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What To Eat To Get a Great Sleep

Your diet feeds your sleep cycle-all day long. Naturopathic doctor Kate Rhéaume-Bleue breaks down the relationship between what you eat and how you sleep.

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Breakfast

SLEEP WELL
Vegetable omelettes; yogourt and berries; fruits and nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts); green tea.

SLEEP POORLY
Muffins; most cereals; bagels; pancakes; fried potatoes; fatty pork; juice; coffee.

THE REASON
Processed foods spike insulin levels, causing blood sugar to fluctuate during the day and night. Lean protein, complex carbohydrates, soluble fibre and a bit of fat will promote stability.

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Lunch

SLEEP WELL
Sandwiches made with a whole-grain pita or wrap; salads with beans, avocado, seeds (sesame, sunflower, flax, chia) and mushrooms; fruit.

SLEEP POORLY
Smoked or processed meats on white bread; french fries; refined flour (pastas, pastries) and sugars.

THE REASON
Essential nutrients, vitamins and fibre come from healthy sandwich fillings, not thick slices of refined bread. Nutritious whole foods help eliminate cravings later in the day.

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Dinner

SLEEP WELL
Turkey or seafood; vegetables and rice; soy products; salads with lentils, chickpeas, eggs, nuts and seeds.

SLEEP POORLY
Spicy meals; aged cheeses; onions; tomatoes; potatoes; non-whole grain pastas; salt.

THE REASON
Combined with carbohydrate-rich foods, tryptophan (a natural sedative found in turkey and seafood) converts to serotonin, which induces sleepiness.

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Desserts & Late-night Snacks

SLEEP WELL
Popcorn; oatmeal cookies; bananas and yogourt or peanut butter; cherries; broccoli and hummus; grapefruit; whole-grain cereal with soy milk.

SLEEP POORLY
Milk chocolate; candy; soft drinks; potato chips; ginseng tea; alcohol.

THE REASON
Carbohydrate-loading disturbs blood-sugar levels. Sleep-friendly treats marry complex carbohydrates with lean protein and some calcium, so the brain can produce melatonin using tryptophan. Alcohol can induce sleep, but also disrupt it.