Photo: Roman Samborskyi via 123RF

Everyone has heard the myth that a warm glass of milk inhibits sleep. If you have insomnia issues, you likely know that hot dairy isn’t always the best pre-bed-time ritual for a good night’s sleep. 

But what is a good night’s sleep? Sleep Foundation claims that good sleep includes feeling refreshed in the morning, having lasting energy, being in a good mood, and feeling clear-headed. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke also claims that studies have shown sleep can remove toxins in your brain. This cleanse is especially important for your later neurological health. Insufficient sleep can reverse one or all of those benefits. 

Sleep Foundation states that numerous scientific studies have shown how food and sleep can be interconnected. Although there is little conclusive evidence, studies have given insight into which foods have aided in helping test subjects sleep better. 

This article comprehensively lists all the bedtime snacks to try before hitting the lights for a longer, deeper, and healthier sleep!

Almonds

Almonds are one of nature’s healthiest snacks. Believe it or not, just one ounce of almonds provides a quarter or more of the average person’s required magnesium, phosphorus, and riboflavin intake. Almonds are also an essential source of melatonin (the hormone that lets your body know when it’s time to hit the hay). 

Healthline claims that sleep researchers conducted an experiment in which rats were fed 400 mg of almond extract while others were not. Evidence found that the rats that were given almond extract slept longer and more deeply. Of course, rats and people are different species, and no evidence-based conclusion was reached on whether or not almonds will improve or aid humans’ sleep. But, it’s worth a shot to find out. 

Kiwi

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, especially in the late night hours, New Zealand’s sweet, green fruit makes the list of pre-bedtime snacks that promote a better night’s sleep! Kiwi is jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins C, E, potassium, and folate, both beneficial to your immune system and necessary for a healthy diet. 

Sleep Foundation doesn’t have conclusive research as to why kiwis are helpful to healthy sleep. But the foundation did quote a study in which subjects who ate two kiwis before sleep found themselves to have slept longer and felt better rested than the control group. What better excuse to end your day on a delicious note?

Photo: Sofiia Shunkina via 123RF

Turkey

It is safe to assume that many Americans know the post-Thanksgiving meal sleepiness well. Luckily, that blissful, gratitude-stuffed turkey feeling can still have the same effect beyond the holidays. Healthline accredits studies showing how a protein-packed bedtime snack can lead to a longer and deeper night’s sleep. 

Turkey is high in protein, with more than eight grams per ounce. Plus, Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which has links to producing the previously mentioned melatonin. So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, try nibbling on a delicious piece of turkey — you might even add this snack to your nightly routine.

Rice

Although this popular dish isn’t usually associated with nightly snacking, you’d be surprised at just how much its nutrients increase the quality of your sleep. Sleep Foundation mentions a study on adults from Japan: Some ate rice before sleeping, and some ate pasta or bread. It notes that this study alone is not conclusive to any hypothesis. However, it does support a previous study that found consuming anything with a high glycemic index count before falling asleep can improve an individual’s sleep quality. 

Conversely, foods with a high density of carbohydrates like soda or sugar products have been linked to worse sleep — a strange contradiction for a seemingly easy solution to better sleep. So, researchers estimate that the additional consumed foods accompanying carbohydrates might contribute to better sleep. Whatever it may be, it’s always good to have a reason to enjoy a delicious, steaming bowl of rice!

Overall, it is hard to conclude why certain foods are better than others when considering their effect on your sleep. However, these foods contain nutrients that can only boost your overall health, which might boost your sleep quality. No matter what, these late-night snacks are worth a go!