Best Foods to Eat Before Bed for Deep Sleep
Late-night food cravings can make it difficult to fall asleep. When you’re hungry, your body has a harder time relaxing and falling into a deep sleep. This can make you feel tired and drained in the morning. Not to mention that being hungry at bedtime is an unpleasant feeling.
Healthy bedtime snacks can curb your cravings and help you fall into a deep, restful sleep. Read more to find out the best foods to eat for quality sleep.
What to Avoid
Many people make the mistake of eating stimulating foods right before bed. You want to avoid certain snacks and drinks near bedtime so that they don’t keep you awake all night. Unfortunately, while junk food usually satisfies late-night cravings, it can wreck your sleep schedule.
Avoid the following foods in the hours leading up to bedtime:
Chocolate is a popular late-night snack for a lot of people. However, chocolate contains high levels of caffeine. The caffeine in chocolate will stimulate your nervous system and keep you awake. If you do manage to fall asleep, your sleep cycle will be far less restful because of the caffeine. Ditch the chocolate candies before bed for a better night’s rest.
Tyramine is an amino acid found in cheese products. It causes feelings of alertness for a few hours after eating cheese.
This amino acid causes your adrenal glands to release stress hormones that contribute to your “fight-or-flight” response. In return, your sleep will likely suffer, and you may feel restless. Avoid eating heavy meals with lots of cheese right before bedtime.
Capsaicin, the compound that makes foods spicy, causes your body to overheat. If you eat a lot of spicy food before bedtime, your digestive system will still be working overtime to process it. The high levels of energy needed to digest spicy foods can keep you awake throughout the night.
Spicy foods can also cause heartburn, a common disruptor of peaceful sleep.
Foods with lots of sugar and fat, like ice cream and candy, can cause severe blood sugar spikes. These spikes can, in turn, cause a blood sugar crash later in the night. Your body will release stress hormones in response, keeping you alert and awake.
It’s best to avoid excess sugar for a few hours before bedtime. Sugar is generally problematic for other health reasons, so reducing your intake is a good habit to practice.
Foods with Melatonin
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that releases into your body when you are in darkness. Because of the blue light from technology screens, many people have trouble producing enough melatonin naturally. Our Melatonin-SR™ supplement releases steady levels of this sleep hormone into your bloodstream throughout the night.*
Although Melatonin-SR™ is a very effective supplement to add to your nighttime routine, it doesn’t take away your late-night hunger. The following foods naturally contain melatonin, promoting more restful, deep sleep:
Cherries contain melatonin and are known as one of the best foods for sleep. If you snack on cherries or drink cherry juice before bed, you will likely get a better night of sleep. The melatonin in cherries triggers feelings of tiredness and relaxation.
Honey triggers the release of melatonin in your body, making it a natural and healthy food to consume before bed. Raw honey also stops orexin, an “alertness chemical” in your body, from keeping you awake.
You get two sleep benefits in one food when you consume raw honey before bed. You can enjoy this sweet substance with tea, lemon water, or other healthy foods.
While other nuts contain trace levels of melatonin, pistachios have the highest levels of this sleep hormone. Along with melatonin, pistachios contain vitamins and minerals that are good for your overall health. These include vitamin B6, which helps your body convert amino acids into melatonin.
If you are craving a salty snack before bed, go for pistachios instead of potato chips.
Some foods contain vitamins and minerals that promote relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep. If you often toss and turn at night because of stress, these foods could provide some relief. Some compounds in healthy foods also relax your muscles, giving your body a chance to rest and recover.
A lot of people eat bananas at breakfast, but this versatile fruit is helpful for bedtime too. Bananas contain magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant and healthy mineral. Those who do physical labor all day may find relief in increasing their magnesium intake. This will make it easier to relax and fall asleep.
Almonds contain high levels of magnesium in proportion to their size. If you want to pack in magnesium-dense foods, almonds can help with that. You could eat almond butter spread on bananas for a cravings-crusher snack combo. Almonds contain healthy fats and vitamins as well.
Kiwi fruit makes for a tasty snack before bed. Some research suggests that kiwis have a relaxing effect on your body and brain. They contain high levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel happy and relaxed. If you want to boost your mood and get a good night's sleep, eat some kiwis before bed.
Improve Your Sleep with a Healthy Diet
A well-balanced nutritious diet may be the key to getting high-quality sleep. The various vitamins and minerals found in healthy foods can regulate your hormones. When your nervous system is too overstimulated, it can be hard to fall asleep. Eating a healthy diet will help you relax, unwind, and fall asleep.
You can enjoy your favorite junk foods in moderation, but try to avoid them before bed. If you want to improve your sleep, eat plenty of healthy foods. When you need a late-night snack, choose from some of the sleep-friendly snacks listed above.
If you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep, pick up a bottle of Melatonin-SR™. Our slow-release capsules support keeping you in deep, restful sleep all night long.* Add Melatonin-SR™ to your nightly supplement regimen for high-quality sleep.*