How to sleep: Three foods to eat before you go to bed to beat winter tiredness

By | January 4, 2019

Sleep is very important when it comes to a person’s health and not getting enough can be detrimental. Around eight hours of good-quality sleep is what’s recommended for the body to function properly. But in the midst of winter the weather can impact how good a night’s sleep we get and how we feel in the morning. To help wipe out this winter tiredness the NHS recommends three foods to eat.

Alongside winter temperatures, shorter days and longer nights, being overweight can affect your energy levels and leave you feeling sleepy.

This makes eating a healthy, balanced diet very important.

The NHS says: “Once the summer ends, there’s a temptation to ditch the salads and fill up on starchy foods such as pasta, potatoes and bread.

“However, you’ll have more energy if you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your comfort meals.”

The healthy body recommends three meals you should eat before bed:

  • Winter vegetables
  • Classic stews
  • Casseroles

It explains: “Winter vegetables – such as carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips – can be roasted, mashed or made into soup to provide a warming winter meal for the whole family.

“And classic stews and casseroles are great options if they’re made with lean meat or pulses, and plenty of veg.”

When it comes to what drinks to have before bed, Neil Robinson, Sealy UK’s Chief Sleep Officer, recommends chamomile tea.

He said: “Chamomile tea increases the levels of amino acid glycine in the body which causes our muscles to relax.

“Additionally, the anti-anxiety effects of glycine mean that chamomile tea is excellent for de-stressing. We’d recommend trying chamomile tea with a teaspoon of honey for that sweet kick.”

Neil also advises eating kale and bananas to help you get your forty winks.


Calcium is a natural sleep aid, which is why a deficiency in your diet may make it difficult to fall asleep.

Neil explained: “Calcium contains tryptophan, the amino acid that your body uses to create melatonin – a hormone that helps induce sleep.

“Not gaining the mineral in dairy products needn’t be a worry as leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are a perfect alternative for your daily calcium intake.”


Bananas are useful when battling insomnia due to their naturally high levels of amino acid, tryptophan, according to the expert.

He added: “In addition to the sedative effects that this produces, bananas also contain high levels of magnesium and potassium which work to relax the muscles, promoting a good night’s sleep.”

Eating almonds, oats, cherries, peanuts and avocado are also recommended as sleep aids

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