10 Foods to Help You Sleep

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you might be feeling the effects in more ways than you realize. Poor sleep can weaken your immune system, increase your risk of injury during exercise, and even affect your appetite-regulating hormones. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

However, there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality, including adopting healthy pre-bedtime eating habits. While you may have heard of chamomile tea and milk as sleep aids, there are several other foods that can help you sleep better. In this article, we’ll explore 10 science-backed foods that can improve your shut-eye, as well as delicious ways to incorporate them into your routine.


Almonds are a great source of magnesium, with just one ounce providing nearly 25 percent of the daily requirement for women. Magnesium is an essential mineral that is often lacking in our diets, and research suggests that low magnesium levels may contribute to insomnia. Fortunately, almonds can help improve sleep quality due to their high magnesium content.

Incorporating almonds into your diet can be as simple as snacking on them, adding them to yogurt, or sprinkling them on salads. By doing so, you can increase your magnesium intake and potentially improve your sleep. So, next time you’re looking for a healthy snack or meal addition, consider reaching for some delicious and nutritious almonds.

Tart Cherries

Tart cherries, also known as sour Montmorency cherries, contain high levels of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. In a small study, participants who consumed tart cherry juice concentrate experienced longer and more refreshing sleep. Adding tart cherries to your diet can improve both the quality and quantity of sleep, especially for those with insomnia. Although fresh tart cherries are difficult to find, they are available in frozen, dried, or juice form. Incorporating tart cherries into your diet may help improve your sleep patterns.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are a great source of magnesium, which has been shown to improve sleep quality, especially for those who suffer from middle-of-the-night insomnia. In addition to magnesium, leafy greens are also rich in vitamin C, which helps to reduce stress levels. Some examples of leafy greens include arugula, spinach, chard, and kale. To ensure that you are meeting your daily magnesium needs, try incorporating more leafy greens, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains into your diet.


If you’re looking for a delicious way to up your fiber intake, look no further than raspberries. With 8 grams of fiber per cup, they can help you reach your daily goal of 25 to 35 grams. Plus, a high-fiber diet has been linked to better sleep quality, so snacking on raspberries could help you get a more restful night’s sleep. Incorporating raspberries into your diet is easy – add them to smoothies, sprinkle them on top of yogurt or oatmeal, or simply enjoy them as a snack.


Kiwi is a superfruit that is not only packed with fiber and antioxidants but also contains serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates your sleep cycle. According to a small study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, consuming kiwi may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults who experience sleep disturbances. To help bring on the Zzzs, it is recommended to have one to two kiwis before bed. Incorporating kiwi into your diet may help you fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep.


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a plant-based source of tryptophan. This amino acid can increase the production of melatonin, which can help regulate sleep. Chickpeas are a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes, including hummus, salads, and stews.

Benefits of Chickpeas
Source of protein
High in fiber
Lowers cholesterol
Regulates blood sugar
Rich in vitamins and minerals

Incorporating chickpeas into your diet can provide numerous health benefits. Try adding them to your meals for a nutritious boost.


Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which can help improve your sleep quality by increasing serotonin production. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce stress hormones in your body. These essential fatty acids cannot be produced by your body, so you need to get them from your diet. A 3.5-ounce serving of wild-caught salmon contains 2.6 grams of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, making it an ideal food for stress reduction and sound sleep. Other fatty fish like mackerel can also be beneficial for stress reduction. Incorporating salmon into your diet can be a simple way to improve your overall health and well-being.


If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast option, consider starting your day with a bowl of overnight oats. Oats are a great source of carbohydrates and contain magnesium, which can help you sleep better at night. In fact, a study found that a high-carb diet, which includes oats, can lead to fewer sleep disturbances compared to diets higher in protein or fat. But be careful on the carbs you are consuming as there are negative effects from eating too many refined carbs.

Adding probiotic-rich foods to your diet is one of the best ways to keep your microbiome healthy. In fact, eating a yogurt snack three or four times a week has been shown to increase beneficial gut bacteria and the diversity of bacterial strains, both of which indicate a healthy microbiome.

Yogurt is a great source of probiotics, which are live microorganisms that provide a range of health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. Probiotics can help regulate your sleep rhythms and quality, in addition to things like mood and stress levels.

While it’s easy to pick up a container of yogurt at the store, making it yourself is not that difficult. Homemade yogurt is a great way to control the quality of the ingredients and ensure that you’re getting the most beneficial strains of bacteria for your gut health.

Consider incorporating yogurt into your diet as a tasty and convenient way to support your microbiome and overall health.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, clementines, lemons, and limes are excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to help reduce circulating stress hormones in the body, making it easier for you to fall and stay asleep. In addition to citrus fruits, strawberries and legumes are also rich in vitamin C. Including these foods in your diet can help you manage stress levels and improve your sleep quality.