Eating these sleep-friendly foods can be your path to better sleep.  

By Ananda Eidelstein
Updated March 16, 2018

Oh, sleep. The most wonderful thing in the world. We all know how much we need and how much we are getting (or not). There’s nothing like a night of blissful sleep and waking up refreshed. Sometimes, a natural function as easy as sleep doesn't come as easy as we’d like. You might have heard milk or chamomile tea can help you achieve a state of desired sleepiness. Both hold true: milk contains melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone, while chamomile tea is packed with antioxidants that can make you sleepy and improve sleep quality. But, there are other foods that can have the same effect on shut-eye. Incorporate these into your diet and they too can lend a helping hand.


Just a handful of almonds (about 1 oz.) can provide 19% of your daily needs for magnesium, which can improve sleep quality. It might also help that almonds are a source of melatonin (the hormone that lets your internal clock know when it’s time for bed). Snack on these Salted Maple Almonds and Cashews during the day or enjoy as a post-dinner treat.


This little fruit can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality due to its content of serotonin, a brain chemical known to regulate your sleep cycle. Have one to two kiwis before bed or feel refreshed with these Kiwi-Cucumber Pops.


Digging into that hummus never sounded so good. This legume is a plant-based option for tryptophan, the amino acid also found in turkey that can increase the production of melatonin. Take five minutes and make a batch of this veggie-friendly dip or this dessert hummus (yes, it is actually really good).

Tart cherries

Tart cherries or sour cherries are high in melatonin. Drink a glass of tart cherry juice or enjoy them in recipes from sweet to savory and improve your sleep quality.


The power combo of omega-3 and vitamin D in fatty fish like salmon (as well as tuna, mackerel, and trout) can improve sleep quality since it can increase the production of serotonin. Grab a sheet pan and make this salmon or if you’re feeling another type of fatty fish, this smoked trout vibrant salad will hit the spot.

No more counting sheep.