11 Foods That Help You Sleep Through the Night

Getting sufficient sleep at night is beneficial to your immune system and mood. Ironically, over 35% of American citizens experience signs of insomnia. Subsequently, this has heightened the demand for food that help you sleep better. Doctors recommend that people should get between seven and nine hours of undisturbed sleep every night.

Consuming foods with lots of minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium can enhance melatonin production in your body. Melatonin is the hormone accountable for sleep control. Studies have demonstrated that certain foods, including oats, nuts, and cherries, comprise sleep-boosting properties and can get you to slumberland quickly.

If you want to sleep better, ensure you stay clear of alcohol, caffeine (tea and coffee), tomato sauce, and orange juice. These foods and drinks can cause the exact opposite impact and make you stay awake all night.

Here are the top 11 foods that can help you get enough sleep through the night.

Chamomile Tea
(Image Credit: Chamomile Tea)

1. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is a common medicinal tea that can provide you with different health benefits. This tea consists of flavones, antioxidants that help minimize the inflammation that might cause chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.

Additionally, research indicates that consuming chamomile tea can enhance your body’s immune system, minimize anxiety and depression, and boost skin health. Besides, chamomile tea contains special properties that can boost your sleep quality at night.

In particular, this tea consists of apigenin, an antioxidant that binds with specific receptors in your brain to increase sleepiness and minimize sleep disorders. A 2011 research that involved 34 mature people was conducted to determine the effect of consuming chamomile tea. Those who took 270 mg of chamomile tea two times a day for at least 28 days went to sleep 15 minutes quicker. Besides, this group of people encountered minimal night-time wakening than the ones who never took the tea.

Further research discovered that females who consumed chamomile tea for two consecutive weeks had enhanced sleep quality than those who didn’t take it. The study also revealed that individuals who took chamomile tea experienced minimal symptoms of depression, which led to insomnia. Ultimately, consuming chamomile tea prior to bedtime will help enhance the quality of sleep you get at night.

2. Rice

A 79-gm serving of rice supplies 19% of your day-to-day needs for folate. Additionally, it supplies 21% of your day-to-day thiamine needs for males and 22% of the same for females. Furthermore, the same serving of rice provides 13% of daily needs for manganese and 22 gm. of carbs.

Several studies conducted concerning the consumption of carbohydrates have had contradictory outcomes. Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence that associates rice intake with enhanced sleep. A study involving grown-ups was carried out in Japan to determine the effect of rice consumption on sleep quality. The study revealed that individuals who consumed rice regularly stated they had better sleep at night than those who consumed more noodles or bread. The research only pinpointed a relation and isn’t able to evidence causality. However, it promotes earlier studies that demonstrated that consuming foods with a high glycemic index (GI) a few hours to sleeping time improved sleepiness. The GI is an approximation of how fast food raises your body’s blood sugar.

Another research was conducted to compare the sleep quality of over 1,800 individuals based on their consumption of noodles, rice, and bread. In the study, higher rice consumption was linked to improved sleep at night for those who ate rice than bread and noodle consumers.

3. Kiwi

The kiwifruit is a tiny, egg-shaped fruit commonly grown in New Zealand, although it does well in other nations as well. The fruit is available in both green and gold colors, although green ones are common. The fruit contains several minerals and vitamins, particularly folate, vitamins C and E, and potassium. A single kiwi fruit comprises 42 calories and 71% of the DV for vitamin C.

Consuming kiwis helps your digestive system, minimizes cholesterol levels in your body, and minimizes inflammation. This is possible because of the high quantities of fiber and carotenoid antioxidants kiwis contain.

As per the research conducted to determine their enhanced sleep quality, kiwis are among the best fruits to consume before bedtime. In month-long research, 24 grown-ups were given two kiwifruits an hour to bedtime every night. The study discovered that participants felt sleepy 42% faster than if they didn’t consume the fruit before going to sleep. In addition, their sleepiness throughout the night without their sleep getting interrupted improved by 5%, whereas their overall sleep time went up by 13%.

Kiwis are thought to promote the quality of sleep at night due to their serotonin content. Serotonin is a brain substance that assists in regulating your sleep pattern. It’s also been proposed that kiwi’s anti-inflammatory antioxidants, like carotenoids and vitamin C, contributes to kiwifruit’s sleep-enhancing effects.

More empirical proof is required to ascertain the impacts that kiwifruits might have in promoting sleep quality at night. Even so, consuming between one and two kiwis prior to bedtime could assist you to get quality sleep and sleep for longer at night.

4. Almonds

Almonds are a variety of tree nut that offers several health benefits to your body. They are great sources of various nutrients. For instance, 28gm of dry roasted almond nuts will supply you with 18% of your daily phosphorus needs and 23% of riboflavin needs. Additionally, the same quantity supplies you with 25% of your day-to-day manganese needs if you’re a man and 31% if you’re a woman.

Consuming almonds frequently has been related to minimized risks of several chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes and heart illness. This effect is accredited to their good monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and fiber. The antioxidants contained in the almonds can keep your body cells safe from dangerous inflammation that may cause chronic illnesses.

It’s been suggested that almonds can assist in promoting sleep quality too. Almonds are thought to enhance sleep quality since they are an excellent source of the hormone melatonin. The hormone is responsible for the regulation of your internal clock and stimulates your body to get ready for sleep. Additionally, almonds are a good source of magnesium, supplying 19% of your day-to-day needs in one serving. Taking sufficient quantities of magnesium can assist in enhancing sleepiness at night, particularly for individuals with insomnia. Magnesium improves sleep quality owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, it can assist in minimizing hormone cortisol levels, a hormone known to disrupt sleep patterns.

A study investigated the impacts of giving rats 400mg of almonds on their sleep patterns. It was discovered that the amount of time the rats slept had increased significantly than when they didn’t consume almonds. Even though the scientific evidence is not sufficient, taking 28 gm of almonds prior to going to sleep can improve your sleep quality at night.

5. Fatty Fish

Studies have discovered that fatty fish may be categorized as food that helps you sleep better at night. Fatty fish, including trout, salmon, mackerel, and tuna, are exceptionally healthy. They contain exceptional quantities of vitamin D.

For instance, 85 gm serving of salmon supplies approximately 570 international units (IUs) of vitamin D, 71% of what your body needs. The same serving of trout fish supplies 81% of your DV. Besides, fatty fish contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, in particular eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The two types of fatty acids have been found to assist in minimizing inflammation. Additionally, omega-3 fatty acids have properties that can safeguard you from heart disease and promote brain health.

Research suggests that the combination of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish helps boost your sleep quality. They achieve this by enhancing the secretion of serotonin in your body. A study involving males who consumed 300 gm of salmon thrice a week for more than five months was conducted. The men experienced sleepiness around 10 minutes quicker compared to those who consumed pork, chicken, or beef.

In the research, the impact on the sleep quality was attributed to the high quantity of vitamin D. The individuals who ate fish had high levels of vitamin D that contributed to their enhanced sleep quality.

Therefore, consuming several grams of fatty fish prior to bedtime can assist you to get sleepy quicker and sleep more profoundly. Nevertheless, more research is required to make a conclusive decision on the ability of fatty fish to promote sleep quality at night.

6. Tart Cherries and Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherries are well-known for their unique flavor and the health benefits they have. These cherries include the Montmorency, English morello, and Richmond and are available as either whole fruits or in juice form.

Tart cherries are great sources of various nutrients, including phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. A 240ml tart cherry juice supplies 17% of the daily potassium needs for a female, and the same supplies 13% for a male. In addition, tart cherries and tart juice are excellent sources of antioxidants, such as flavonols and anthocyanins.

Also, tart cherry juice has properties that boost sleep quality, and research has been carried out to determine its ability to relieve insomnia. As a result, consuming tart cherry juice prior to bedtime can help boost your sleep quality at night. Tart cherry juice is thought to have sleep-enhancing effects because of its high quantities of melatonin.

In a study, grown-ups experiencing insomnia took 240ml of tart cherry juice two times every day for two weeks. It was discovered that they slept an additional 1 hour and 24 minutes and experienced better sleep quality than when they failed to take the juice. Even though these studies are optimistic, in-depth studies are needed to verify the contribution of tart cherry juice in enhancing sleep quality and relieving insomnia.

Notwithstanding this, consuming some tart cherry juice prior to going to bed may assist you if you have difficulties catching some sleep at night.

7. Malted Milk and Night-time Milk

Typically, malted milk is produced through blending milk and a uniquely prepared powder that mainly consists of malted barley, wheat flour, and malted wheat. Sugar and an assortment of vitamins are also added to the mixture.

Research conducted in the past discovered that consuming malted milk minutes before going to bed helped minimize sleep disturbances. The attribution to this effect is unclear but may be due to the vitamins B and D found in the malted milk. Also, milk on its own consists of melatonin, whereas some milk items are melatonin-supplemented. If you milk your cow during the night, the milk you get contains high melatonin content. Therefore, such milk can be helpful in offering a natural source of this unique sleep-inducing hormone.

8. Walnuts

Walnuts are a kind of tree nut that are rich in various nutrients, supplying more than 19 vitamins and minerals. They also contain about 1.9 gm of fiber, in a 28 gram serving. In particular, walnuts contain plenty of copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.

Moreover, walnuts are an exceptional source of good fats, such as linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. You can also get 4.2 gm of protein per serving, which helps in minimizing appetite. Besides, walnuts have been found to people’s heart health since they can minimize high cholesterol levels in your body.

Furthermore, some scholars suggest that consuming walnuts can help boost your sleep quality at night because they contain melatonin. Also, the fatty acids in walnuts contribute to sleep-promoting properties. They supply alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid metamorphosed into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in your body. In turn, the DHA stimulates the secretion of serotonin, which is responsible for stabilizing mood and feelings. Ultimately, if your mood and feelings are in check, you can easily fall asleep and stay asleep for long.

9. Passionflower Tea

Passionflower is a medicinal tea that is historically applied in the treatment of various diseases. The tea provides a large number of flavonoid antioxidants. The flavonoids are popular for their ability to minimize inflammation, promote immunity, and lower heart illness.

In addition, passionflower tea has been researched for its ability to lower anxiety. It contains apigenin, which plays a key role in the passion flower tea’s ability to lower anxiety levels in people. The apigenin creates a soothing effect through binding to specific receptors in your brain to relieve anxiety.

Also, scientific evidence has been brought forward, which demonstrates that passionflower tea enhances the secretion of the brain substance gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The role of this chemical is to hinder the production of other brain chemicals, including glutamate, that causes stress. The soothing effect of passionflower tea can enhance sleepiness. Thus, it is advisable to take it a few hours before you go to bed.

In week-long research, over 40 grown-ups were given a cup of passionflower tea prior to going to bed. The results demonstrated that these individuals noted that their sleep quality had improved if they took the tea than when they didn’t. Ultimately, passionflower tea comprises apigenin and enhances GABA secretion, both of which can improve the sleep quality you get at night.

10. Turkey Meat

Turkey meat is popular and is well-known for its richness in nutrients, including high-quality protein, zinc, vitamin B, phosphorus, and selenium. A serving of 28 gm of roasted turkey supplies you with 8 gm of protein. Proteins play a key role in maintaining the strength of your muscles and controlling your appetite.

In addition, turkey meat is an adequate source of riboflavin and selenium, with an 85 gm serving supplying 56% of the DV you require. Also, turkey meat contains some properties that clarify why some individuals feel exhausted once they consume it. Most strikingly, turkey meat comprises the amino acid tryptophan that is responsible for the secretion of melatonin. Besides, the high-quality protein in turkey meat might as well explain why it enhances tiredness. Ultimately, there is scientific evidence that taking modest quantities of protein prior to going to bed helps you fall asleep faster.

11. Dark Leafy Greens

Most dark leafy greens contain magnesium, which is essential for optimal nerve conduction and regulation of blood sugar — two crucial aspects when it comes to sleep. Besides, magnesium acts as a stress reliever, the best soothing mineral you can get. Therefore, due to its soothing effect, it can assist in enhancing your sleep quality at night. A study carried out recently discovered that sleep quality increased among the individuals who consumed dark leafy greens, which are rich in magnesium.

Other Foods that Help You Sleep Better

There are several other foods and drinks that contain sleep-enhancing properties. These foods are highlighted in the following section.

  • Bananas: Research indicates that banana peels are an excellent source of tryptophan. Besides, the fruit naturally is a good source of magnesium. Both tryptophan and magnesium are sleep-promoting properties to boost your sleep quality all night.
  • Yogurt: Yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium, which enhances the production of sleep-promoting hormones such as tryptophan and melatonin. You can also use cheese or milk to get the same effect yogurt produces to enhance your sleep quality.
  • Honey: Honey contains glucose which is responsible for reducing orexin levels in your body. Orexin is a neurotransmitter within your brain which renders you more attentive. Therefore, taking some amounts of honey can help reduce your alertness, leading to quality sleep at night.
  • Eggs: Eggs are rich in tryptophan, a chemical that enhances sleep quality. Therefore, try taking some eggs in the evening, and you’ll get some good quality sleep all night.

Concluding Remarks

Having adequate and quality sleep each night is essential for you to lead a healthy life. As seen in this post, there is food that helps you sleep better during the night. They can achieve this since they contain sleep-controlling hormones and chemicals, including serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin.

Additionally, some foods have high quantities of distinct nutrients and antioxidants, including melatonin and magnesium, which improve your sleep quality. For you to realize the benefits of sleep-improving foods, you’ll need to take them a few hours prior to going to bed. Taking these foods just before going to bed can lead to digestive problems, including acid reflux.

Overly, more scientific evidence is needed to determine the specific role that these foods play when it comes to enhancing sleep quality. Nevertheless, if you’re having trouble sleeping well at night, you can try some of these foods to see if you’ll have a better sleep.

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