12 foods to eat at night and sleep better

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What we consume greatly influences the way our bodies work, and few functions are more important than sleep. Read on to discover which foods promote sleep and, as a consequence, help us feel better.

What foods help us sleep better?

The idea that what we eat and drink changes the way we feel and think is not new. Even so, if we take into account the effect of certain foods on some bodily functions, such as sleep, that statement becomes more important. Without a good rest, the mind and body could not repair cells, replenish energy, or release beneficial hormones.

However, like everything in life, some foods promote sleep, while others take it away. Luckily for you, we are going to focus on the former, and list several products rich in sleep-enhancing substances, such as melatonin.[1]magnesium[2]the amino acid GABA[3]tryptophan[4] and serotonin[5]. Below you will find a list of twelve ideal foods as late-night snacks.


Let’s start with pistachios, green nuts from the pistachio tree. But what interests us is not its color, but its content of unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin B6 and magnesium. The latter could be essential to enjoy a good night’s rest, thanks to its role in sleep regulation.

But you have to be careful not to eat too many before bed. Unfortunately, excess calories at night can cause the body to prioritize digestion over rest, which could prevent restful sleep.


Almonds are similar to pistachios in that they are packed with antioxidants, vitamin E, and the sleep-promoting mineral magnesium. But almonds offer something pistachios don’t: They’re a natural source of melatonin, the sleep hormone.

High melatonin levels help maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle, which is critical if you have trouble falling asleep.


It’s hard to imagine a group of scientists coming every year to a conference dedicated to walnuts, but that’s exactly what’s been happening for the last fifty years. Why? Because walnuts are considered one of the most valuable nuts due to their enormous antioxidant activity.

With over 19 vitamins and minerals, walnuts not only strengthen the immune system, but are also one of the best food sources of melatonin.


Highly appreciated for their beneficial health properties, bananas are ideal for a snack before going to bed. Specifically, because they contain two highly sought after substances: tryptophan and potassium. Tentative studies indicate that the former could reduce sleep latency, while the latter is linked to better quality sleep.[6]. In any case, the nutritional value of bananas makes them a great option to take before bed.


Don’t be put off by their furry exterior, especially if you have trouble sleeping. This fruit can help you with its high content of vitamins (C and K) and serotonin, a compound that regulates mood and anxiety disorders. It is also a chemical precursor to melatonin, which supports a balanced sleep-wake cycle. For best results, try eating 1-2 kiwis before bed (skin and all if you feel like it).

Dairy products

Do you remember that glass of milk you used to drink before going to bed? As it turns out, it could have really benefited your dream. Dairy products, such as milk or cottage cheese, are a great source of the amino acid tryptophan. Most of the data on tryptophan indicates that in doses greater than 1g it is capable of reducing the time it takes to fall asleep.

If it’s easy for you to fall asleep, tryptophan won’t have any major effect, but if you suffer from mild insomnia, it might give your body the boost it needs.

sour cherry juice

Although we don’t recommend eating tart cherries raw (they are very bitter), dried, frozen, and juiced taste great. But it is not its taste that interests people, but its nutrients and vitamins. This variety contains up to twenty times more vitamin A compared to sweet cherries.

Tart cherry juice is also a great source of melatonin, just like walnuts and almonds. If instead of eating something you prefer to have a drink before going to bed, tart cherry juice is an ideal option.


This plant contains a lot of terpenes and flavonoids, the combination of which favors a healthy sleep according to experts. These compounds are being looked at further, but one of the most prominent is apigenin. This bioflavonoid might have sedative effects, helping you fall asleep faster[7].

A chamomile infusion can be easily prepared in a matter of minutes, so if you have trouble sleeping, there is nothing to lose by trying it.

Passionflower (infusion)

The second herbal tea on our list, passion flower tea, owes most of its sleep-enhancing properties to a familiar compound: apigenin. Luckily, it seems you don’t have to drink a large amount of this tea to benefit from its effects. One cup per night, for one week, was enough to improve the quality of sleep in 41 participants.[8]. And, like chamomile, passion flower tea is very easy to obtain and prepare.


Turns out, the turkey could be used for more than just Christmas dinner. Turkey meat is rich in protein and tryptophan, although its consumption to promote sleep requires certain care. We already know that tryptophan helps improve sleep quality, but too much protein, especially at night, can wreak havoc with body temperature. If you want to avoid night sweats, stick to just one turkey sandwich before bed.

fatty fish

Fatty fish, or more specifically omega-3 fatty acids, are excellent for combating various health problems. And it looks like we can add sleep to that list as well. Most of its benefits for a good rest derive from the synergistic relationship formed by omega acids and vitamin D. Together, they can enhance the production of serotonin, the neurochemical involved in REM sleep, and a chemical precursor of sleep. melatonin.

barley extract powder

A common ingredient in smoothies and juices, barley extract is considered a very important grain, and with good reason. Science indicates that it could offer many benefits for human health, especially through its influence on sleep.

It contains not one, but three fundamental compounds to improve sleep. With high levels of GABA, potassium, and tryptophan, a glass of this extract a night might be just what you need to fall asleep easily.

What foods should you avoid before going to bed?

So far, we’ve focused exclusively on the beneficial foods, but if you’re wondering which foods or drinks to avoid, the answer is quite simple: just about anything high in sugar or processed. There are some more, but we will see those in a special article. This does not mean that you should not consume any of these foods, but it is important to take into account their effects on your rest. The closer it is to bedtime, the more they affect the quality of your sleep.

Do you want to know our recommendations for foods and drinks that enhance sleep? Visit the Cibdol store to see a great selection of natural sleep products. Or learn more about the importance of sleep and what happens to the body at night in our CBD Encyclopedia.

[1] Meng X, Li Y, Li S, et al. Dietary sources and bioactivities of Melatonin. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409706/. Published on April 7, 2017. Accessed on October 20, 2021. [Referencia]

[2] Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in the elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/. Published December 2012. Accessed October 20, 2021. [Referencia]

[3] Gottesmann C. GABA mechanisms and sleep. Neuroscience. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306452202000349?via%3Dihub. Published April 2002. Accessed October 20, 2021. [Referencia]

[4] Hartmann E. Effects of L-tryptophan on sleepiness and on sleep. Journal of Psychiatric Research. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0022395682900127. Published June 4, 2002. Accessed October 20, 2021. [Referencia]

[5] Ursin R. Serotonin and sleep. Sleep Medicine Reviews. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1087079201901741. Published June 13, 2002. Accessed October 20, 2021. [Referencia]

[6] Keene AC, Joiner WJ. Neurodegeneration: Paying it off with sleep. Current Biology. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982215001402. Published March 2015. Accessed October 20, 2021. [Referencia]

[7] Salehi B, Venditti A, Sharifi-Rad M, et al. The therapeutic potential of apigenin. International journal of molecular sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6472148/. Published March 2019. Accessed October 22, 2021. [Referencia]

[8] Ngan A, Conduit R. A double‐blind, placebo‐controlled investigation of the effects of passiflora incarnata (passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Wiley Online Library. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.3400. Posted on February 3, 2011. Accessed on October 20, 2021. [Referencia]

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