Foods that Promote Good Sleep vs. Foods and Drinks That Promote Bad Sleeping Habits

The things that you eat and drink affect nearly every aspect of your life, including how well you’re able to sleep. Sleep, in turn, plays a massive role in your overall health and can affect everything from your weight to your mood and overall attitude toward life. 

The best way to form healthy sleeping habits is to have a healthy diet and avoid or gravitate toward certain foods and drinks before you turn in for the night. 

Foods and Drinks That Promote Good Sleep

Many of the best foods and drinks to partake in before going to bed are healthy and beneficial for other parts of life. In general, most of the best foods and drinks to consume before sleeping will help reduce inflammation, which occurs while you sleep. 


Nuts are full of heart-healthy fats and proteins that will help reduce inflammation as you sleep. Nuts have the added benefit of boosting your serotonin levels and balancing out your hormones, which also help with sleep. Some of the best nuts to eat before bed include: 

  • Walnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts 

When you have the option, you should choose nuts that are lightly salted or unsalted. 

Turkey and Fish

Another good option if you’re craving meat right before bed is turkey, fish, or other lean meats. Lean meats are moderately high in protein, help boost your serotonin levels, and are also easy to digest during sleep. Chicken and egg whites are also good options for lean meats and proteins that you should eat before falling asleep. 

Soothing Teas

One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to drink a cup of soothing tea around an hour before you plan to fall asleep. Tea takes some time to kick in, but it’s an extremely rewarding beverage when it does. For best sleeping results, you should avoid teas with caffeine and gravitate towards chamomile or passionflower teas.


While some fruits are great for forming healthy sleep habits, you should be very selective. Kiwi, bananas, tart cherries, and tart cherry juice are some of the best fruits to eat before bed. These fruits and juices are lower in sugar than other types of fruits, such as apples and citrus fruits, and will benefit your sleep cycles rather than impair them. 

Rice and Oatmeal

Rice and oatmeal are an example of just two of the best carb-based foods to eat before bed. Rice and oatmeal are readily available in most parts of the world, making them a great, basic sleep-food option. In addition to rice and oatmeal, other great carbs that benefit sleep and are healthy overall include: 

  • Whole grain bread
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Healthy crackers 

Great Snack Options

Here are a few ideas to try if you’re looking for specific snack ideas to help you get a good night’s sleep. 

  • A combination of bananas with low-fat and low-sugar yogurt.
  • Low-fat cottage cheese or slices of cheese.
  • Smear some peanut butter on whole-grain crackers.
  • A piece of whole-grain toast with low-fat butter and a cup of chamomile tea.

Foods and Drinks That are Bad for Sleep

While many foods and drinks that promote healthy sleeping habits are good for your overall health, many things that inhibit sleep are also bad for your health. 

Pork and Fried Meats

While pork isn’t necessarily bad for your health, it’s very difficult to digest, so your body will be working in overdrive if you eat it before going to sleep. Fried foods and meats are also a bad option if you plan to get a good night’s sleep. 

Processed Carbohydrates

Processed carbs and foods aren’t just bad for your overall health. They’re also terrible for forming healthy sleeping habits. Store-bought foods like basic kinds of pasta, bread, fast food, and other store-bought snacks and foods are heavily processed and terrible for your sleep. 

Sugary Foods and Drinks

Sugary foods and drinks will raise your blood sugar levels and make it very difficult to fall asleep. Obvious foods like cake, ice cream, and candy should be avoided, but other foods like white bread and processed and refined carbs should also be avoided. It’s important to read the nutritional facts label and ingredient list on anything you eat before going to bed. 

Caffeinated Drinks

The fact that caffeinated drinks like coffee, soda, tea, and energy drinks should be avoided before going to sleep should come as no surprise. Caffeine and sugar raise your adrenaline levels and cause you to feel awake and alert rather than tired and sleepy. Instead, opt for decaf coffee and teas, and don’t drink energy drinks or soda before bed. 

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are another bad option if you want to get a good night’s sleep. Spicy foods are known to cause acid reflux and indigestion, which tend to get worse when you lay down. Therefore, the worst time to eat spicy foods is at night before you plan to turn in for the night. 

Best Time to Eat During the Day to Get a Good Nights Sleep

Generally, you don’t want to eat anything immediately before bed. Each of the foods and drinks that are beneficial for sleep is best when consumed at least one hour before sleep. If you decide to eat something on the bad food and drink list, you should do so at least five hours before going to bed. 



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