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Eat Your Way To Better Sleep: Foods and Nutrients That Promote Sleep

Paula Gonzalez MA, LPC

Information contained in this blog is strictly for educational purposes. Always talk to your doctor before making changes to your diet.

With a busy life and many of the stresses that come with it, there are times it can be difficult to get a solid 8 hours of sleep, which is what most people need. Everyone has different needs for sleep that helps them feel great and function at their highest potential. Personally, I have learned how losing just one or two hours of sleep can throw me off in different ways. If I do not get enough sleep, I resemble the energizer bunny running out of power. A good 7-8 hours
of sleep and I’m ready for the world!

Like many of you, I follow the same advice on sleep hygiene and how to make the environment in our bedroom cozy and comfortable. All of these things are very helpful. But, I noticed the quality of my sleep is much better when I workout and I focus on including healthy foods that promote sleep in all my meals throughout the day.

Health journalist and author Max Lugavere recently talked about the impact of diet on sleep. Our bodies needs several nutrients which helps our body produce serotonin and melatonin to promote quality sleep. This blog covers a variety of foods you can eat to help you sleep better.

Tasty Foods Rich In Potassium

Foods high in potassium are believed to be sleep inducing because they help the body’s regulation process. These foods include bananas, kiwi, avocado, spinach, kale, almonds, pistachio nuts, flounder, halibut, salmon, trout, scallops, Greek yogurt, cooked mushrooms, sweet potato, yams, beet greens, milk, cantaloupe and chia seeds. Click link for chocolate chia seed pudding.

Delicious Foods Containing Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency has been linked to insomnia and several other health concerns. Food is the body’s source for magnesium since our bodies do not produce it. Foods containing magnesium include: Quinoa, halibut, spinach, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts dark chocolate, dairy products, lentils, black beans, chickpeas, artichokes, yellowfin tuna, chia seeds and broccoli. I can think of several tasty meals I can make from this list and this is the short list!


Dehydration is another factor that can reduce the amount of quality sleep you get. According to the National Sleep Foundation being well hydrated not only improves our energy and mood it improves our ability to concentrate and focus. Being slightly dehydrated can interrupt your sleep. But avoid drinking liquids at least 1-2 hours before going to bed. Slumber enhancing drinks include chamomile tea, milk, soy milk, coconut water and tart cherry juice which are all rich in sleep inducing tryptophan amino acids.

Foods That will Keep You Up

If you want to increase the probability of uninterrupted sleep then consider consuming alcohol, caffeinated drinks and spicy foods earlier in the day to give your body time to digest and process them. Many people use alcohol as a sedative because it relaxes the body. Sure, it can help you feel relaxed but there are healthier alternatives. Alcohol has a tendency to raise blood pressure and blood sugar which are known to be disruptive to sleep and sleep quality.


If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, start by taking a serious look at your diet and your lifestyle.

Problems sleeping are often symptoms of several mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression and mood disorders. Symmetry Counseling offers individual, couples and family counseling. Call Symmetry Counseling (312) 578-9990 for an appointment.

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