4 Foods to Eat Before Bed to Sleep Better

| WRITTEN BY: Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN
bed with white sheets

If you find yourself hungry before bed, but then have a tough time either falling asleep or sleeping well through the night, take a look at these recommended foods to eat before bed.

Not getting enough sleep has been associated with an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and reduced immunity. But regardless of health problems, let’s just face it lack of sleep can make your whole day harder. If you’re like me, when you’re fatigued it shows in all aspects of your life. If you struggle with getting a full 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night, adding these four foods to your weekly routine may help.

Foods to Eat Before Bed to Sleep Better

  1. Almonds
  2. Kiwi
  3. Salmon
  4. Oats

Almonds Before Bed

Known for being both a satisfying and heart-healthy snack, almonds may also help you get more zzz’s. Like most other nuts, almonds are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycle, or circadian rhythm. Additionally, almonds contain the mineral magnesium, which plays an important role in reducing inflammation and cortisol in the body, which can help with getting a better night’s sleep.

Get your almond fix with a handful of this Maple Berry Granola for a bedtime snack. If you’re looking for a boost to your exercise goals as well, pair it with a little bit of plain Greek yogurt. This can boost muscle protein synthesis for lean body mass gain.

Kiwi Before Bed

Opting for a kiwi after dinner can satisfy your sweet tooth with a nutrient boost. It’s one of the top foods to eat before bed due to its promising effect on sleep quality and duration. Eating kiwis before bed has been associated with falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer, and reducing the number of times you wake up in the middle of the night. These effects are thought to be due to kiwi’s naturally-occurring serotonin, as well as the antioxidants vitamin C and carotenoids. These help to promote sleep and reduce inflammation, which can lead to an overall more restful night.
 mango kiwi kefir lime smoothie image with kiwi, yellow smoothie in cup with straws
Get both a sleep-inducing and gut-healthy boost (thanks kefir!) with one of these Mango Kiwi Kefir Lime Smoothies.

Salmon Before Bed

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, provides essential omega-3 fatty acids, as well as vitamin D. These nutrients are heart-healthy and play an important role in sleep quality. Both of these nutrients have been associated with helping to increase levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps promote sleep. 

Don’t feel like cooking up a whole salmon? Look for sustainably-caught canned or smoked salmon to keep in your kitchen for days when you’re short on time. Enjoy either one on some crackers with a little plain Greek yogurt and fresh dill.

Easily add salmon to your dinner routine with these Super Grain Salmon Burgers.

Oats Before Bed

Sitting down to a bowl of oatmeal before you hit the hay may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to sleeping better, but including oats in your nightly routine may help you hit the snooze button less often. Carbohydrate sources like oats, rice, and barley are relatively high in the sleep-regulating hormone, melatonin. They’re also natural sources of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall health. 

Upgrade your everyday oats with these 6 creative additions.

How to incorporate these top foods to eat before bed into your nighttime routine:

  • Have almond-crusted salmon at dinner
  • Add a scoop of oats to a kiwi smoothie for dessert
  • Pair fresh kiwis with a handful of nuts for a nighttime snack
  • Make healthier cookies with oats and almond flour for a post-dinner treat

Which of these foods to eat before bed is your favorite?

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