Learn which foods may help you sleep better—and which to avoid.
Everyone loves a good bedtime snack, but how does what you eat before bed affect your sleep? Well, it depends. Eating certain foods to eat before bed may actually help you have a better night’s sleep, while noshing on other foods too close to bedtime can upset your digestion and derail your slumber. As a general rule, avoid giving into those late-night snack cravings for salty, greasy, high-fat foods. These heavy foods can leave your body feeling sluggish or weighed down, which is not the most comfortable state when trying to sleep.
Here, Clean Eating host Arielle Haspel recommends healthy bedtime snacks that avoid excess oil and salt. Her favorite foods to eat before sleep include combinations of healthy carbs, fats, and proteins to keep your body functioning at optimal levels. Think whole-grain crackers instead of greasy potato chips, and avocado instead of mozzarella sticks. If you’re craving something sweet, consider yogurt topped with cherries, which contain nutrients that may actually help promote sleep. (If you’re dairy-free, check out Arielle’s cashew-based yogurt here.)
As for coffee, even downing decaf in the evening might take a toll on your sleep because it contains some caffeine. For a better beverage to drink before bedtime, skip coffee and soda and try a warm herbal tea instead. Some teas are actually specifically recommended for sleep, like mint or chamomile. Even if you’re not a fan of brewed tea leaves, Arielle shows a drink that can be made simply with cinnamon sticks and hot water.
If you’re still having trouble falling asleep after tweaking your bedtime snacks, here are more tips for helping you fall asleep fast!
Food and drink that promote a good night's sleep. Washington DC: National Sleep Foundation, 2017. (Accessed on March 8, 2017 at https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep.)
Food and sleep. Washington, DC: National Sleep Foundation, 2017. (Accessed on March 8, 2017 at https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/food-and-sleep.)
Food that could help you sleep. Washington, DC: National Sleep Foundation, 2017. (Accessed on March 8, 2017 at https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/food-could-help-you-sleep.)