The food we eat can have a significant impact on our sleep. Indeed, some foods and drinks can help us fall asleep more easily and improve the quality of our sleep, while others can disrupt our sleep cycle and prevent us from sleeping well. So, what are the foods and drinks that can influence our sleep, and how can we optimize our diet for better sleep?
What is the impact of food on our sleep? By Assia B.
Published on 19 nov 2018
Reading time:2 minutes
Which foods to prioritize for restorative sleep?
First and foremost, it's vital to highlight that sleep is influenced by a plethora of factors, with food being just one of them. However, here are some examples of foods and drinks that can impact our sleep:
- Foods high in tryptophane, an amino acid instrumental in the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone): for instance, bananas, nuts, flaxseeds, eggs, dairy products.
- Foods rich in magnesium, a mineral that can counteract insomnia: like green vegetables, nuts, sesame seeds, legumes.
- Foods abundant in calcium, a mineral aiding melatonin production: for example, dairy products, tofu, spinach.
- Foods high in vitamin B6, which aids in producing melatonin and dopamine (a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood and sleep): like bananas, potatoes, avocados, fatty fish.
What elements should be avoided?
It's also essential to be cautious about the beverages we intake before bedtime. Some can foster sleep onset, while others might disrupt our sleep. Here are a few examples:
- Beverages containing caffeine, a substance known to hamper sleep by inhibiting melatonin production: e.g., coffee, tea, energy drinks.
- Alcoholic beverages, which might facilitate sleep onset but can impede sleep quality: e.g., wines, beers, spirits.
- Hot beverages, potentially having a soothing effect and fostering sleep onset: for instance, hot milk, herbal teas.
In conclusion, the foods and drinks we consume can significantly influence our sleep. To optimize your diet and ensure quality sleep, it's recommended to prioritize foods rich in tryptophane, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B6, and to limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.