The evening meal plays an important role in the quality of sleep, because certain foods or drinks can disturb sleep or hinder rest. It is especially important to take the right portions, so that you can avoid a feeling of hunger and on the other hand do not get a heavy feeling on the stomach.

What’s the best thing to eat to promote your sleep?

  • Foods such as quinoa, couscous, bulgur or wheat germ, as well as legumes, ensure rapid and lasting satiety.
  • If you are prone to bloating, it is better to eat warm vegetables (preferably steamed) than raw vegetables. Carrots, chicory, spinach, broccoli, princess beans… are all very good.
  • Go for lean meat, such as chicken, for example.
  • Dairy products are a useful addition to the evening meal, as they provide tryptophan, an amino acid that promotes the secretion of melatonin. Think, for example, of a piece of soft cheese, goat cheese or sheep’s cheese on a slice of wholemeal bread, or yogurt. Black chocolate is also an excellent supplier of tryptophan
  • The starch in foods such as pasta and rice promotes the production of serotonin, which has a calming effect.
  • Foods rich in omega 3 also stimulate sleep. Omega 3 is found in oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, etc.).
  • Do you like to eat fruits in the evening? Then go for bananas, cherries, apples or dates.
  • Eggs are rich in vitamin B, and vitamin B also promotes sleep quality.

What’s the best thing to drink to promote your sleep?

It is important to stay well hydrated. Tea is ideal for bedtime. Herbal teas (valerian, passionflower, lime blossom, verbena, etc.) also help you relax.

What’s best to avoid?

Heavy dishes such as stewed or fried food, or dishes with a lot of sauce, can complicate digestion. Especially if you have a sensitive stomach, heavy meals can cause bloating, flatulence or acid reflux. In addition, an oversized meal leads to a sharp increase in body temperature, which is not good for falling asleep. You should also avoid spicy food, as well as cookies, doughnuts, cake or puff pastry. As for drinking: better not too much alcohol, and of course caffeine.

In general, it is also important not to eat too late, and to leave enough time (two or three hours) between meals and the time to go to bed.

Elena Mars

Born in London, England and raised in Orlando, FL, Elena graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelors' degree in Health Sciences. She later received her masters' in Creative Writing  from Drexel University. She writes part-time for the Scientific Origin and focuses mostly on health related issues.