PSA to all foodies:

You now have a great excuse to delve into some yummy eats.

Before you get too excited, it’s not necessarily what you think. There are certain food and drinks that have sleep-inducing chemical compounds. But this doesn’t grant permission for a full-blown feast right before you go to bed. In fact, that could interfere with your sleep cycle and quality more.

What you want to do is incorporate the below food and drinks into your dinner and post-dinner treat in the evening. Ingredients that can be found throughout include melatonin, magnesium, calcium, tryptophan and more. All-natural hormones and vitamins like these are proven to promote rest and muscle relaxation.

After including more of these foods and drinks into your diet, you may notice improved ease in falling asleep and as a result, more restful nights!

What Food and Drink Help You Fall Asleep Faster?

Almonds on table coming out of jar


Snacking on some nuts in the evening, specifically walnuts and almonds, will help promote quality slumber.

An ounce (1 oz) of almonds contains a good amount of magnesium, phosphorus and riboflavin. But more notably, almonds contain a high amount of melatonin, a natural hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle. Then walnuts are not only full of magnesium, phosphorus and manganese – they are also chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids.

Other optimal nuts to include in the mix are sunflower seeds, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Milk pouring from pitcher to glass

Warm Milk

Did you remember drinking warm milk before bed when you were young? If you did, then just this link alone may bring you back to associating milk with bedtime. Otherwise, milk is full of several sleep-inducing chemicals, including vitamin D, calcium and melatonin.

Even more, warm milk has a high concentration of tryptophan, which can help our body produce serotonin. And healthy levels of serotonin help us get to a blissful state of dreamland!

Baked salmon with salad on plate


Start including more fatty fish into your evening meals because research has determined the powerful effects of Atlantic salmon specifically in helping people fall asleep. This is mainly because it contains high sources of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D – which both produce serotonin.

Other types of fish you can also add to your dinner palette include tuna and halibut, both containing Vitamin B6 – helpful for optimizing melatonin.

Bowl of white rice

White Rice

Because this is already a popular food in many parts of the world, it might not be difficult to add some white rice to your dinner plate. It’s yummy and carby; and certain carbohydrates help your body release insulin and amino acids, except for tryptophan. And if tryptophan is isolated, it will work faster to promote sleep and produce serotonin.

White rice has a high glycemic index which turns your insulin levels higher, thereby increasing tryptophan levels. While white rice will fill you up fast, adding a 3.5-ounce serving to the dinner menu could help you fall asleep faster.

Sliced citrus fruit and kiwi fruit


Instead of reaching for something full of artificial sugars, consume healthy sugars with a fruit bowl – then you’ll slip into some zzz’s in no time. There are a ton of fruits you can mix together: bananas, kiwis and oranges. It’s all tasty, healthy and benefits your sleep.

More specifically, cherries and tart cherry juice are known for health benefits and promoting sleep. A study in 2018 discovered a connection between cherries and improved sleep quality. Tart cherry juice has a high amount of melatonin and has helped in some cases of reducing insomnia. Time to add this to your grocery list!

Roasted turkey on cutting board


Turkey makes you tired! And no – this isn’t just after you’re in a food coma from a Thanksgiving feast. Eating some turkey, even outside of Thanksgiving dinner, can help promote sleepiness. Like white rice, turkey has tryptophan, an amino acid that helps our bodies make serotonin.

Don’t stuff yourself too much, but try eating a snack-sized portion of some turkey to see if you start to feel relaxed. It’s worth a shot if you’re just tossing and turning anyways.

Oatmeal grains


Breakfast for dinner anyone? As it turns out oatmeal is rich in melatonin and increases blood sugar levels, making you feel drowsy. Add some fruits on the side with a cup of tea and you’ll feel relaxed and ready for bed in no time.

Cottage cheese preparation

Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and a nice, light evening snack. It’s packed with tryptophan amino acids and pairs well with some fruits (cherries, kiwis, etc.) to go double duty in helping you fall asleep faster.

Cup of tea and teapot


Okay – maybe this isn’t a total secret, but having a warm cup of tea (caffeine-free) is still an understated sleep remedy. There are several herbal teas that have antioxidants and calming effects, like ginger, peppermint, passionflower and chamomile tea. Just holding a cup of tea and smelling it is enough to fall asleep.

Now you’re in on the secret! If you’re lying awake at night, having difficulty falling asleep, try a variety of the food or drinks listed above.

These foods and drinks aren’t quick-fix remedies, but they all have vitamins, hormones and compounds that promote relaxation and sleep. Just don’t eat too close to going to bed, because you might get some acid reflux – and you definitely don’t want that preventing you from sleeping!