Try: Oatmeal or kiwifruit. “There is some research showing that having a snack with some complex carbohydrates before bed, such as oatmeal, can increase levels of the mood-regulating chemical serotonin, which helps induce sleep,” Alexon says.
Kiwis have serotonin, too, and that may be one reason people in a small study (sponsored by a kiwifruit marketer) who ate two kiwis an hour before bed dropped off more easily. They’re also rich in folate, a B vitamin. Low folate levels have been linked to insomnia.
In general, eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, healthy fats, and lean protein, has been correlated with better sleep quality, according to a 2020 study published in the journal Nutrients.
What to avoid: Drinking or eating foods with caffeine too close to bedtime can leave you staring at the ceiling, especially if you do so in the afternoon or evening. Alcohol can disrupt sleep in the middle of the night, and eating heavy meals too close to bed can upset your stomach or cause heartburn or acid reflux, which can also disrupt your slumber.