What and When to Eat to Improve your Sleep

Good sleep is essential for overall wellbeing. It affects your energy levels, concentration, memory, mood and cravings, to mention a few.

When we eat and what we eat can also have an impact on the quality of our sleep.

When is the best time to eat before bed?

Having a small healthy snack before bed shouldn’t impact your sleep too much, unless it’s high in sugar which might give you a bit of an energy rush. Remember we are trying to wind down and do relaxing things that make us sleepy before bed.

Eating a giant meal right before bed may not be the best idea. This is mainly because you might feel uncomfortable lying in bed with a full belly, which could delay you falling asleep. Try to give yourself at least a 30 minute window before going to bed after a larger meal, if you have to eat late at night.

However, going to bed starving may also prevent you from falling asleep so if you do need to eat right before bed time here are the best foods that may help you sleep.

Best Foods to Help you Sleep

These foods have sleep promoting properties which may actually enhance your sleep!

Foods high in Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral  found in legumes, nuts, seeds, green veggies and milk products that has shown to improve sleep quality.

Foods high in melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone which helps us sleep. Melatonin is found in eggs, salmon, tuna, nuts, oats, milk, yoghurt, rice, cherries, grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, mushrooms.

Foods high in protein

There is one specific protein called ‘tryptophan,’ which is of importance here. Tryptophan helps your body make more melatonin and promotes sleep. Tryptophan can be found in turkey, chicken, eggs, milk, yoghurt, nuts, seeds, soy products and even bananas.

Best snack ideas before bed

Here are our best before bed snack ideas IF you haven’t eaten enough during the day and are hungry. Remember to only eat a small amount so you’re not uncomfortable in bed!

  • Yoghurt, fruit & nuts.
  • Canned salmon or tuna with salad.
  • Oats with milk and fruit.
  • Eggs & tomato on toast.
  • Rice cakes.

Check out this week’s rice cake topping recipes – a perfect snack to have if you are feeling hungry late at night.

Rice Cake Toppings

1 rice cake = 1 serving

1. 1 TBSP Avocado & ½ can tuna.

2. 1 TBSP hummus & handful of chopped veggie sticks.

3. vegemite, 1 slice of cheese & sliced tomato.

4. 1 TBSP cream cheese & sliced cucumber.

5. 1 TBSP peanut butter & sliced banana.

6. 1-2 TBSP yoghurt, sliced strawberries & kiwifruit.


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