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What are the best foods to eat to help you sleep?

What are the best foods to eat to help you sleep?
Best foods to help you sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is very important for your overall health and wellbeing as it can reduce the risk of you developing certain illnesses, helps with digestion and keeps your brain healthy.

Here at Titanic Spa, we’re not just one of the best spas in Yorkshire, we offer overnight breaks that are aimed at helping you relax so you can enjoy some well-earned rest.

While there are many tips and recommendations on how to get a good night’s sleep, one of the best things you can do is make some slight changes to your diet. Certain foods are known to calm the brain and help promote sleep, so eating the right things in the evening is definitely part of the recipe for a great kip.

Here with the help of some sleep and food experts, we’ve compiled a list of some foods that will help you sleep.



Lisa Artis, a sleep advisor at The Sleep Council, recommends that you eat Bananas just before you head to bed.

“Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium which help relax overstressed muscles and make them an ideal go-to snack before bed. They also contain all-important tryptophan to stimulate the production of those key brain calming hormones. Eat whole or whizz into a sleep-inducing smoothie.”

White rice

white rice

JB Macatulad, a food and travel blogger at Will Fly for Food, recommends eating white rice at least an hour before bedtime as this can improve sleep quality.

“I'm from the Philippines and it's common for people to take naps following big meals, most commonly after lunch. This may be a cultural thing, a practice derived from Spanish siestas, but I think it may have something to do with what we eat as well – white rice.  Filipinos eat a lot of white rice, often more than one cup in a single sitting.  White rice has a high glycemic index, which studies show may have an effect in improving sleep quality and lengthening sleep duration.

“White rice is lower in fibre, nutrients, and antioxidants than brown rice, so it's best consumed in moderation.  Studies show that eating too much white rice may significantly increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”


Almonds are a great snack before bed

Almonds are not just a type of tree nut as they have lots of health benefits and are an excellent source of nutrients.

Sleep expert Lisa Artis, adds, “Almonds are another winner as they contain magnesium which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation. They have the added benefit of supplying proteins which help maintain a stable blood sugar level while sleeping and switch the body from alert adrenaline cycle to rest-and-digest mode. Try swapping your afternoon snack to a handful of nuts or mix with milk and honey for a comforting bedtime snack.”


Turkey is a good source of vitamins

Turkey shouldn’t just be eaten at Christmas time, and for those of you struggling to get a good night’s sleep, it’s worth including the meat in your evening meals.

Nutritious and high in protein, turkey is also a good source of vitamins and minerals and many experts believe it is a great food to eat before bed. The amino acid tryptophan, which increases the production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin, is a property of turkey, while its proteins are also believed to contribute towards tiredness.

Most fish

Lisa Artis from The Sleep Council says that most fish contains vitamins that can aid people to sleep more.

“Most fish contains vitamin B6 which again encourages production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness. Chickpeas similarly contain vitamin B6 and are again helpful in aiding restfulness.”

If you team the fish with green leafy vegetables (such as cabbage or spinach), which are also rich in stress-reducing calcium, you will have a recipe for an unbroken sleep.

Mug of warm milk

Drink warm milk before bed

Who doesn’t love a cup of tea or hot chocolate in the evening? Well, according to Lisa Artis you should instead drink a mug of warm milk as this will help you feel sleepy.

“Calcium is also known to aid restful sleep which is why a nice warm mug of milk is recommended before bed! It is effective in stress reduction and stabilisation of nerve fibres, including those in the brain.


Oatcakes have sleep benefits

Oatcakes are a popular snack and they can go with a variety of snacks such as jam, cheese, pate and cheeseboards.

The Sleep Council’s Lisa Artis recommends eating oatcakes before bed, especially if it’s a little nibble you’re hankering after.

“Oatcakes with cheese are a great bedtime snack as it contains complex carbohydrates and protein to optimise tryptophan levels. Proteins help maintain a stable blood sugar level while sleeping and switch the body from alert adrenaline cycle to rest-and-digest mode, while complex carbohydrates increase the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream. Tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to make sleep-inducing serotonin and melatonin, the relaxing neurotransmitters that slow down nerve traffic and stop the brain buzzing.”


Kiwis are rich in serotonin

This nutritious fruit is low in calories and is rich in serotonin and antioxidants, both of which may improve sleep quality when eaten before bed.

Eating kiwis can also benefit your digestive system, lower your cholesterol and reduce inflammation as well.

A study on the effects of diet on sleep found that adults who had eaten two kiwifruits one hour before going to bed each night fell asleep 42% more quickly than when they didn’t eat anything before bedtime.