Five things to eat before bed for a better night’s sleep

·Lifestyle Reporter
·3-min read

Many of us have heard that we should avoid drinking coffee in the afternoon if we want a great night’s sleep, with certain foods also proving to have a detrimental effect on getting quality shut-eye.

But what about the foods and drinks that can actually help us and promote better sleep?

These foods and drinks will help you wind down for a better night's sleep. Photo: Getty
These foods and drinks will help you wind down for a better night's sleep. Photo: Getty

Nicole Stride, a dietitian and nutritionist at WW, says there are some great food and beverage choices that can actually support your ability to get quality, refreshing sleep.

5 Best Foods and Drinks For Sleep

1. Chamomile Tea

How’s the serenity? Nicole tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the dried chamomile flowers used in chamomile tea contain antioxidants (flavonoids and terpenoids) that promote relaxation and sleepiness.

As a herbal tea, chamomile also doesn’t contain any caffeine like regular tea, so is a beneficial alternative to those looking for a warm cuppa before bed.

cup of camomile tea
These little flowers help promote relaxation and sleepiness. Photo: Getty

2. Warm Milk

It’s an age-old remedy for the sleepless, but what makes milk so good for sending us off to sleep?

“Milk contains several sleep-promoting compounds: the amino acid tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D,” Nicole explains.

“Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin plays a role in boosting mood and improving feelings of calmness. Melatonin regulates your sleep-wake cycle and induces that feeling of sleepiness.”


3. Almonds

Almonds contain melatonin, the sleepy hormone, but Nicole says they also contain magnesium and calcium, two essential minerals that help promote relaxation and sleep.

“Almonds are a great healthy evening snack because they are rich in healthy fats, low in saturated fat, and low in sugar. Or alternatively, they can be incorporated into a light end of day meal.”

4. Salmon

“Oily fish like salmon are a good dietary source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and vitamin D, as both nutrients have been shown to benefit sleep length and quality,” Nicole says.

“For more information and exciting recipe ideas head over to WW Australia’s Salmon recipes!”

Raw salmon steak in grill pan
A delicious dinner option that also helps you get some shut eye. Photo: Getty

5. Kiwifruit

Rich in vitamin C and potassium, kiwifruit is full of natural goodness.

But thanks to its high content of antioxidants and serotonin, the happy hormone, kiwis as a fruit or as a smoothie, make a great snack before you wind down.

Bonus Tips To Help You Sleep Better

In addition to what you eat, Nicole says there are many other things you can do to help get better sleep.

Some more tips Nicole has for those looking to improve their sleep are:

● Having smaller and consistent meals at dinnertime and ensuring you eat at least two to three hours before bed means that your body isn’t busy trying to digest your food as you are trying to get some shut-eye.

● Doing two to five hours a week of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise during your waking hours could also improve your sleep quality, by helping you get to sleep more quickly and helping you sleep more deeply once you do. Exercising in the morning sun is a bonus!

● Being mindful and winding down through meditation not only helps you be more focused during the day but also helps in dialling down “cognitive arousal” enough to help you drift off at night.

“If the myriad things you can be doing to better your sleep seem a little overwhelming, you can try apps like the WW app, which allows you to keep track of all your eating, sleeping, exercise and mindfulness habits in one place,” Nicole advises.

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