Recipes for restless nights

You stare at the clock blinking on the bedside table. It's 3 AM. Try as you might, sleep just isn't happening. Perhaps you were up late in the glow of your laptop screen, working to a deadline. Or perhaps you have woken too early in anticipation of a big day. Whatever the reason, it was a night of tossing and turning and the arrival of dawn is a welcome relief.


All of us will suffer bad nights and while it's important to ensure that you usually sleep well, knowing what to do when you sleep badly will better support how energised you feel that day (and set you up for a good night's sleep the following night).

Here are three breakfast ideas using ingredients you’re likely to have in your cupboards. Even the most sleep-deprived person should be able to make these!

Eggs and greens on toast


  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1–2 handfuls leafy greens (spinach, chard, or kale)
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil


  1. To poach the eggs, fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Crack the egg (one at a time) in a small bowl and slip into the water. Turn off the heat, cover, and set a timer for 4 minutes.
  2. While the eggs are poaching, pop the bread in the toaster.
  3. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a frying pan on a low heat. Sauté until wilted.
  4. On a plate, lay the toast. Place the sautéed greens on top. Add the eggs.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, mustard if using and a squeeze of lemon. 

Eggs are a winner after a bad night, as they are packed with protein and energising B vitamins. Toast provides quick-release energy; while the fat in eggs is slower-burning. Dark greens contain energising magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. 

Sautéeing them in oil increases the body's absorption of their fat-soluble nutrients. The vitamin C in lemon juice enhances the absorption of fatigue, combatting iron from your greens. And the omega-3 in extra virgin olive oil reduces inflammation in the body after a poor night's sleep.

For variety, trade the eggs for scrambled silken tofu or avocado and tomato.

Fruit-loaded pancakes


  • 1 egg
  • 20g wholemeal flour (wheat, spelt, or other)
  • 20g plain flour (wheat, spelt or other)
  • 45 ml whole milk (or alternative)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 small banana or a handful of berries
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter or 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp raw honey (optional)


  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. 
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk and combine. 
  3. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until a thick batter forms.
  4. On medium heat, melt the butter or oil in a frying pan.
  5. Reduce the heat and add a ladle of batter to the pan. Wait until bubbles form then flip. Repeat until the batter is used up.
  6. Serve your pancakes with your fruits and toppings of choice.

Nothing beats pancakes for that comforting, indulgent feeling you sometimes want after sleeping badly. This recipe includes fruit for a boost from natural sugars packaged in plenty of fibre. Bananas are a great boost of energy thanks to their potassium content, while berries are packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients and antioxidants — blackberries and strawberries in particular are high in vitamin C, which supports energy production. Peanut butter and/or Greek yoghurt provide additional protein and healthy fats.

Granola and yoghurt


  • 1 cup plain granola
  • 100g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 small banana and/or 1 handful of berries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or 1 tsp raw honey (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed or chia seeds
  • 1 small handful of pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1 small handful of raw nuts or 1 tbsp nut butter (optional)


  1. In a bowl, add the yoghurt and granola. 
  2. Slice the banana and add the berries.
  3. Top with your nuts/seeds of choice, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.

Oats are a fantastic source of fibre and slow-release energy, especially combined with the protein and fats in yoghurt, seeds, and nuts. Seeds are absolutely packed with vitamins and minerals, including those that support energy production. Not to mention, both chia and flaxseeds are anti-inflammatory thanks to their high omega-3 content.

This article was published in Happiful Magazine (Issue 77). You can order print copies online, or read the e-magazine for free on the Happiful app.

Looking for more inspiration? Visit our Recipe hub.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 4EN
Written by Ferdia Earle, MRes PGDip BANT CNHC
Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 4EN

Ferdia is a registered Nutritional Therapist and Functional Medicine practitioner, guiding clients on their path to better health and to feeling like themselves again.

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