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9 Foods to Help You Sleep Better

by Relax Melodies
Nov 26 • 4 min read

The holiday season usually guarantees two things: pumpkin spice and a whole lot of eating. Since rest and festivities don’t often go together, it’s helpful to consume foods that will help you sleep better when you can finally get some shut-eye.

Research confirms that what you eat has an enormous impact on your ability to fall asleep and your overall sleep quality. A well-balanced diet that includes particular sleep-promoting foods has even been shown to improve symptoms of sleep disorders.

So, get ready to stock your holiday pantry and fridge with these sleep-promoting foods.

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The top 9 foods proven to help you sleep better


Bananas not only make a convenient daytime snack, but they’re also excellent before bed. Their high levels of potassium and magnesium make them natural muscle relaxants. Plus, bananas also contain tryptophan, which increases levels of serotonin and melatonin— the sleep-inducing chemicals.

Banana pudding pie, anyone?

Warm Milk

A glass of hot or warm milk before bedtime has been shown to promote better sleep. Milk that’s higher in fat is said to induce the body’s production of tryptophan, which supports serotonin and melatonin production to help you fall asleep.

So enjoy warm milk with your holiday meal. However, the research on egg nog doesn’t yet exist.


The beloved family member with a belly full of turkey sacked out on a lounger in front of the TV has become a cliché for a reason. Turkey also contains the sleepy chemical-producing tryptophan. A study showed that eating 300g of turkey a day reduced the time it takes to fall asleep and improved sleep quality.

So enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey knowing you’ll sleep peacefully.

Fatty Fish

If you don’t eat turkey, then fatty fish could be your answer before bedtime.

One study found that eating oily, fatty fish regularly, like Atlantic salmon, resulted in improved sleep. The study concluded that this was likely related to the high levels of vitamin D in fish, which correlates with sleep quality. Vitamin D levels are also associated with melatonin production.


This popular breakfast food also makes a handy nighttime snack. Oats contain abundant levels of tryptophan to help boost the sleep-promoting chemicals in the brain. Add in warm milk, top it off with sliced bananas, and you will be saying goodnight in no time.


In case you don’t feel like wolfing down a whole meal before bed, a surprisingly simple snack to eat is walnuts. Because they contain rich levels of serotonin and melatonin, walnuts have been shown to help promote sleep.


Another light but excellent night snack is kiwi fruit. Research shows that kiwi’s serotonin levels help sleep onset, duration, and promote fewer interruptions.

Maybe kiwi pie will become the new apple pie?

Tart Cherry Juice

Though tart juice doesn’t sound very thirst-quenching, you might change your mind when you discover how tart cherry juice promotes healthy sleep. A study found that tart cherry juice increases levels of melatonin and improved sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women. The conclusion was that it could be one way to treat sleep disturbances.


In news that sounds too good to be true, research says that a compound called theobromine in dark chocolate helps increase sleep duration. And it gets better. The same study concluded that even though dark chocolate contains some caffeine, it didn’t interfere with sleep.

So the science is in … you can rest well knowing that the holiday fudge will not interfere with your shuteye. And if you need an extra hand falling asleep, you can always build a customized playlist on Relax Melodies to go along with that extra piece of chocolate.

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Download Relax Melodies now and join a community of millions of people we help guide to sleep every night.

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