women eating in bed

Image credit: iStockPhoto.com / JackF (via Custard Online Marketing Ltd)

Did you know that your diet is one of the main influences on how well you sleep? In fact, it’s a common thing that GPs recommend changing if you’re struggling with insomnia.

You may already know that certain foods, such as chocolate and caffeine, can negatively impact your rest. They have an extreme effect on the body when we’re trying to relax but you may not have realised that certain food types can have the opposite effect.

In this guide, we’ve listed six tasty foods that help with sleep, along with how they impact your body before drifting off:

1. Cheese

Although dairy products are commonly associated with having nightmares, eating cheese before you head to bed, can help to improve your rest.

This is because the calcium within the cheese triggers melatonin – a sleep-inducing hormone that is usually triggered by darkness – to help you drift off.

2. Rice

Rice is another great food that helps sleep as it contains a high level of glycaemia; the substance which makes you drift off in a much shorter period.

Jasmine rice is renowned for being the most helpful form of rice for sleep, so it may be ideal to make this part of your tea, if you’re suffering with a bad bout of insomnia!

Woman with food in bed
Image credit: iStockPhoto.com / fotostorm (via Custard Online Marketing Ltd)

3. Cereal

Cereal is praised for being a great kick-starter for a productive day, you’ll be equally pleased to learn that it’s also a great food to eat before you head to bed!

This is because it combines two food types that calm the body – carbohydrates and calcium. Your body will be working overtime to break down the complex ingredients in your food, making it an ideal snack if you need to munch a few hours before you drift off.

4. Fish

Lobster is a good source of tryptophan, which is a hormone beneficial for sleeping. It’s expensive but if you can afford it, it’s definitely worth including it in your diet if you’re suffering with insomnia!

Other crustaceans, such as shrimp, are also good for sleep. This is because most types of fish contain vitamin B6, which helps your body make melatonin and improve the time you spend snoozing.

Healthy food
Image credit: iStockPhoto.com / samael334 (via Custard Online Marketing Ltd)

5. Oatmeal

Similar to cereal, it’s beneficial to eat a bowl of oatmeal if you’re looking to boost the quality of your sleep. This is because the grains in oatmeal trigger insulin, which raise your blood sugar and help you fall asleep more quickly.

6. Cherries

Fruit, such as cherries, also increase the amount of the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin, in your body. Plus, they’ve been proven to help regulate your sleeping cycle, which is perfect if you’re doing shift-work or struggling to stay asleep.

The best way to get a decent sleep is eating well and having a great sleeping environment. This can be done by ensuring that you have a comfortable, bespoke mattress and bed base to benefit your sleeping pattern and help you to minimise the chances of experiencing insomnia.