What you eat may be affecting how you sleep

What you eat may be affecting how you sleep

You might drink coffee and eat a nutritious breakfast to help wake up in the morning, but are there certain foods that help you sleep?

A health.com video suggests foods like cherries, bananas and cereal could help you get a good night’s sleep.

“These foods can all be part of a healthy diet,” says Dana Artinyan, registered dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “Nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, dairy and high-fiber starchy foods like sweet potatoes and whole grain cereals support better health, which may in turn promote better sleep.”

While the foods featured in the video are said to have sleep-promoting ingredients like melatonin, magnesium and potassium for muscle relaxation, Artinyan says healthy eating is the best way to promote sleep through your diet.

“There are not necessarily specific foods that will dramatically change the way you sleep,” says Artinyan. “The cumulative effect of diet and exercise is what is most important.”

And have you ever heard it’s not healthy to eat right before bed? Artinyan says that’s partially true, but not completely.

“It’s best not to have a large meal before bed, but also important not to skip meals,” says Artinyan. “For meals eaten close to bedtime, lighten things up with vegetables, a lean protein and a small amount of high-fiber carbohydrates, like beans or a small sweet potato.”

For better sleep, Artinyan also recommends being active during the day, practicing stress management and avoiding alcohol close to bedtime, as it can interfere with REM sleep.

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About the Author

Brittany Hunter
Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter, health enews contributor, is a specialist of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. She has a degree in Journalism from Ohio University and experience in communications, marketing and public strategies. She loves going to concerts, reading and exploring the city.