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"Are there foods that help you sleep?"

ZocdocAnswersAre there foods that help you sleep?


Are there foods I can eat before I go to bed that will help me sleep?


More important that eating particular foods before you go to sleep (to help sleep) is avoiding certain foods that are known to impair sleep. For example, alcohol is a very bad substance to ingest before bed. Although it tends to make a person sleepy, it also disrupts the normal sleep cycle, leading to awakening in the middle of the night. Similarly, stimulants like caffeine make it more difficult to fall asleep. Drinking any liquids in large quantities before sleeping may impair sleeping by making it more likely to need to wake up in the middle of the night to urinate. Finally, eating a large meal right before bed may make it harder to fall asleep, especially if the meal contains a lot of protein. On the other hand, some people find that eating a small snack before bed helps them relax and fall asleep. For most people for whom this works, the best snack foods are a small sandwich, bowl of cereal (without a lot of sugar), or piece of fruit. The type of food that works for a given individual may not work for another person, however, so you have to experiment. I advise discussing this issue in greater detail with your primary care doctor to make sure there are not any serious issues at hand.

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