The 9 Best Foods and Drinks to Have Before Bed

Written by Brianna Elliott, RD

Getting good sleep is incredibly important for your overall health.

It may reduce your risk of developing certain chronic illnesses, keep your brain healthy, and boost your immune system (12Trusted Source3).

It’s generally recommended that you get between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, though many people struggle to get enough (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

There are many strategies you can use to promote good sleep, including making changes to your diet, as some foods and drinks have sleep-promoting properties (6Trusted Source).

Here are the 9 best foods and drinks you can have before bed to enhance your quality of sleep.

1. Almonds

Almonds are a type of tree nut with many health benefits.

They’re an excellent source of many nutrients, as 1 ounce (28 grams) of the dry roasted nuts contains 18% of an adult’s daily needs for phosphorus and 23% for riboflavin (7Trusted Source8Trusted Source9Trusted Source).

An ounce also provides 25% of the daily manganese needs for men and 31% of the daily manganese needs for women (10Trusted Source).

Eating almonds regularly has been associated with lower risks of a few chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This is attributed to their healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and antioxidants.

Antioxidants may protect your cells from harmful inflammation that can lead to these chronic diseases (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

It’s been claimed that almonds may help boost sleep quality as well. This is because almonds, along with several other types of nuts, are a source of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates your internal clock and signals your body to prepare for sleep (13Trusted Source).

Almonds are also an excellent source of magnesium, providing 19% of your daily needs in only 1 ounce. Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium may help improve sleep quality, especially for those who have insomnia (6Trusted Source14Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

Magnesium’s role in promoting sleep is thought to be related to its ability to reduce inflammation. Additionally, it may help reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to interrupt sleep (6Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

Yet, despite this, research on almonds and sleep is sparse.

One study examined the effects of feeding rats 400 milligrams (mg) of almond extract. It found that the rats slept longer and more deeply than they did without consuming almond extract (16).

The potential sleep-related effects of almonds are promising, but more extensive human studies are needed.

If you want to eat almonds before bed to determine if they affect your sleep quality, a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving, or about a handful, should be adequate.

SUMMARY

Almonds are a source of melatonin and the sleep-enhancing mineral magnesium, two properties that may make them a great food to eat before bed.

2. Turkey

Turkey is delicious and nutritious.

It’s high in protein, with roasted turkey providing almost 8 grams of protein per ounce (28 grams). Protein is important for keeping your muscles strong and regulating your appetite (17Trusted Source18).

Additionally, turkey is a modest source of a few vitamins and minerals, such as riboflavin and phosphorus. It’s an excellent source of selenium, with a 3-ounce serving providing 56% of the Daily Value (DV) (19Trusted Source).

Turkey has a few properties that explain why some people become tired after eating it or think it encourages sleepiness. Most notably, it contains the amino acid tryptophan, which increases the production of melatonin (20Trusted Source21).

The protein in turkey may also contribute to its ability to promote tiredness. There’s evidence that consuming moderate amounts of protein before bed is associated with better sleep quality, including less waking up throughout the night (22Trusted Source).

More research is necessary to confirm turkey’s potential role in improving sleep.

SUMMARY

Turkey may be a great food to eat before bed due to its high amounts of protein and tryptophan, both of which may induce tiredness.

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