These foods fill you up and let you get a good night’s sleep

If you want good overall health, then you’ve got to get enough sleep. It’s crucial. The fact is, modern science continues to show that when you get a good night’s sleep consistently, your risk for developing chronic illnesses goes down.

Moreover, getting enough sleep boosts your immune system and helps keep your brain healthy. It’s recommended that you get around seven to nine hours of sleep a night. That sleep should remain uninterrupted if at all possible (Those of you with babies and toddlers know this can be a tall order to fill.) The truth is, though, many people find it hard to sleep through the night even when they don’t have kids.

However, some strategies can help you get the rest you need. Some of these strategies include choosing the right kinds of food for a good night’s sleep.

Below, we’ll go over six of the best food options for better sleep.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels


Let’s talk turkey, shall we? Certain animal proteins like turkey and fatty fish help create that tired feeling you may have gotten after eating a big meal. You know, such as at Thanksgiving.

When you eat turkey, you ingest about 8 grams of protein for every ounce (29 grams) that you eat. The protein in turkey aids in appetite regulation, and it is also essential for the health of your body’s muscles.

However, it is the fact that turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan that is important for sleep. This is vital since tryptophan increases your body’s melatonin production, which is commonly called the “sleep hormone.”

Your body produces it naturally when the light begins to dim and day turns into night. Some medical sources link better sleep quality with eating a moderate amount of protein, such as turkey, before bed.

Fatty fish

Besides turkey, fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, tuna, and trout can also make you feel sleepy. They’re also super good for you because they’re full of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, the omega-3 acids in fatty fish are thought to help protect against heart disease, and it’s known that they help reduce overall inflammation.

Now, both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids help increase the body’s serotonin production, which some research shows is necessary for sleep.

White rice

White rice is a grain that contains very few nutrients that your body needs. Folate and thiamine are among those few. Yet, it’s the high carbohydrate content and white rice’s high glycemic index that are thought to help improve your sleep if eaten about an hour before going to bed.

Chamomile tea

Suppose you want to improve the quality of your sleep. In that case, chamomile tea is something you should definitely try. There are a variety of health benefits outside of deep, restful sleep associated with drinking this kind of tea, too.

For example, chamomile tea contains flavones, a type of antioxidant that reduces inflammation. Some research has also shown that chamomile tea might boost your immune system, improve your skin’s health, and lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.

However, when it comes to sleep, chamomile tea helps because it contains an antioxidant known as apigenin. This antioxidant then binds to specific receptors in the brain. Science shows that when apigenin attaches to those receptors, insomnia is reduced, and feelings of sleepiness are enhanced.


Eating a handful or so of walnuts before going to bed might be just the thing you need to induce a peaceful slumber. This is because walnuts, which are a type of tree nut, contain a lot of melatonin.

Not only do walnuts contain melatonin, but they also have omega-3 fatty acids, as fatty fish do. Since they have some of the very same chemicals that both turkey and fatty fish do, and those food options have been shown to promote sleep, it’s theoretically possible that walnuts will do the same thing.

Photo by Kafeel Ahmed from Pexels


Almonds are another type of tree nut that may help you sleep better after eating them. They contain nutrients like riboflavin, manganese, and phosphorus. They’ve been shown to help reduce the overall risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, they’re known to have high levels of antioxidants, monounsaturated fats, and fiber.

Like walnuts, almonds also contain melatonin, which, as noted several times already, may help improve the quality of your sleep by regulating your body’s internal clock.

Final thoughts

Your sleep can be affected by many different factors. Various chemicals found in certain foods are some of them. These chemicals, such as melatonin, help to control your sleep cycle.

Studies have shown that food that helps sleep includes different animal protein types such as turkey, fatty fish, certain tree nuts, and some types of tea.

Although not mentioned above, some people like to drink juices before going to bed. Not all juices are conducive to sleep, so it’s good to know which juice is good before sleep. Like many of the food options on this list, tart cherry juice contains melatonin and may be the best juice to drink before heading off to bed.

Editors' Recommendations