What to Eat and Drink for a Better Night’s Sleep

by in Healthy Tips, June 1, 2012
swiss cheese
Food that are high in calcium, like cheese, can help you sleep.

Craving more zzzz’s? Some of the things you eat and drink can help you get more rest, others can work against you.

What You Eat

Green Light

  • Going to bed hungry is a big no-no for relaxation; have a light snack to help you unwind.
  • Both calcium and carbohydrate-rich foods promote the effects of tryptophan, a  sleep-promoting amino acid. Top picks for sleep are apples with peanut butter, cheese and crackers or cereal and milk.
  • Magnesium is another mineral that aids with sleep – get some from nuts, seeds, bananas, beans, whole grains and avocado.

Red Light

  • Anything overly spicy, heavy or greasy wreaks havoc on your digestive system. Unless you’re comfy sleeping while sitting up, pass on these before bedtime.
  • Sorry choco-holics, the caffeine in chocolate may stand in the way of you and a good night’s sleep.

What You Drink

Green Light

Red Light

  • The stimulating effects of caffeinated beverages can linger for hours. Moderate your consumption of black, white and green teas and coffee (even decaf). Cut yourself off 6 hours before bed.
  •  Too much of any liquid disrupts sleep with trips to the bathroom.
  • Alcohol may help you doze off but leads to a less restful sleep – go light on the booze for a better night’s rest.

Tell Us: What foods and drinks disrupt your sleep?

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Comments (974)

  1. Brandi says:

    Nice list! Just one thing that confuses me:

    You recommend hot chocolate would be a good drink for right before bed, but point out that caffeinated drinks are bad…and that chocolate has caffeine. Hot chocolate probably doesn't have as much as coffee and such, but it seems counterintuitive to your other recommendations.

  2. jessojive says:

    i agree, i thought that was a little confusing also. i was always told to make it with milk to help with sleep, but, being an insomniac for years, i find it doesnt phase me or aid in relaxation…

  3. Laura says:

    I like to have a kombucha before bed. It relaxes the body and aids in digestion (wonderful to get that working overnight, if you know what I mean).

    As far as a snack, I'll have a small bowl of low sugar cereal with a bit of cinnamon (good for stabilizing blood sugar), or a couple of rice cakes with peanut butter.

  4. Sherry says:

    I question the apple with peanut butter to help you sleep.
    I have read that an apple is the perfect pick you up when you have the afternoon drowzies.

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