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8 Foods That Surprisingly Impact Sleep

8 Foods That Surprisingly Impact Sleep

 

We all know that drinking coffee before bed will make it hard to fall asleep, and that drinking warm milk will help us fall asleep faster —  at least according to our mothers. But did you know that there are plenty of other foods that can impact our slumber? By making a few small changes in your diet, you may not be cured of your insomnia, sure, but you’ll be much better off for it. Check out some of the best — and worst — foods for a good night’s rest.

See Also: A Surprisingly Simple Way to Make Better Food Choices

 

1. Good: Walnuts & Almonds

Almonds contain hefty doses of magnesium, tryptophan and melatonin, a trifecta of ideal sleep-promoting aids. Try eating a handful an hour or so before bed.

Also Check Out: Are Juice Fasts Actually Healthy?

 

2. Bad: Grapefruit.

There’s nothing like heartburn for keeping you up all night, and grapefruit increases your stomach’s acidity. If you’d like to avoid heartburn, stay away from grapefruit and other citrus fruits and juices before hitting the sack.

Related: 5 Crazy Fad Diets (Slideshow)

 

3. Good: Oatmeal.

Most of us only eat the stuff in the morning, but the benefits of eating oatmeal before bed might change your habits. Oatmeal is full of plenty of sleep-promoting nutrients, like magnesium, potassium calcium and phosphorous.

Earlier: 8 ‘Bad’ Habits That Are Good for You

 

4. Bad: Celery.

No, really! Celery is certainly a healthy veggie, but it’s not best to eat it before bed. Why? Well, celery is a natural diuretic, and, unless you want to disrupt your slumber with a middle of the night bathroom run, it’s best to avoid it.

Other Natural Diuretics to Avoid Before Bed: Ginger, Parsley.

More: 11 Surprising Uses for Duct Tape

 

5. Good: Raspberries & Tart Cherries.

Melatonin is a popular supplement for sleep aid, and there are a few, though not many, natural sources of the stuff. Your best bets are raspberries and tart cherries.

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6. Bad: Greasy & Fried Foods.

People who eat fatty, greasy and fried foods in the evening tend to get less productive sleep than those who don’t. Your stomach is working extra hard to digest the stuff, and can lead to indigestion and heart burn. It’s fine to indulge in calorie-rich foods every once in a while, but try to do so at least 3 hours before you go to sleep.

Earlier: 16 Creative Ways to Use Garlic

 

7. Good: Bananas.

With plenty of potassium and magnesium, bananas are an excellent late night snack and natural muscle relaxer. It also contains tryptophan, the same amino acid that gives turkey its famous sleep-inducing reputation.

Also Check Out: 7 Incredible Hikes (Slideshow)

 

8. Bad: Spicy Foods.

Spicy foods will certainly take a toll on your gut, but they also may impact your sleep. It’s best to avoid spicy meals right before hitting the sack.

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Read more: Alternative Therapies, Basics, Cholesterol, Colitis, Crohn's & IBS, Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Green Kitchen Tips, Health, Healthy Aging, High Blood Pressure, Mental Wellness, Natural Remedies, Obesity, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

272 comments

+ add your own
10:42AM PDT on Mar 17, 2015

Interesting. Thanks.

7:42AM PST on Jan 31, 2015

Good to know. Thank you.

5:43PM PST on Nov 26, 2014

I tried oatmeal and I fell asleep FAST!

3:20PM PST on Nov 21, 2014

good to know

3:17PM PST on Nov 21, 2014

Oats definitely make me sleepy....NOW I know why I used to get sleepy in first period at school!Oats for breakfast!

2:57PM PST on Nov 21, 2014

thanks for sharing

6:09AM PDT on Oct 20, 2014

good : lukewarm milk with honey :)

10:59AM PDT on Oct 18, 2014

I made the grapefruit mistake before bed....OUCH!

12:16AM PDT on Sep 3, 2014

Drinking coffee before going to bed doesn't make everyone not go to sleep. . . it depends on intake.

1:54AM PDT on Aug 20, 2014

I'll stick with chamomile tea then ;) Thanks for the article :)

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