. So, consuming healthy food before bed ultimately improves your sleep and overall health. 

Though there are various types of food we eat, there is no silver bullet or single food that is guaranteed to induce sleep. However, there are some foods and drinks that may make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.

1: Warm milk 

A glass of milk in the night is a popular home remedy for sleepless nights. Having a warm cup of milk before bed can be relaxing. But did you know why it is so? Because milk contains some sleep-promoting compounds such as 

  • Tryptophan 
  • Calcium 
  • Vitamin D
  • Melatonin 

When cows milked at night, it contains a high amount of melatonin that can be useful to promote sleep naturally. 

As a doctor, I would suggest considering incorporating complex carbohydrates into your evening routine, such as enjoying a serving of whole-wheat toast or a bowl of oatmeal atleast 3 hours before bed. These foods might trigger the release of serotonin, a hormone that promotes relaxation and sleepiness. Additionally, complex carbohydrates might be easier to digest, which may contribute to a more comfortable sleep.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

2: Almonds 

Almond is a type of nut with numerous health benefits. They are an excellent source of many nutrients such as proteins, phosphorus, and riboflavin. With all nutrients, almonds also contain a high amount of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleeping and waking cycle. Almonds are also rich in magnesium that may help to improve sleeping habits for those who have insomnia. Daily consumption of almonds provides good sleep quality and lowers the risk of getting chronic diseases. 

3: Walnuts 

Walnuts also have a few compounds that promote sleep. It contains a high amount of melatonin, serotonin, and magnesium that are essential for good sleep. 

I always recommend including lean proteins in your diet, such as low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey, egg whites, and soybeans for a good sleep cycle. These foods are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, that has the potential to increase serotonin levels in the body, promoting sleep.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

4: Chamomile tea 

It is a popular herbal tea that offers a variety of benefits. Chamomile tea is known to reduce mental stress, depression, and helps to promote sound sleep. Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant named – Apigenin. This antioxidant binds to specific receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. A habit of drinking chamomile tea before sleep is certainly worth it if you are trying to improve the quality of your sleep.

Based on my observations, I have noticed that the nutrient magnesium may be linked to improved sleep quality. To enhance your magnesium intake, consider incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your dinner. This may be achieved by adding leafy greens like spinach. Additionally, avocados and black beans may also be excellent sources of magnesium.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

5: Fatty fish 

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are present with various health benefits. They contain omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D that helps to reduce internal inflammation and reduce the risk of getting chronic diseases. The combination of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for better sleep. Studies suggest that vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids help to regulate the serotonin levels in the body that is essential for sound sleep. 

Also Read: Lifestyle Changes for Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Guide to Improve Quality of Life

6: Pumpkin seeds 

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and tryptophan that is an amino acid that has been helping to treat insomnia. Your body converts it into serotonin and melatonin that helps to promote good sleep. You can have pumpkin seeds as a snack or can add in soup. 

Over years of experience, I have seen that fresh herbs like sage and basil might have a calming effect on the body. These herbs may contain compounds that help reduce tension and promote better sleep. To enjoy their benefits, I suggest try making homemade pasta sauce with sage and basil.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, MD

7: Kiwi 

Kiwi is one of the best fruits to eat before sleep. It is a low-calorie and highly nutritious fruit. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, folate, and so many other minerals. Kiwi is beneficial for sleep because it contains many sleep-inducing compounds such as 

  • Melatonin 
  • Anthocyanins 
  • Flavonoids 
  • Carotenoids 
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium 

Research suggests that 1-2 kiwis daily before bed may help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. 

Also Read: How to Stop Clenching Jaw: Effective Techniques and Remedies

8: Rice 

Though rice is a source of carbohydrates, many studies suggest that rice consumption can improve sleep patterns. A Japanese study-suggests that eating rice before sleep may promote good sleep than those who eat bread or noodles. 

9: Greek yogurt 

A bowl of Greek yoghurt with diced fruits is beneficial to eat before sleep as it contains a lot of probiotics and amino tryptophan with a creamy sweetness. The presence of amino tryptophan in yoghurt helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.  

10: Tart cherries and tart cherry juice 

As the name suggests, tart cherries have a distinct flavour from sweet cherries. Tart cherries have various impressive health benefits because of the presence of antioxidants, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Tart cherry juice is a perfect drink to consume before sleep as it contains sleep-regulating compounds – melatonin, tryptophan, potassium, and serotonin.  

Other foods or drinks may promote sleep –

  1. Barley grass powder 
  2. Lettuce 
  3. Bananas 
  4. Oatmeal 
  5. Cottage cheese 

Read more about: 8 Food Sources of Probiotic and Its Health Benefits

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