3 Foods That Help You Sleep Better


The National Sleep Foundation reports that up to 45 percent of Americans are getting insufficient or poor quality sleep. Fortunately, eating the right foods helps you get the restful sleep your body desperately needs.

Getting plenty of sleep is a must if you want to maintain a healthy weight, have the energy to get through the day, and focus at work. The National Sleep Foundation reports that up to 45 percent of Americans are getting insufficient or poor quality sleep. Fortunately, eating the right foods helps you get the restful sleep your body desperately needs.

Lean Protein Foods
Reaching for protein foods before bed can improve the quality of your sleep. Many lean protein foods are high in tryptophan — which is an amino acid that promotes sleep, according to a 2014 review published in Current Signal Transduction Therapy. Examples of tryptophan-rich protein foods include chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, reduced-fat cheese, and tofu, notes MedlinePlus.

Complex Carbohydrates
Eating carbs before bed makes tryptophan more available to your brain and promotes drowsiness, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Choosing complex carbs over simple carbohydrates means you’ll stay fuller longer, which is beneficial for high-quality sleep. Try eating whole-grain pasta, brown rice, whole-grain bread and cereals, oatmeal, whole-grain cream of wheat, quinoa, or barley right before you’re ready to crash.

Milk
Milk is a good source of sleep-promoting tryptophan, and the calcium in milk may also help you sleep better, according to the 2014 review in Current Signal Transduction Therapy. The National Sleep Foundation suggests milk with cereal for a bedtime snack to help you sleep well, and Cleveland Clinic recommends drinking warm milk before you crash you get a good night sleep.

Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters
Additional tryptophan-rich foods include nuts, seeds, and even nut-based butter like peanut butter. Try walnuts on your cereal or with yogurt before bed, a peanut butter sandwich on whole-grain bread or pumpkin seeds with soy milk to help you get a good night’s rest.

Fruits and Veggies
While all fruits and veggies are healthy for you, certain ones are backed by research as promoting restful sleep. Examples include cherries, kiwifruit, asparagus, and lettuce, according to the 2014 review in Current Signal Transduction Therapy. Bananas are a good source of sleep-promoting tryptophan, notes the University of Maryland. Because carbohydrates help you get a good night’s sleep, carb-rich veggies — like potatoes, yams, corn, peas, and legumes — may also be useful when eaten right before bed.