13 Best Bedtime Snacks for a Good Night’s Sleep

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There’s nothing quite like a fantastic night’s sleep; not only do we feel better when rested, but our overall productivity throughout the day depends on getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans experience trouble sleeping. 

Your diet plays an essential role in your sleep quality. So, before reaching for a pharmaceutical sleep supplement, check out some bedtime snacks that help you sleep to supplement your diet with their sleep-beneficial nutrients naturally. 

After spending hours reading through nutritional studies and research articles, we’ve curated a list of the best bedtime snacks that may help promote sleep. Whether you’re craving a snack that’ll help you sleep longer and deeper or wake up feeling more rested, these tasty sleep snacks are sure to delight you. 

Get ready to update your grocery list as you learn more about the 13 best bedtime snacks for sleep below. 

1. Chamomile Tea 

There are scientific data backing grandma’s advice for a cup of chamomile tea before bed. Cut the tops from fresh chamomile flowers or prepare a cup from a store-bought bag. Chamomile tea is a soothing and delicious choice for a bedtime snack that can help you fall asleep. 

Chamomile is one of the best bedtime snacks for sleep because it contains a flavonoid called apigenin. Research suggests that apigenin may positively alleviate insomnia symptoms because it can have anxiety-reducing and sedative effects. A warm beverage is a great pre-bed ritual to help you relax before hitting the hay. 

A warm cup of chamomile tea may help promote a good night’s sleep because the soothing feel of warm water, the calming scent of brewed chamomile flowers, and sleep-promoting ingredients help put you in the right mindset for sleep. 

Most people feel the calming effects of chamomile tea around 30 to 45 minutes after drinking a cup. 

The best way to enjoy chamomile tea is by pouring boiling water over fresh or dried leaves and flowers. Then, steep for around three minutes before enjoying as is or with a dollop of honey.

If you’re out of chamomile tea, pick up a box of Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepy-Time Tea. This delicious tea blend includes chamomile and other sleep-promoting ingredients like spearmint and lemongrass. 

2. Nighttime Milk 

It makes sense that moms produce different ingredients in their milk depending on the time of day they’re nursing. However, our removal from the countryside makes it easy to forget this applies to cow’s milk too. Nighttime milk, therefore, is drinkable cow’s milk that farmers harvest at night to reap the sleep hormones nursing cows produce during the evening. 

Research shows that milk collected at night is richer in tryptophan and melatonin than milk harvested during the day. 

Suppose you can’t get your hands on nighttime milk like Lullaby Milk. In that case, daytime cow’s milk still contains tryptophan and melatonin, which promote healthy sleep. One study saw that drinking honey milk improved coronary patients’ sleep status and sleep quality. That’s right, a glass of milk is a good snack for kids and adults to enjoy before bed to help aid sleepiness. 

Just like most melatonin supplements, drinking a glass of nighttime milk can help promote sleepiness within around 30 minutes to one hour. 

Enjoy a nighttime snack by drinking a warm glass of milk, mixing it into a shake with barley grass powder, or preparing a warm Golden Milk

3. Barley Grass Powder 

Barley grass powder is one of the best bedtime snacks if you want to use food to promote better sleep. 

According to one study, barley grass powder is one of the best bedtime snacks that help promote sleep because it contains nutrients like the following: 

  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • B vitamins

The study suggests using powders infused with GABA, calcium, and potassium supports healthy sleep.  

Barley grass powder has GABA, which can help to calm your nervous system, promoting sleepiness by making you feel tired and reducing physical symptoms of anxiety. 

This great bedtime snack also has calcium which plays a role in our rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep cycles and tryptophan absorption. Tryptophan is essential for our bodies to synthesize sleep hormones like serotonin and melatonin. 

Regularly consuming barley grass powder might help you feel tired faster, have a deeper sleep, and make waking up easier. The sleep-promoting effects of barley grass powder may take a few weeks to fully notice, though most experience some effects within the first few days. 

Enjoy barley grass powder in a smoothie or shake two or three hours before bed to give your body time to digest before you rest. 

4. Nuts 

You can go nuts with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews as bedtime snacks to help promote sleep. These nuts, in particular, contain high amounts of sleep-beneficial nutrients like the following: 

  • Tryptophan
  • Melatonin
  • Protein
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc

Alongside the previously mentioned ingredients, nuts contain healthy fats that keep you satiated before bed without vigorously spiking your energy levels. Research shows that eating foods rich in tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin help to promote a night of restful and deeper sleep. 

Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews are dietary sources of magnesium, which is a mineral that’s been shown to help with sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, and sleep efficiency.

Zinc plays a role in the metabolization of melatonin. Since nuts contain zinc and melatonin, you can help your body with healthy melatonin production by enjoying nuts as your sleep snacks.  

Nuts are nutrient-dense foods that keep you satiated without being too heavy on your digestive system. Enjoy a bowl of mixed nuts, with almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and cashews, two to three hours before going to bed to enjoy the sleep-promoting benefits of these healthy snacks. 

You can be as creative as you want, finding ways to snack on nuts before bed. Eat them by the handful or mix them with goji berries, dried pineapple, and cacao nibs. Or, try making vegan nighttime milk from nuts instead of cow’s milk. 

5. Kiwi 

We think that bedtime snacks that help you sleep should also taste delicious so that you enjoy adding them to your bedtime ritual. Luckily, kiwi, or kiwifruits, are extremely yummy. These green fruits with fuzzy brown skin are a fruit native to China and contain natural forms of serotonin and antioxidants. Kiwis are traditionally used to help digestive upset and promote sleep.  

Kiwi is a nutrient-dense bedtime snack packed with vitamins C, E, folate, potassium, and fiber. Kiwifruits also contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes that help promote healthy functions throughout the body, including sleep cycles. 

In studies testing the effects of dietary kiwi for promoting sleep, groups were asked to eat a couple of kiwis one hour before bedtime for four weeks. Follow suit and enjoy a kiwi one or two hours before bed to benefit from the kiwi’s sleep-promoting properties. 

Enjoy kiwi with a bowl of yogurt to pair this snack with the tryptophan in dairy products. Or, add two kiwis to a bedtime smoothie with barley grass powder. You can also enjoy dried or dehydrated kiwi if you don’t have easy access to fresh kiwifruit in your local grocery store. 

6. Oatmeal 

Though oatmeal is usually seen as a delicious breakfast, oatmeal also makes for a great pre-bed snack because it will keep you satiated before bed and is filled with ingredients that may help promote sleep. Plus, oats are a versatile ingredient that you can make into baked goods and raw snacks or mix with other sleep-beneficial foods on this list. 

Oats make an amazing sleepy snack because they are rich in melatonin, adenine, trigonelline, and carbohydrates. Meanwhile, research shows that oat husks can help improve levels of serotonin and overall sleep quality. 

High-glycemic-index carbohydrates, like oatmeal, promote healthy body functions, including sleep cycles. Carbs are a vital part of how our bodies produce and use sleep hormones like tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin. Of course, high-glycemic-index carbs also raise blood sugar levels, so it’s best to limit added sugar with this bedtime snack. 

Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal one or two hours before going to bed to help promote tiredness before sleep. Mix oatmeal with nighttime milk or nut milk to mix the beneficial ingredients from various good bedtime snacks that help you sleep.

7. Pineapple 

Did you know that eating pineapple may help give you a better night’s sleep? Research shows that snacking on tropical fruits, like pineapple, can help to raise melatonin levels in your body. 

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that makes us feel the sensation of tiredness, but using dietary sources to supplement melatonin production can help to reset your circadian rhythm, reduce symptoms of jet lag, and promote deeper sleep. 

Study groups consuming pineapples and other tropical fruits saw melatonin serum levels rise within one and a half hours of consumption. Follow suit and consume pineapple one or two hours before going to bed to get the most out of the fruit’s sleep-beneficial ingredients.

Snacking on raw pineapple is a delicious bedtime treat but if you prefer pineapple juice, look for an option low in added sugars. For those with a dehydrator, snack on dehydrated pineapple mixed with nuts as you watch the evening news or snuggle up with a good book. 

8. Tart Cherries 

Tart cherries or cherry juice is an excellent choice for a nighttime snack that may be beneficial for getting more restful sleep. Tart cherries can help to increase your body’s bioavailability of tryptophan and melatonin production, both of which promote healthy sleep. Similarly to pineapples, cherries have dietary melatonin and are a tasty bedtime snack that helps promote better sleep. 

Try adding tart cherries to your bedtime ritual one or two hours before calling it a night to take advantage of their potential sleep-inducing effects. 

Snack on raw cherries as you watch your favorite show, or add them to a bowl of yogurt, a bedtime smoothie, or in a trail mix with dark chocolate and nuts. If you prefer cherry juice, opt for one low in sugar.

9. Hummus 

Hummus is a delicious snack typically made from chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. 

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a high dietary source of folate, tryptophan, and vitamin B6, which are nutrients needed for melatonin production. Plus, they contain carbohydrates and protein to keep you satiated through the night. 

Sesame seed butter, or tahini, is another main ingredient in hummus. Sesame seeds are high in dietary magnesium and calcium, which aid healthy sleep. Plus, the amino acids from chickpeas and sesame seeds combine into a complete protein, promoting overall healthy bodily functions, including sleep. 

Try eating hummus two to three hours before bed to get the most from its beneficial qualities. Enjoy some hummus with carrots and celery, crackers, or on toast. 

If hummus isn’t your thing, you can still benefit from the potential sleep benefits of chickpeas by roasting cooked chickpeas in the oven until crispy and eating them as a crunchy snack before bed. Season with your own flavors to satiate your stomach and your senses, but remember to choose low-sodium options because eating foods high in salt can affect your sleep quality

10. Goji Berries

Goji berries are tart and delicious red berries native to Asia. These small but tasty treats are packed with antioxidants and are delicious food worth incorporating into your bedtime diet. You might not find these berries fresh at your local supermarket, but they are widely available in their dried form at bulk and health food stores. 

Goji berries might be something to try if you have difficulty falling or staying asleep because research shows that drinking goji berry juice or consuming goji berries can help increase the quality of sleep, ease of waking up and focus during the day. 

Try adding goji berries to your bedtime snacks one or two hours before bed if you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling like you aren’t rested when you wake up. Studies conducted about the benefits of goji berries for sleep reported significant benefits within a two-week period of regular consumption. 

There are lots of ways to enjoy these tangy berries. Add goji berries to a nighttime smoothie with barley grass powder, or mix them into a trail mix with walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and cashews. 

You can also try making goji berries and pistachio granola bars to mix the potential sleep-promoting benefits of oats, nuts, and goji berries. 

11. Turkey 

You can’t have a list of the best bedtime snacks that help you sleep without mentioning turkey. Most people have felt the need to nap on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner; going to show that turkey can help you sleep. 

Turkey is a dietary source of tryptophan. However, most people consume turkey alongside carbohydrates which can also promote sleepiness. While carbohydrates are often associated with spikes in blood sugar and energy levels, carbs help increase tryptophan levels and promote the production of melatonin. Therefore, turkey and carbs keep you satiated before bed and can help promote better sleep. 

You probably already know that within a few hours of eating a big turkey dinner or delicious turkey sandwich, you’ll experience the sensation of sleepiness. After eating turkey, give yourself a few hours to digest before going to bed. 

Try incorporating turkey into your nighttime snacking ritual by eating warm turkey soup, sliced deli meat, or a turkey salad. 

12. Figs 

Figs are a delicious fruit native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. Figs are one of the best bedtime snacks for sleep because they are packed with vitamins and minerals that support a healthy lifestyle and sleep cycle.  

Figs are a source of nutrients that can aid people with falling sleeping, staying asleep, and feeling more rested, including the following: 

  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin K
  • Some B vitamins

This nutrient-dense snack is also high in fiber which helps promote a healthy digestive tract. Studies suggest that diets low in fiber are associated with less restorative sleep, so higher fiber intake could help promote deeper and more restful sleep. 

Vitamin B6 in figs helps our bodies biosynthesize sleep hormones like melatonin. This delicious sleepy snack also contains manganese, a micronutrient that could help with the production of GABA, which promotes sleepiness. 

Munch on some figs three to four hours before bed to get the most out of these nutrient-dense fruits. 

Enjoy snacking on fresh or dried figs or drinking fig juice. You can also try making a recipe with figs, oats, nuts, and dark chocolate for a bedtime treat you’ll be excited to eat. 

13. Dark Chocolate 

Chocolate lovers rejoice! Dark chocolate is a good bedtime snack that may help to promote better sleep. Remember, the keyword is dark; milk chocolate and white chocolate won’t have the same potential sleep-promoting benefits. Why? Because dark chocolate has more cacao and less refined sugar than milk chocolate. Research shows that cacao can have beneficial effects on those with insomnia and circadian sleep disorders. 

Dark chocolate contains sleep-beneficial ingredients like tryptophan and magnesium. Plus, chocolate with high percentages of cacao has antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory properties, perfect for helping to alleviate bedtime aches and pains. 

Try eating some dark chocolate three or four hours before bed. Give your body time to digest the sugars and process the sleep-promoting nutrients to help you notice its effects. 

There are endless ways to snack on dark chocolate before bed. Enjoy a piece or two of dark chocolate from a chocolate bar, add unsweetened cacao powder to nighttime milk, or make a nighttime trail mix with nuts, goji berries, and dark chocolate chunks. 

Foods To Avoid Before Bed 

While there are many amazing choices for snacks that help promote sleep, there are some foods to avoid once you’re settling in for the evening. When reaching for a delicious bedtime snack, avoid food and drinks with caffeine, high amounts of refined sugar, and red meats to help you get a better night’s rest. 


Caffeine stays in your bloodstream long after you have your last cup, so it’s best to avoid food or drinks with caffeine. This energy-boosting ingredient is found in popular sodas but is even featured in teas like green and black teas. So, if you’ve got cupcakes with green-tea icing, save them for a breakfast treat instead of a nighttime snack. 


We all know what happens to a kid when they eat too much sugar, but even though adults can control the visible symptoms of high sugar consumption, our bodies still respond. Limit your food intake at night to low-sugar options instead of this fast-acting energy source. 

Red Meat 

Those that enjoy beef jerky or a Reuben sandwich as a nighttime snack but find themselves unable to sleep should consider reducing their intake of red meat before bed. 

Red meat takes longer than other protein sources for your body’s digestive system to break down. This means that your body has to simultaneously focus on producing sleep-inducing chemicals and digestive functions if you eat red meat before bed. You’ll likely fall asleep faster if your body can focus on one thing at a time. 


Though alcohol helps make you feel sleepy, alcohol doesn’t promote restful sleep. Studies suggest that alcohol intake reduces sleep quality and duration and increases sleep disturbances. If you typically wake up without feeling refreshed, try omitting or reducing your alcohol intake and see if your sleep quality improves. 


Now that you know the best bedtime snacks that help you sleep, you can incorporate some or all of them into your diet and test their potential sleep-promoting effects on yourself. 

Whether you want to feel more tired before bed, sleep deeper, or wake up more rested, eating foods rich in nutrients that promote sleep hormones, like tryptophan, serotonin, and melatonin, are some of the best ways to help your body get the rest it needs. 

Try regularly eating delicious foods like tart cherries, chamomile tea, nuts, and a glass of milk before bed to help support better sleep. Let us know in the comment section which of these 13 best sleep-promoting bedtime snacks you’ll try first. 

Medical Disclaimer: The content on this page should not be taken as medical advice or used as a recommendation for any specific treatment. Always consult your doctor before making any decisions.

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