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Best foods that promote sleep

The Best Foods To Help You Sleep well. Chamomile and warm milk are not the only products capable of soothing us and stimulating sleep. Discover other foods whose nutrients promote the production of sleep hormones or biological clock regulators.
While you've probably heard of the soothing properties of chamomile, as well as the sleep hormone regulating power of milk, other foods can also help you sleep well. Omega-3 in oily fish with tryptophan in honey. Incorporate them into your diet, and you won't need to count sheep anymore.

Foods that help you sleep

Foods that help you sleep

What foods to avoid at night to sleep well?

We know that sleep is an essential function of our organism, and it allows us to stay healthy and perform our daily tasks without (too) much difficulty. But it is not always easy to enjoy this activity as much as we want. A certain diet can help us promote good sleep and avoid insomnia that ruins our lives.
On the other hand, other foods affect the quality of our sleep. Before knowing what to eat to sleep well, discover the products to avoid for a good night's sleep.

Fat food

To sleep well, forget about pizzas, burgers, cold cuts, fatty meats, crisps and industrial cakes. "A diet that is too fatty changes the body's sensitivity to a hormone, orexin (or hypocretin), which stimulates wakefulness and contributes to the desire to eat," explains the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance. (INVS) in its article "Sleep and Food - Eating well to sleep well" (Source 1). During the day, excessive consumption of fatty foods promotes drowsiness. Consumed in the evening, fatty foods are difficult to digest and lead to sleep fragmentation.


Present in coffee, tea, chocolate and most energy or cola-based drinks, caffeine prevents sleep and affects sleep quality because of its awakening properties. Even if the sensitivity is not the same for everyone, it is better to avoid excess coffee tea, especially after 4 p.m.


If it helps to fall asleep, alcohol also alters sleep quality (nocturnal awakenings). "Alcohol has a two-step effect: first, it facilitates falling asleep by promoting the relaxation of muscle tone, but then it induces sleep instability with frequent nocturnal awakenings and insomnia at the end of the night," underlines the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance (INVS).

Too much protein

Animal proteins have a stimulating effect on the body. For this reason, a small portion of meat (low in fat) or fish should suffice at dinner. But don't overdo it.

What foods to eat at night to help you sleep well?

What foods to eat at night to help you sleep well?

Slow carbohydrates help secrete serotonin.

Slow carbohydrates of the starchy type ( pasta, semi-complete rice, etc.) help the brain secrete serotonin. This neurotransmitter that plays an important role in falling asleep is known to regulate sleep cycles. Fruits, including fructose, assimilate slowly and are also suitable. Eating a salad or soup isn't such a good idea: "Lack of fat or sugar at night can lead our bodies to strategize to tap into their reserves instead of sleeping, and this can happen without you being aware of it," notes the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance.

Chickpeas to help you fall asleep

Do you have a passion for hummus? Good news: it can help you sleep better. Indeed, like other legumes, chickpeas contain an amino acid capable of increasing the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the internal clock and promote sleep. They, therefore, have a relaxing and soothing effect on the body and stimulate sleep. A recipe based on roasted chickpeas or salty (or sweet) hummus will be useful in the evening.

Salmon to increase serotonin and promote sleep

The combination of omega-3s and vitamin D found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel and trout can improve sleep quality by increasing serotonin production. These fish will therefore help you stay zen and fall asleep more easily.

Cheese is a food that makes the body produce melatonin

Any dairy product is also effective if hot milk is part of the diet that promotes sleep. Calcium, which is found in cheese, yogurt, and milk, helps the brain make melatonin and helps regulate muscle movement. While fondue or raclette might give you a bad night's sleep because of their fat content, a medium dose of cheese can help you sleep well.

Honey to increase the production of tryptophan in the brain

Honey increases insulin levels in the blood and stimulates the production of tryptophan in the brain, which turns into serotonin. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid necessary for the synthesis of serotonin. It is present in dairy products in poultry, and it is found in seafood.

Fruits and vegetables for better quality sleep

Researchers may have found a simple solution to help the sandman a little: eat fruits and vegetables. This is the conclusion of a study published in the journal Annual Review of Nutrition.

"We found that a diet high in fruits and vegetables, plus legumes and wholemeal bread, was associated with better quality sleep. ", summed up Marie-Pierre St-Onge, associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York (United States). These conclusions were formulated by analyzing several studies of 400 women, and those who followed a Mediterranean diet had a better sleep than the others. Another study, involving 1612 adults, had put forward that those who slept less than seven hours a night consumed 24 grams less fruit and vegetables per day.

According to the National Institute of Sleep and Alertness (Source 1), foods rich in tryptophan are:
  1. Eggs
  2. Walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts.
  3. Dairy products ;
  4. Certain cereals and starchy foods: oats, soybeans, corn, rye, sesame, rice, quinoa;
  5. Pulses: lentils , chickpeas, dried beans
  6. meat and fish.
  7. The banana.
  8. Chocolate (but watch out for the caffeine it contains).
Another remedy for insomnia: is magnesium, which calms nervous tension and promotes relaxation of the body. It is present in nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc.) and dried fruits (prunes, dried apricots, etc.). You should also know that a magnesium deficiency can cause insomnia.
Group B vitamins contribute to the good condition of our nervous system: they are found in whole grains and leafy green vegetables.

Fruits that help you sleep

Almonds to eat before sleeping to calm down
A handful of almonds provides a dose of magnesium capable of improving sleep quality. They help reduce muscle and nerve function in our brain while stabilizing our heart rate. This dried fruit would also contain melatonin. Do not hesitate to consume it during the day or in the evening for dessert.

Kiwis among the diet to better regulate your sleep at night

As surprising as it may seem, this little fruit can help you fall asleep and have a good night's sleep, thanks to its serotonin content. Therefore, one or two kiwis before going to bed would be highly recommended.

Mistakes to avoid at the table to fall asleep easily

Certain foods influence sleep. Mistakes to avoid and typical menus to adopt in winter to have less trouble falling asleep.

A heavy evening meal delays the moment of falling asleep because the stomach will take longer to digest because of the volume of food and because the fats stagnate there longer. It is, therefore, necessary to limit the amount of fat at dinner, visible ( sauces, creams, etc.) or hidden (charcuterie, cheeses, etc.). Note: only the essential fatty acids found in vegetable oils and fish have a favorable role in sleep. They participate in good cellular exchanges, especially in the brain.

Skipping dinner: it is important to have sufficient energy intake to not be hungry at night. A balance between meals that are too copious and too light is to be favored.

In the evening, "do not eat too early (to feed the brain, very active during paradoxical sleep), nor too late (digestion causes a rise in body temperature, harmful to sleep): ideally, at least two hours before bedtime. If you ate dinner too early, have a light snack before bedtime," advises the National Institute of Sleep and Alertness.

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