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Foods that will cause you insomnia and others that will help you sleep

   There are many factors that may make us feel insomnia during the night and deprive us of a good night's sleep, and the most prominent of these factors is what we eat before we go to bed. There are some foods that help sleep , and on the other hand, there are other foods that contribute to increasing insomnia during the night. 

Foods that harm sleep

Caffeinated beverages

Most of us know that drinking  coffee  at night negatively affects sleep, but it's okay to stress once again the need to avoid  caffeine  before bed.

“Keep your caffeine intake no more than 200 to 300 milligrams per day and avoid it before bed,” says Dr. Lindsey. And remember that caffeine is not only found in coffee drinks, but also in chocolate, energy drinks, soft drinks and tea .

Foods rich in fat

Bad news for some: Eating ice cream late at night can lead to anxiety and an inability to sleep.

"You should avoid eating high-fat foods like potato chips, fried foods, or ice cream before bed," advises Lisa Moskovitz, MD, a board-certified physician.

"Fat takes a long time to digest, which causes the body to stay awake or uncomfortable throughout the digestion process," she adds.

A 2016 study indicated that higher saturated fat leads to lighter and less restful sleep, although more research is needed to confirm this.

The amount of food also plays a role

It's best to refrain from eating large meals towards the end of the day so that your body doesn't have to work so hard to properly digest food at the time when you need to rest and sleep.

Stick to small, nutrient-dense snacks. This will make you feel more relaxed if those meals are rich in melatonin or tryptophan. Here are some great options:

  • Dairy milk and whole grains.
  • Natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread.
  • Whole oats cooked in milk with some dried tart cherries.
  • Yogurt with half a banana and a handful of chopped walnuts.
  • 2 cups of plain popcorn with a little  olive oil .
  • Guacamole and kale on a whole grain tortilla.
  • Smoked salmon and a dollop of cream cheese on a whole grain biscuit.
  • Foods that help sleep

According to the  American Greatist website  , these are the most prominent foods that help you sleep deeply at night.

Turkey and soy

Turkey contains an ingredient known to be closely associated with sleepiness, the amino acid tryptophan.

Research shows that foods containing tryptophan produce serotonin, which may help promote sleep.

Serotonin is one of the hormones that influence our circadian system and sleep patterns.

So if you want a good night's sleep, you may want to eat foods that contain this amino acid, such as turkey, soybeans, and pumpkin seeds, which also contain good amounts of tryptophan.

fatty fish

You probably already know that fatty fish like salmon, tuna, trout, and mackerel have many health benefits. Among its benefits is that it helps improve sleep quality thanks to two essential elements: vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

A 2014 study of men showed that eating fish appeared to have a positive effect on sleep efficiency and daily functioning after sleep.

Additional benefit: Another study showed that vitamin D and omega-3s can also increase serotonin secretion.

Dairy products

Dairy products, yogurt and cottage cheese are sources of tryptophan, and can increase serotonin and sleep.

Whole grains

Bread, crackers, pasta or rice with a protein-rich food, such as turkey,  eggs  or low-fat dairy, may be the perfect combination for a bedtime snack.

“Foods rich in carbohydrates help the brain absorb tryptophan-rich foods,” says Dr. Lindsey Guo, MD.

Whole oats are also a source of the hormone melatonin, which tells your body it's time for bed. This hormone is also found in wheat and barley.


Cherries are another natural source of melatonin. One study found that sour cherry juice is useful in getting rid of sleep disturbances.

And a small 2019 study found that adults who drank tart cherry juice twice daily for two weeks slept longer and had better sleep than those who didn't drink it. It may be worth a try if you are looking for ways to improve the quality of your sleep.

Magnesium foods

Foods that are high in magnesium, such as dark leafy greens and avocados, may be just what you need to enter dreamland safely.

In one study conducted on a group of elderly people suffering from  insomnia , magnesium had a positive effect on the quality of their sleep, such as how long they slept and how rested they were when they woke up.