Eat your way to better quality sleep

It is well-known how beneficial getting a good night’s sleep can be for your health. Studies have shown endless positive effects including improved mood, sharper brain function, a slim waist, low blood pressure and a strong immune system.

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However, due to insomnia and other sleep-related problems, a number of people all over the world are seeing their health and well-being suffer.

While it is important to seek medical advice for consistently poor sleep, the simple act of changing your diet might actually make a big difference.

Try adding the following to your diet to help promote better sleep:


A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that participants who ate a carbohydrate-rich, high GI rice dish in the evening fell asleep significantly faster than those who didn’t. It is thought that large amounts of insulin triggered by the rice increased the amount of sleep-inducing amino acid, tryptophan.

Warm milk

A glass of warm milk – or hot chocolate – before bed is highly recommended for restful sleep as dairy contains the natural sleep sedative, tryptophan. The warmth of the drink is beneficial for feeling relaxed and calm after a long day and will help to prepare your mind and body for bed.

Tart cherry juice

One study showed that tart cherry juice is a natural sleep aid. Participants with chronic insomnia drank a cup of tart cherry juice twice a day and gradually began to see significant changes in their sleeping patterns. The key ingredient, melatonin is highly instrumental in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle. 

Green tea 

Comforting green teas – particularly chamomile flavoured creations – help to reduce tension and relax your mind and body. If green tea isn’t your thing, drinking a cup of warm water with lemon is just as beneficial for helping to promote restful sleep.

Other nutritional tips to aid better sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine in the evening as this stimulant can disturb sleep.
  • Do not eat late at night as lying down with a full stomach can cause digestive discomfort and make sleep challenging.
  • Stick to eating light snacks before bed if you are hungry.
  • Avoid high fat foods in the evening as these can cause heartburn and indigestion which will lead to restless sleep.

To find a nutritionist who can help you change your eating habits for improved health and well-being, please use our advanced search tool. 

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Written by Tamara Marshall
Written by Tamara Marshall
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