Sleepless nights? what to eat to sleep better

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Sleeping can become a problem when we have little time to stop, our diet is unhealthy or we eat foods that can impair sleep.

For bad sleep it doesn't take much. Sometimes, maintaining a certain habit, no matter how small, can ruin a restful night. Sleep well is often the real challenge.

Sleep deprivation is related to the onset of of various health problems:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Arthrosis
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular diseases 

That's why sleep well it is essential for you to have a good quality of life and prevent diseases, allowing you to give your best every day.



Poor diet can be one of the causes or consequences of insomnia. At first glance, the relationship between sleeping poorly and the way you eat may not be that intuitive. So let's explain to you, in a simple way, how it all happens.


These two concepts are directly linked, working like a vicious cycle: lack of sleep can significantly impair your motivation for day-to-day challenges, causing the desire to eat less healthy foods to increase considerably.

On the other hand, the worse your food choices are, the more likely you are to spend more sleepless nights.

Whenever sleep is insufficient, there is a greater tendency to follow less correct eating routines, like:

  • Eat in the absence of hunger
  • Eat emotionally when you are stressed or sad
  • Eating foods high in refined fats and sugars, which are an open door to weight gain

All of this leads to the loss of the balance between the hormones that control hunger, increasing appetite, weight, and the likelihood of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

If you are one of those people with no fixed time for a meal or if you feel that your nights are not of the quality you would like, maybe it is time to rethink your routines.

The lower the quality of sleep, the lower your physical and mental availability. 



The change doesn't happen overnight, but the most important thing is to recognize if you really need to take a break to reflect on your eating and sleeping habits.  Here are some tips that will help you sleep well: 





For your body to function correctly and this translates into better nights sleep, you should favor foods low in calories and rich in nutrients, as well as those that help you have restful nights:

Milk and derivatives

Drink a glass of milk before bedtime can give you a good night's sleep. Dairy products contain tryptophan and calcium, which influence the production of melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep and increases sleep quality.  When melatonin production is altered, your sleep pattern changes and this can increase irritation and sensitivity.


Fish, in addition to being a healthy food rich in essential nutrients for the proper functioning of the body, stimulates the production of melatonin, as it contains tryptophan. Cod, sardines and salmon are good examples.


Turkey is a very powerful food for sleep well, since, in addition to containing a high concentration of tryptophan, it is also a good source of calcium, which promotes sleep quality.


Egg yolks also contain calcium, tryptophan and iron, the three great allies of sleep. Iron deficiency, in addition to promoting tiredness and other health problems, makes your nights more restless, keeping you alert when you should be sleeping and causing drowsiness during the day.


Vegetables are foods that should be consumed daily, as they are the cornerstones of a healthy and balanced diet. 

A dietary routine that includes vegetables is associated with a night's sleep that lasts 8 hours or more. Spinach is a good example. They are rich in magnesium, which is essential for the brain to function properly. When there is a lack of magnesium in your body, your brain suffers, giving you free access to bad nights.


In addition to containing potassium, bananas have a lot of vitamin B6, which plays an important role in preventing insomnia - the word you want to take from your dictionary.

Dry fruits

Dried fruits such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pistachios are a great source of tryptophan, magnesium and good fats. In addition to avoiding sleepless nights, they work well as a snack, in case you are unable to control hunger outside mealtimes. Despite being made up of good fats, they are quite caloric. Therefore, you should ingest them in small amounts.





Certain foods are harder to digest, which can disrupt your sleep routines. However, there are others that may not be heavy enough to make you sleepy, keeping your mind active and awake.

We don't want to be a spoilsport, but we don't there is a perfect answer for what not eat before bed. Still, there are foods you should avoid if your goal is sleep well:


Eat raw garlic before bed it can influence the functioning of the stomach and cause heartburn, which impairs the quality of sleep.

Coffee, Black Tea and Green Tea

These drinks will not help you, as they are highly stimulating, preventing you from relaxing. They work as an alarm clock as they won't let you sleep.

Soft Drinks and Alcoholic Drinks

These types of drinks also stimulate the brain. They may encourage sleep onset, but your rest is likely to be of very poor quality.

It is often thought that alcohol makes you more drowsy, but it actually has a much more harmful effect than you might think. It has the power to “split sleep” because it increases the risk of pauses in breathing and prevents your body from completely relaxing.


Foods that contain a lot of sugar, such as chocolate, will contribute to your having more problems sleeping.

In this case, as your body receives large doses of sugar, it will have to work faster to digest it, making your agitation grow and sleep is no longer the priority.

 Potato and Pasta

Eating foods rich in protein and carbohydrates before bed, such as potatoes and pasta, will cause your body to produce insulin to process them. This will occupy your body and therefore you will feel greater difficulty in sleeping.

Fats and Condiments

High-fat, highly-spicy foods can cause heartburn and indigestion as they take much longer to digest.

As the body will focus all its attention on digesting these foods, the brain will have a much harder time resting and, you guessed it, here comes another sleepless night.



Your habits and routines are essential for success or failure in the most varied areas of your life. Sleeping and eating is no different. You might even think that sleep the siesta during the day it will make you recover the rest you lost, but we regret to inform you: that is not the solution.

Here are some habits that you should follow so that you can say goodbye to sleepless nights:

  • Maintaining a varied and balanced diet
  • Opt for light meals for dinner
  • Dinner early, at least three hours before bedtime
  • Avoid to eat before bed
  • Go to bed early (you should sleep seven to nine hours a night)
  • Respect mealtime:
    • Breakfast: between 7 am and 8 am
    • Morning snack: 10 am to 11 am
    • Lunch: between 1pm and 3pm
    • Afternoon snack: between 4 pm and 5 pm
    • Dinner: between 7pm and 9pm
  • Drink soothing teas before bed or choose one of our aromatherapy pillows to have a more relaxing night
  • Protect your mattress with the aloe vera protector so its softness helps you prepare for a good night's sleep

Basically, you just need to remember that the secret to a peaceful night is knowing what to eat, what not to eat and what habits to follow so that the sleep deprivation don't be your reality.

 To take good care of you, it is essential to eat healthy and get enough sleep... Your daily routines will mirror your nights, so don't forget that what you eat and what you do has a direct effect on your sleep.



  • Muito obrigado Sr. António! Estamos cá para melhorar a qualidade de vida :)

  • São sempre bem-vindas informações úteis para a saúde física e mental. Bem divulgadas e bem seguidas poupam maçadas e dinheiro. Nunca é tarde.

    António Gaspar Martins

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