The Best and Worst Foods for Sleep: A Nighttime Nutrition Guide

Tossing and turning might not just be about stress or screen time—it might also be about what’s on your plate. Here’s a guide to what foods to enjoy and what to avoid to help you snooze better.

Dreamy Diet Choices

Why a Cherry on Top Works at Bedtime

Cherries are more than a sweet treat or a pie filler; they’re a natural source of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Sipping on cherry juice or munching on a handful of these stone fruits can be a part of a relaxing bedtime ritual.

The Comfort of a Banana

Bananas aren’t just for breakfast. They serve up a sweet, soothing mix of potassium and magnesium, both known for their muscle-relaxing powers. Plus, they’re an easy snack that doesn’t require much preparation before bed.

Almonds: Crunch Your Way to Calm

A crunchy snack of almonds might do more than keep hunger at bay. These nuts come with a dose of magnesium, which might help you drift off to sleep faster. They’re the perfect crunchy counterpoint to a soothing evening routine.

Foods That Steal SlumberThe Best and Worst Foods for Sleep: A Nighttime Nutrition Guide

Caffeine’s Wake-Up Call

It’s no secret that a late coffee can leave you staring at the ceiling, but caffeine lurks in chocolate, cola, and even some pain relievers. So, check labels and make your afternoons caffeine-free for better night winks.

Spicy Foods: Too Hot to Handle at Bedtime

That late-night taco might not be your friend when you’re trying to get some shut-eye. Spicy foods can cause heartburn, which is a surefire way to keep you up. It’s better to save the heat for the daylight hours.

A Sugary Mistake

It’s tempting to reach for that cookie before bed, but sugar can trigger a cycle of waking throughout the night. Instead, if you need something sweet, reach for something with natural sugars and calming properties, like a small bowl of oatmeal.

Balancing Your Evening Plate
Eating for sleep doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. It’s about balance. A light evening meal with a mix of proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats is usually a good bet for a restful night.

The Takeaway
What you eat can set the stage for how well you sleep. Embrace the foods that soothe and skip the ones that stimulate. By adjusting your diet, you can look forward to more peaceful nights. And as always, if sleep is consistently elusive, it might be time to see a sleep specialist.


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