Eat Good, Sleep Good: Bedtime snacks to enhance your sleep quality

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. However, did you know that what you eat and drink before bed can have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep? In this blog post created by our team of health and wellness experts, we explore the best foods and drinks you can consume before bed to enhance your sleep quality.


Who says before bed snacks have to be bad for you? Keep reading for a complete list of the top foods to help you catch more zzz’s!


Best Foods For Sleep

Diet can have a significant impact on our sleep. Consuming heavy or spicy meals, caffeine, alcohol, and sugary foods close to bedtime can disrupt our sleep patterns. On the other hand, eating foods rich in tryptophan, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and B12 can promote better sleep. Maintaining a balanced diet and a healthy weight can contribute positively to better sleep quality.


So what are the best foods to improve sleep?


Cherries: Cherries are one of the best foods to consume before bed if you want to improve your sleep quality. Cherries are naturally high in melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Studies have shown that consuming cherry juice before bed can improve the duration and quality of sleep.


Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, pistachios and other nuts are other great foods to eat before bed. Many nuts are high in melatonin, magnesium, and zinc, which all contribute to the body’s ability to sleep. Magnesium specifically can help relax muscles and calm the mind. While a handful of nuts may lead to a more restful night’s sleep, it’s important not to eat more than one to two servings as they are a calorie-dense food.


Warm milk: Many people have heard that warm milk can help you fall asleep faster. This is because milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can promote the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep. The warmth of the milk can also have a soothing effect on the body.


Herbal tea: Herbal teas such as chamomile, valerian root, and passionflower are known for their calming and relaxing properties. These teas can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, making them an ideal beverage to consume before bed.


Kiwi: Kiwis are a great source of vitamin C, which can help regulate the sleep-wake cycle. They also contain vitamin E, potassium and folate. Studies have shown that consuming kiwi before bed can improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.


Bananas: Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which can help relax muscles and reduce anxiety. Although, we recommend avoiding overly ripened bananas right before bed, as they contain more sugar and less fiber.


Low-Glycemic Carbs: Foods like whole grain crackers or rice are excellent sources of carbohydrates, which can help increase the production of serotonin in the brain. The influx of this brain chemical can promote satisfaction, relaxation and help you fall asleep faster. Before grabbing a big carb-heavy snack right before bed, make sure it’s the right kind of carb. Some less healthy options can spike blood sugar, which has a waking effect.


Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which can help relax muscles and promote relaxation. However, it’s important to consume dark chocolate in moderation as it also contains caffeine, which can interfere with sleep.


Tart cherry juice: Tart cherry juice, like the whole fruit, is another great source of melatonin. Consuming tart cherry juice before bed can help regulate sleep-wake cycles and improve sleep quality.


Water: It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day, and this is especially important before bed. Dehydration can lead to disrupted sleep, so make sure to drink plenty of water – just not too much right before bed, as this can lead to multiple bathroom trips throughout the night.


Last but not least, other magnesium-rich foods like spinach and pumpkin seeds can help relax muscles and promote sleep.


In addition to consuming these foods and drinks before bed, there are other lifestyle changes you can make to improve your sleep quality. For example, it’s important to create a sleep-conducive environment by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Avoiding electronics before bed and establishing a regular sleep schedule can also help improve your sleep quality.


Finally, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different foods and drinks to find what works best for you and enjoy a better night’s sleep.


Let Us Be Your Expert Guide

At Omega Health & Wellness, we partner with our patients to help them reach their health goals and feel better. Our health and wellness team is currently accepting new patients and is standing by to assist you with medically-proven therapeutic treatment programs to help you reach your wellness goals. Best of all, when walking through our doors, you can expect friendly, knowledgeable and compassionate care, plus dependable access to your doctor. Request an appointment today or call us at 904-724-5767. 


Individuals should speak with their primary care physician before making significant dietary changes.

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