The Benefits of a Good Diet for Quality Sleep

Medically reviewed by
 Dr. Nayantara Santhi

Dr. Nayantara Santhi

Dr. Nayantara Santhi holds an academic position at Northumbria University. After completing her Ph.D. at Northeastern University (Boston, MA), she joined the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School as a post-doctoral fellow to research how sleep and circadian rhythmicity influence our cognitive functioning.

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Last Updated On October 9th, 2023
The Benefits of a Good Diet for Quality Sleep

Key Takeaways

  • Why a Good Diet is Important: A balanced, nutrient-rich diet supports healthy sleep. Getting enough vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients provides the physiological building blocks for restorative sleep.
  • Sleep-Disrupting Foods: Avoid foods that can disrupt sleep before bedtime. Spicy, acidic, caffeinated, and high-fat foods can cause indigestion, heartburn, and overstimulation that make it hard to fall and stay asleep.
  • Sleep-Enhancing Foods: Certain foods may promote sleep. Tart cherry juice, chamomile tea, and kiwi have compounds associated with increasing serotonin and melatonin levels which regulate sleep cycles. Fatty fish provides vitamin D and omega-3s that may improve sleep as well.

It’s no secret that diet and sleep are vital for our health, but the intricate and essential interactions between how food and drinks affect your sleep are generally disregarded.

Diet and nutrition may affect the quality of your sleep, and particular foods and drinks might make it easier or more challenging to obtain better sleep. Simultaneously, obtaining adequate sleep is linked to maintaining a healthier body weight and can help those attempting to lose weight.

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“Diet, sleep and exercise are three pillars of health,” says Dr. Nayantara Santhi. “It is not surprising that they are linked. Good to improve sleep is a convenient, and inexpensive strategy. It is the case that some nutritional components or their metabolites have been experimentally shown to benefit sleep.”

“But the story is more complicated, and nutrition and sleep is still an evolving field of study. Nonetheless eating well has health benefits and good health certainly benefits sleep.”

Recognizing how diet can affect your sleep opens up possibilities for optimizing both to eat wiser, sleep better, and live healthier lives.

What Happens To Us While We Sleep?

Our internal clock, which plays a role in generating circadian rhythms, tells us the optimal sleep time and duration. Sleep-promoting circadian clocks in the human body are found in multiple organs. They are activated by stimuli such as sunshine (which makes us feel awake) and darkness (we feel tired).

“There are peripheral clocks throughout the body, the primary circadian clock is in the brain and information about light from the eye goes to the circadian clock in the brain,” Dr. Nayantara Santhi. “This then sets the time for the body and all the other clocks in the various organs.”

Our bodies go through numerous stages of sleep. They are divided into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. We cycle through these stages around 4-6 times every night. It is not reasonably common to wake up briefly between these cycles.

Non-REM sleep

NREM sleep is classified into three sub-stages: N1, N2, and N3. The older categorization contained four NREM sleep phases. NREM stages 3 and 4 are integrated into stage N3 under current guidelines. Sleep phases are divided into 90-120-minute cycles. The three stages are as follows:

Stage 1: You go from being awake to being asleep after going to bed.

Stage 2: You’re in a light slumber. Your heart rate, respiration rate, and muscular actions all slow down. Your mental activity decreases as well, and your body temperature reduces.

Stage 3: You’re in a deep sleep. This stage frequently occurs early in the sleep cycle, right after light sleep. During this stage, your pulse rate and breathing rate are the slowest, and you are difficult to wake up. The events of the day are digested and remembered. Even if you get enough good sleep, a lack of deep sleep might leave you feeling exhausted in the morning.

Non-REM sleep

NREM sleep is classified into three sub-stages: N1, N2, and N3. The older categorization contained four NREM sleep phases. NREM stages 3 and 4 are integrated into stage N3 under current guidelines. Sleep phases are divided into 90-120-minute cycles. The three stages are as follows:

Stage 1: You go from being awake to being asleep after going to bed.

Stage 2: You’re in a light slumber. Your heart rate, respiration rate, and muscular actions all slow down. Your mental activity decreases as well, and your body temperature reduces.

Stage 3: You’re in a deep sleep. This stage frequently occurs early in the sleep cycle, right after light sleep. During this stage, your pulse rate and breathing rate are the slowest, and you are difficult to wake up. The events of the day are digested and remembered. Even if you get enough good sleep, a lack of deep sleep might leave you feeling exhausted in the morning.

The REM or dream state

REM causes pupils to flutter and move fast from side to side beneath your closed eyelids. As you breathe quicker and your heart rate rises, so do your brain activity. You may find it easier to recall dreams that occur in this stage, and some nerves tell your limbs to become momentarily paralyzed to avoid acting out the dream. REM sleep occurs later in the night and into the early morning. Memory is stored and processed during REM sleep, along with the earlier sleep stage 3.

What Exactly Is Nutrition?

Nutrition comprises foods and drinks, as well as other substances that provide energy and allow the body to operate in a healthy and effective manner. Macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals also comprise healthy human nutrition components.

Carbohydrates, protein and amino acids, lipids, fiber, and water are examples of macronutrients.

There are 13 essential vitamins, which perform specialized functions in various body activities. Of the 13 essential vitamins, they are separated into water-soluble and fat-soluble.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

There are nine water-soluble vitamins. Here are their applications and where to get them.

Thiamine Functions

A component of an enzyme required for energy metabolism; essential for nerve function.

Find them in: Pork, whole grains, fortified bread and cereals, legumes, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources.

Riboflavin Uses

  • A component of an enzyme essential for energy metabolism
  • Beneficial to vision and skin

Find them in: Milk and other milk-based products; whole-grain, fortified bread and cereals; green leafy vegetables.

Niacin Functions

  • A component of an enzyme essential for energy metabolism
  • Beneficial to the mind, digestive system, and skin health

Find them in: Meat, chicken, fish, whole-grain and enriched bread and cereals, mushrooms, asparagus, green leafy vegetables, and peanut butter are all excellent sources.

Pantothenic Acid Applications

  • Pantothenic acid is an enzyme component that is essential for metabolizing energy

Find them in: Pantothenic Acid can be found in hundreds of foods.

Biotin Applications

  • A component of an enzyme that is essential for energy metabolism

Find them in: Common in foods; generated by bacteria in the intestine.

Pyridoxine Uses

  • Contributes to protein metabolism
  • Aids in the formation of blood cells

Find them in: Fish, meat, nuts, poultry, fruits, and vegetables.

Folic Acid Uses

  • A component of an enzyme that is essential for forming new cells and DNA, in particular red blood cells.

Find them in: It is found in green leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, seeds, and orange juice and is now added to many refined grains.

Cobalamin Functions

  • A component of an enzyme required for forming new cells
  • Essential for normal nerve function

Find them in: Meat, fish, seafood, eggs, poultry, milk, and dairy products; are not found in plant diets.

Ascorbic Acid Uses

  • Antioxidant
  • Part of an enzyme critical to protein metabolism
  • Aids iron absorption
  • Significant for immune system health

Find them in: Found mainly in fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus, cantaloupe, kiwi, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, mangoes, and cabbage family vegetables.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

The four fat-soluble vitamins are kept in the body’s cells and are not as quickly eliminated as water-soluble vitamins. Because they are preserved, they do not need to be consumed as often as water-soluble ones. However, too much might be harmful.

Here are the four fat-soluble vitamins and their applications and sources.

Vitamin A (And Its Precursor, Beta-Carotene) Functions

  • Maintains healthy eyesight, skin, and mucous membranes
  • Promotes bone and teeth growth
  • Promotes immune system health

Find them in: Vitamin A (retinol) is obtained from animal sources; beta-carotene is obtained from plants, specifically leafy, darker green vegetables and dark orange and red fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin D Functions

  • Proper calcium absorption
  • Bone storage

Find them in: Liver, egg yolks, fortified milk, margarine, and fatty seafood are good sources. The skin produces vitamin D when exposed to sunshine.

Vitamin E Functions

  • Antioxidant
  • Cell membrane protector

Find them in: Polyunsaturated plant oils, leafy green vegetables, wheat germ, whole-grain goods, liver, egg yolks, nuts, and seeds are all excellent sources.

Vitamin K Functions

  • Helps blot clots

Find them in: Required for optimal blood clotting Green crops such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus are generated by bacteria in the digestive system.

Minerals and Macronutrients

Numerous minerals are required to power the body’s various processes. Minerals are categorized as either macrominerals or trace minerals based on how much we require.

Proper nutrition necessitates having a healthy macronutrient balance and the required vitamin and mineral consumption. Most nutrition comes from foods and drinks. However, dietary supplements also play a role.

Hormones that control sleep cycles

The brain produces a variety of neurotransmitters and chemicals that convey messages to encourage sleep or alertness. Light or darkness stimulates several of these molecules.

GABA is a neurotransmitter that reduces nerve cell activity, allowing the body to sleep.

Another neurotransmitter that progressively accumulates during the day and makes us tired at night is adenosine. Caffeine in some beverages can keep us alert by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain.

Melatonin is a hormone that the brain produces when it gets dark. It goes to cells and instructs the body to sleep. Sunlight or light exposure decreases the generation of melatonin while increasing the release of cortisol, which wakes us up. When we are exposed to too much light late at night (for example, the blue light generated by cellphones or televisions), less melatonin is created, making it difficult to fall asleep.

Serotonin, the body’s “feel-good” molecule, is a neurotransmitter involved in sleep and wakefulness. The brain releases this molecule during the day but it is also used to create melatonin at night.

Sleep-inhibiting hormones include adrenaline, histamine, norepinephrine, and cortisol. These are released in reaction to stress and keep the body awake and attentive. When under continuous or chronic stress, the body produces adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), producing cortisol. People who suffer from sleeplessness have greater levels of ACTH.

How does nutrition affect sleep?

“You are what you eat,” while a cliche, underscores the reality that nutrition is a foundation for healthy living, supplying the energy we require and other inputs that allow the body to function effectively and improve sleep duration.

Many individuals know the relationships between nutrition and obesity, diabetes, and heart health, but many are unaware that their food can also affect their sleep.

What is the best sleep diet?

As a general rule, a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits may supply the needed daily intake of healthy nutrients, aiding in improved sleep and supporting a healthy weight.

Because sleep and nutrition are incredibly complicated and involve several interrelated systems of the body, conducting research studies that definitively indicate a specific diet optimal for better sleep and healthy adults is challenging. What appears to be most crucial is that a person receives appropriate nourishment without overindulging in bad foods, particularly high fat, sugary food intake that can affect your sleep and put you at risk for obesity and problems like obstructive sleep apnea and other associated quality sleep hindrances.

Nutrition is critical in ensuring enough intake of a diverse variety of vitamins and minerals to support practically all body systems and processes.

A growing body of data suggests that getting enough nutrients is vital for better sleep throughout the night. One study revealed a link between sleep disorders and a shortage of critical nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K. While this study does not show cause-and-effect, it does support the possibility that nutrition influences the hormonal pathways involved in promoting better sleep throughout the night.

High-carbohydrate and high-fat meals with high glycemic indexes are also associated with energy and sleep quality. It is commonly known that high-carbohydrate diets frequently cause drowsiness. High-carbohydrate meals might also disrupt your sleep or cause insomnia. A high carbohydrate diet has been proven to increase the number of nighttime awakenings and decrease the quantity of deep sleep you obtain. It comes as no surprise that excessive intake of energy drinks and sugar-sweetened beverages is also linked to poor sleep quality.

Various diets can provide this type of nutritional balance, and some have been studied further to see how diet can affect sleep. The Mediterranean Diet, for example, which is plant-based and low fat while including lean meats and high-fiber foods, has been shown to enhance heart health and sleep quality.

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet includes less salt and saturated fat and a concentration of healthy foods abundant in fiber, potassium, and magnesium. The DASH diet was meant to lower blood pressure, but one study has shown that those who adhere to it religiously report improved sleep.

While the Mediterranean and DASH diets have demonstrated sleep benefits, other dietary regimens that balance macronutrients and guarantee appropriate vitamins and minerals may have comparable effects. More studies will be required to determine the sleep advantages of various diets and to compare the impact of those diets on sleep.

Because of the impact of dietary changes on multiple physiological systems, it’s critical for anybody thinking about starting a new diet to consult with a doctor or nutritionist who can go through their nutrition plan and its advantages and drawbacks in their scenario.

What if You Eat Right Before Bed?

Eating right before going to bed may affect your sleep while your digestive system processes your food.

It is better to avoid large meals at night. If you must have a large meal, do it in the middle of the day. You’re less likely to retain the excess calories as fat since your body will have more time to burn them off and less heartburn.

Because there is no gravity to keep your stomach acid down, lying flat makes heartburn worse. In certain situations, stomach acid can splash up the larynx and trigger an airway spasm. Nobody dies as a result of this, but it is terrifying and not very pleasant.

If you suffer nighttime heartburn, consult your doctor about lifestyle changes or heartburn medicines to alleviate your symptoms.

How to Improve Your Nutrition and Sleep

Talking with your doctor is a good start if you want to improve your sleep and learn how nutrition can affect your sleep patterns. Your doctor can help you discover sleep impediments, such as probable sleep disorders, and propose a dietary plan that is right for you.

Most people may improve quality sleep by altering their bedroom atmosphere and sleeping habits, such as going to bed at the same time every night. This is referred to as sleep hygiene, a crucial aspect of keeping consistent sleep a part of your daily routine.

Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is essential to good sleep hygiene, and many individuals find that it helps them avoid pushing their bedtime later and later. According to research published in Sleep Foundation, a late sleep pattern is associated with a higher risk of weight gain, making this step potentially beneficial for sleep and nutrition.

Another aspect of sleep hygiene is giving yourself plenty of time to relax and prepare for bed. This includes avoiding foods and drinks that might be associated with sleep disturbances, such as caffeinated beverages or spicy foods. Eating late at night, which can interfere with sleep, has also been linked to weight gain.

Other sleep hygiene benefits include keeping your bedroom dark and quiet, avoiding computer and other device time for an hour or more before bed, having a comfortable mattress and bedding, and attempting to get at least some sun exposure and moderate exercise every day.

Sleep Deprivation’s Immediate Effects

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one-third of Americans do not get enough sleep each night. Not enough sleep meaning adults with short sleep duration getting less than 7 hours every day. Around 40% of individuals report falling asleep inadvertently during the day at least once a month, and up to 70 million Americans suffer persistent sleep issues. Because of the public health impact associated with poor sleep health, getting enough sleep for children and adults was included in the Healthy People 2020 goals.

Sleep helps you process your ideas throughout the day and retain memories, so not getting enough of it can make it difficult to focus, affect energy levels, and think effectively. During the day, you may feel weary, angry, or nervous. Work or school performance may deteriorate as a result. Your response time may be delayed, increasing the likelihood of a car collision.

Inadequate sleep and insomnia in children can cause concentration, behavior issues, and hyperactivity. Sleep deprivation can impair focus and attention in the elderly, increasing the risk of falls, bone fractures, and automobile accidents.

There are various reasons why people may not get enough sleep:

  • Poor bed habits such as using screens late at night, drinking caffeine at night, and not following a normal sleep schedule.
  • Your sleeping environment is too noisy, too bright, or otherwise unsuitable.
  • You try to sleep outside your body’s normal circadian rhythm (working the night shift and trying to sleep more during the day).
  • You have a sleep disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder, or insomnia which interferes with deep or REM sleep or causes you to wake up frequently.
  • Dietary issues where your food intake and lack of healthy eating has an effect on getting good sleep.

If you have a medical condition that causes frequent awakenings, such as heart, lung, kidney problems, or persistent discomfort, consult a doctor on what aspects of sleep medicine can help you.

Sleep Deprivation and Disease Risk

If you continue to be sleep deprived, you will develop concentration issues and a rise in cortisol, which is associated with increased stress and weight. Obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and even premature mortality are all increased by a lack of sleep.

Foods & Drinks Associated with Disrupted Sleep Duration

Avoid these foods for a good night’s sleep and a better dietary intake:

Acidic foods: Reflux can be triggered by even nutritious foods such as onions, tomatoes, garlic, citrus fruits, dark chocolate, and peppermint.

Caffeine: Caffeinated beverages are also a problem, so avoid them after 2 p.m. Caffeine-containing foods and beverages to avoid include chocolate, coffee or chocolate-flavored pastries, soda, and even decaf coffee.

Foods high in fat: Butter, cheese, fatty cuts of meat, and anything fried are examples of high-fat foods.

Spicy dishes and condiments: Avoid spicy foods and sauces to lower your risk of heartburn.

Best foods and drinks to consume for sleep quality


Turkey is both tasty and healthy and part of a low fat diet.

It’s heavy in protein, with roasted turkey delivering over 8 grams per ounce (28 grams). Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and controlling hunger.

Turkey is also a good source of a few vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin and phosphorus. It is a good source of selenium, with a 3-ounce serving supplying 56% of the Daily Value (DV).

Turkey contains a few characteristics that explain why some individuals feel tired after eating it to to the tryptophan content promoting drowsiness. The amino acid tryptophan boosts the generation of melatonin.

Turkey’s protein content may also be related to its potential to produce sleepiness. There is evidence that eating modest amounts of protein before bedtime is connected with improved sleep quality, including fewer waking up at night.

More study is needed to validate turkey’s possible impact on sleep improvement.


Almonds are a kind of nut that provides several health advantages.

They’re a great source of several nutrients, as 1 ounce of dry nuts supplies 18% of an adult’s daily phosphorus needs and 23% of riboflavin needs.

An ounce also offers 25% of men’s daily manganese requirements and 31% of women’s daily manganese requirements.

Regular consumption of almonds has been linked to a decreased risk of a few chronic illnesses, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This is due to their high monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and fiber levels.

Antioxidants may shield your cells from the damaging inflammation that contributes to certain chronic illnesses.

Almonds have also been linked to improved sleep quality. This is because almonds contain the hormone melatonin, like numerous other nuts. Melatonin is a hormone that adjusts your internal sleep clock and alerts your body to get ready to sleep.

Almonds are also a good source of magnesium, delivering 19% of your daily requirements in only 1 ounce. Consuming enough magnesium may improve quality sleep, especially for people with insomnia.

The capacity of magnesium to decrease inflammation is suggested to have a part in promoting sleep. It may also help lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone that is known to disrupt sleep.

Nonetheless, research on almonds and sleep is limited.

One study examined what happened when rats were given 400 milligrams of almond extract. It was discovered that the rats slept for a longer period and deeper after taking the almond extract.

Almonds’ potential sleep-related benefits are encouraging, but more comprehensive human investigations are required.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) portion, or roughly a handful, of almonds before bed should suffice to see if they influence your sleep quality.

In addition, a glass of almond milk before bed appears to be associated with better sleep. The protein and melatonin in almond milk is a way to fill up on something light and healthy without consuming too much.

White rice

White rice is a grain commonly consumed in many nations as a staple diet.

The primary distinction between white and brown rice is that white rice has been stripped of its bran and germ. As a result, it has less fiber, minerals, and antioxidants that wind up as part of the meal.

Nonetheless, white rice has a good number of vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet.

A 4-ounce (79-gram) portion of white rice offers 19% of your daily folate needs. It also delivers 21% of men’s daily thiamine requirements and 22% of women’s daily thiamine requirements.

A 4-ounce (79-gram) portion of long-grain white rice contains 13% of your daily manganese requirement.

White rice has a high carbohydrate content, with 22 grams in a 4-ounce (79-gram) portion. Its high glycemic index is due to its carbohydrate load and lack of fiber (GI). The glycemic index measures how rapidly a meal raises blood sugar.

Eating meals with a high GI, such as white rice, at least 1 hour before bedtime may enhance sleep quality.

Despite the possible significance of white rice in aiding sleep, it is best ingested in moderation due to its low fiber and vitamin content.


Passionflower tea is another herbal tea that has traditionally been used to cure various health issues.

It is high in flavonoid antioxidants. Flavonoid antioxidants are associated with their ability to reduce inflammation, promote immunological function, and lower the risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, passionflower tea has been examined for its ability to alleviate anxiety in adults.

Apigenin, an antioxidant, may be responsible for passionflower’s anxiety-reducing properties. Apigenin has a calming impact on the brain by attaching to specific receptors.

In addition, there is some evidence that passionflower promotes the creation of the brain chemical gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA inhibits the action of other brain chemicals that cause stress, such as glutamate.

Because of the relaxing characteristics of passionflower tea, it may be helpful to consume it before going to bed.

More study is required to discover whether passionflower aids in sleep in adults.


Chamomile tea is an immensely popular herbal beverage with several health advantages.

It’s famous for its flavones included in the plant. Flavones are a type of antioxidant that reduces inflammation linked to chronic illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.

Drinking this tea may also enhance your immune system, alleviate anxiety and sadness, and improve your skin health. Furthermore, chamomile tea contains unique qualities that may help with sleep quality.

Chamomile tea, in particular, contains apigenin. Apigenin binds to specific brain receptors that may induce drowsiness and alleviate insomnia. Another study discovered that women who drank chamomile tea for two weeks had better sleep quality than non-tea drinkers.

People who drink chamomile tea also reported reduced feelings of depression, which is frequently related to sleep issues.

If you want to increase sleep quality, consider drinking chamomile tea before going to bed.


Walnuts are a well-known kind of tree nut.

They’re high in nutrients, with over 19 vitamins and minerals and 1.9 grams of fiber in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving. Walnuts have high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper.

Furthermore, walnuts contain beneficial fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid. They also provide 4.3 grams of protein per ounce, which may help with hunger control.

Walnuts may also be beneficial to heart health. They’ve been researched for their capacity to lower high cholesterol levels, which are a significant risk factor for heart disease.

Furthermore, some experts say that consuming walnuts enhances sleep quality since they are a good source of melatonin.

Walnuts’ fatty acid composition may also help to improve sleep. They contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that the body converts to DHA. DHA has been shown to boost serotonin synthesis.

There isn’t much data to support the assertions that walnuts improve sleep. No research has been conducted that expressly addresses their impact on supporting sleep. However, as with almonds, a glass of walnut milk contains melatonin, beneficial fat, and some protein, all of which are associated with better sleep at night.

If you have trouble sleeping, eating some walnuts or drinking walnut milk before bed may help. A handful of walnuts is an appropriate serving size.

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice provides several health advantages, especially as part of an overall healthy diet as part of food intake before bed.

It contains trace levels of a few essential elements, such as phosphorus and magnesium. It’s also a rich source of potassium.

An 8-ounce portion contains 17% of a woman’s daily potassium need and 13% of a man’s daily potassium requirement.

It also contains a lot of antioxidants, like anthocyanins and flavonols.

Tart cherry juice is also known to increase tiredness, and its effectiveness in alleviating insomnia has been researched. For these reasons, consuming cherry juice before bedtime may help you sleep better. The high melatonin levels in cherry juice contribute to its sleep-promoting properties before bed as well.

In a small trial, adults with insomnia drank 8 ounces of cherry juice twice a day for two weeks. Compared to when they did not consume the juice, they slept 84 minutes longer and also reported higher sleep quality when added to their diet.

Although these findings are encouraging, additional study is needed to validate tart cherry juice’s effect on enhancing sleep and avoiding insomnia.

If you have trouble falling or staying asleep at night, consider sipping some acidic cherry juice before bed.


Kiwi is low-calorie and a high-nutritional-value fruit to add to any meal or overall healthy diet.

To eat one fruit offers only 42 calories and a lot of nutrients, including 71 percent of your daily need for vitamin C. It supplies men and women with 23% and 31% of their daily vitamin K diet requirements.

Kiwi has a good quantity of folate, potassium, and a few trace elements as well.

In addition, eating kiwis may improve your digestive health, reduce inflammation, and lower your cholesterol. These benefits are attributable to the high levels of fiber and carotenoid antioxidants found in them.

According to studies highlighted by Sleep Foundation for being able to improve sleep quality, kiwis may be one of the healthiest foods to consume before bed.

Furthermore, their capacity to sleep through the night without waking up improved by 5%, while their overall sleep time increased by 13%.

Kiwis’ sleep-inducing properties are sometimes ascribed to serotonin. Serotonin is a brain molecule that aids in regulating your sleep cycle.

It’s also been hypothesized that anti-inflammatory antioxidants found in kiwis, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, may play a role in their sleep-promoting properties.

More scientific research is required to assess the effects of kiwis on sleep. Eating 1-2 medium kiwis before bed may help you fall and stay asleep faster.

Fatty Fish

Eating fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel are highly nutritious. Their high levels of vitamin D are what distinguishes them.

For example, a 3-ounce portion of sockeye salmon has 570 international units (IU) of vitamin D. That’s 71% of your daily value. A comparable portion of farmed rainbow trout has 81% of your daily value.

Fatty fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, notably eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (DHA).

EPA and DPA have been shown to reduce inflammation when added to a healthy diet. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids may help to lower risk of heart disease and improve brain function in adults.

Combining omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D in fatty fish can improve sleep quality because both have been demonstrated to promote serotonin synthesis.

Males who ate 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of Atlantic salmon three times a week for six months fell asleep around 10 minutes faster than men who ate beef, chicken, or pork products, according to one study.

This effect was considered to be caused by vitamin D. The fish group had greater vitamin D levels, which was connected to a considerable increase in sleep quality.

Eating a couple of ounces of fatty fish before bedtime may help you sleep quicker and improve sleep duration. More research is needed to get a firm conclusion regarding fatty fish’s effectiveness in promoting sleep.

Sleep Deprivation and Eating Habits

According to epidemiological research, a lack of sleep is related to an increased risk of obesity. When sleep-deprived people are given unrestricted access to food, clinical trials demonstrate an increase in appetite and calorie consumption.

There is a propensity for late evening or overnight food consumption and increased snacking. There appears to be a dietary preference for heavier carbohydrate and fat items, which may explain some of the overall greater calorie consumption.

Clinical sleep restriction investigations have also revealed changes in hormone levels that signify hunger or fullness. Leptin is a hormone related to pleasure. When food enters the stomach, leptin is produced from fat cells and goes to the brain, where it instructs the body to stop eating by producing a full feeling.

Obese people may have extremely high amounts of leptin; the more body fat one has, the more leptin is generated in fat cells. However, leptin resistance can emerge when the brain does not receive the standard signal from leptin to quit eating. As a result, an increasing amount of leptin is secreted. Sleep-deprived people had lower leptin levels and higher leptin levels, indicating leptin resistance.

Ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” usually works in opposition to leptin. When someone does not eat enough, it is released in the gut and sends hunger signals to the brain. Ghrelin levels fall three hours after having a meal. Sleep deprivation has been linked to increased ghrelin levels in participants of clinical investigations.

Despite this intriguing notion that poor sleep causes changes in hunger hormone levels, other research has shown no alterations, rendering the relationship unconvincing. Variances in study participants (e.g., age, gender) and differences in how the researchers classified the duration and severity of sleep deprivation might explain the conflicting findings.

Sleep Hygiene Tips

Sleep hygiene is a simple series of techniques associated with improved sleep patterns. Every sleeper may customize their sleep hygiene practices to what works best for them. Positive behaviors might help you sleep better and wake up rejuvenated.

Essential sleep hygiene requires a constant, undisturbed sleep environment and habits. Ideal sleep hygiene includes a consistent sleep schedule, a pleasant, distraction-free bedroom, a soothing pre-bed ritual, and healthy daytime behaviors.

Here are several tips for improving sleep hygiene:

  • Maintain a sleep schedule. Sleep and wake up at the same time. Each night should be the same, give or take 20 minutes.
  • Skip daytime napping
  • Everybody requires 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Naps reduce the sleep we require the next night, which can contribute to insomnia and sleep deprivation.
  • Never nap more than 5-10 minutes.
  • Sit in a dark area if you can’t sleep or find your thoughts racing. Once your mind is tired, go to bed. No TV or internet! You’ll be overstimulated.
  • Avoid activities like reading or watching television in bed The bed is for sleep.
  • Blue screen light might disrupt your circadian rhythm.
  • Using blue-blocking glasses 2 hours before bed improves sleep length and quality.
  • Caffeinated beverages are harmful to sleep. Caffeine’s effects might last hours. Caffeine can fragment and disrupt sleep. Use caffeine before noon.
  • Soda and tea also have caffeine.
  • Avoid sleep-interfering drugs.
  • Air quality can disrupt sleep, maintain proper ventilation.
  • Open a window for fresh air.
  • Use a room air purifier to avoid a draft.
  • Daily exercise before 2 pm aids sleep, but exercising too late can disrupt sleep
  • Don’t work out before bed. Exercise releases endorphins, which can make sleep harder.
  • Maintain a quiet, cozy bedroom
  • Adjust your bedroom thermostat. Cooler is preferable to warmer.
  • Turn off the TV and other distracting noises. Fan “white noise” is OK.
  • Pets that wake you should sleep elsewhere.
  • Darken your bedroom and keep the lights off.
  • Snoring might disrupt your sleep. Explore treatments if you or your partner snores.
  • If you’re a nighttime “clock-watcher,” hide it.
  • Create a pre-bedtime routine
  • Try relaxation techniques before bed.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

As we mature, we require less sleep. Individuals sleep differently. Newborns need 14-17 hours of sleep daily, followed by babies with 12-16 hours, including naps. 10-14 hours are needed for toddlers. Teens and preteens require 8-12 hours a night, while adults 7-8. AASM and Sleep Foundation suggest 7 or more hours of sleep for adults’ health.

Individual sleep needs vary despite broad suggestions. In most epidemiologic research, sleeping 5 hours or less per day and 9 hours or more per day increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Most healthy individuals need between 5 and 9 hours of sleep.

Sleep quality is crucial since attaining the required sleep hours may not be adequate if one wakes up frequently. A common misconception is that “sleeping in” or napping may make up for a late night out or study. Both approaches alter circadian rhythms and may prevent deeper sleep. Increased sleep variability is linked to metabolic and cardiac disorders. Continuously react to the body’s drowsiness cues.


Getting adequate sleep is critical to your health. Several foods and drinks may be beneficial for restorative rest. This is due to sleep-regulating hormones and brain chemicals, including melatonin and serotonin.

Some foods and beverages include significant antioxidants and minerals, such as magnesium and melatonin, which are known to improve sleep by assisting you to fall asleep sooner or remain asleep longer.

It may be better to take sleep-enhancing meals and beverages 2-3 hours before bedtime to gain the effects. Eating right before bedtime may create stomach troubles such as acid reflux.

More study is needed to determine the particular function of meals and beverages in aiding sleep, although their recognized benefits are highly promising.

About the author

Eric Ridenour is a health and wellness writer with a strong focus on sleep and nutrition. With a background in health science and psychology, Eric has a deep understanding of the connection between sleep and overall well-being. His expertise has been sought by various businesses and individuals, and his work has been featured in reputable publications such as Thrive Global, Drug Report, and Authority Magazine. Eric's commitment to promoting better sleep and comprehensive wellness is evident in his writing and consultations. He is a published author working on his second book.

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