OH-Blog Logo
Person sleeping in bed next to small animal

Get Some Sleep! 5 Foods for a Better Night's Rest

Did you know that just one restless night can set your body back for days? Well if you’re looking to improve your quality of sleep, a balanced diet could be a good place to start! OhioHealth Registered Dietitian Susannah Covey has 5 foods that could help you get the rest needed to stay healthy and productive.

Bunch of bananas with paring knife on wood surface

1. Bananas

Bananas are a great source of magnesium and potassium, both of which can help relax muscles as you sleep. If you’re looking for a quick and healthy food source to help with sleep, bananas could be a good place to start.

Bowl of raw almonds

2. Almonds

Almonds are packed with magnesium and protein, both of which will help you get a restful night of sleep. Magnesium is a muscle-relaxing mineral that helps in regulating sleep and protein keeps your appetite in check throughout the night. Just be sure to practice portion control by limiting your intake to ¼ cup of nuts or 1 tablespoon of almond butter to avoid adding excess calories to your diet.

Glass bottle and cup full of milk

3. Milk

The old saying “Milk does a body good” applies to sleeping patterns, too! Milk products contain tryptophan, a common amino acid that promotes sleep. To make tryptophan more available to the brain, pair with a complex carbohydrate such as a low-sugar cereal, oatmeal or whole grain piece of toast. Feel free to drink the milk warm or cold!

Piece of cooked chicken breast with a slice cut away

4. Lean Proteins

Lean protein like turkey, chicken, and fish also contain the amino acid tryptophan. Pairing these foods with complex carbohydrates such as brown rice or wheat bread can help make the tryptophan more available to the brain.

Cup of tea with teabag in liquid

5. Bedtime Tea

Bedtime tea is a common choice for nighttime relaxation for good reasons. A cup of warm decaf tea can be a good calming and relaxing choice before calling it a night. Just be sure to cut out all sources of caffeine 4 – 6 hours before bed, especially if you are having trouble with sleeping. The more relaxed you are, the more rested you’ll be!

OhioHealth registered dietitians are available to help you make healthy choices and changes in your diet. Contact us at the McConnell Heart Health Center, we’re ready to support you!