The best foods for sleep and wellness

If you’re having trouble sleeping, here’s food for thought…

Best food for getting sleep. Foods rich of tryptophene and melatonin. Healthy nutrition concept

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Getting a good night’s sleep is integral to your wellbeing and productivity. Fortunately, some foods and drinks contain components that help regulate the sleep cycle, meaning it may help you sleep. At Spirit & Destiny, we’ve done extensive research into the best foods for sleep and written a no-nonsense guide to this subject – so you can improve your wellbeing.

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For a good night’s sleep, many nutritionists recommend eating a diet made up mostly of vegetables and fruits – which provides the essential vitamins and minerals that promote sleep.

First, here are some general tips to help improve your sleep:

• Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon or evening. Have some herbal tea, instead.

• Moderate alcohol consumption since it can deregulate your sleep cycles.

• Avoid eating late to prevent acid reflux – especially spicy and fatty foods.

What are the best nutrients to help sleep?

Many hormones, amino acids, chemicals, enzymes, and nutrients work collectively to regulate sleep. These include melatonin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, folate, antioxidants, copper, zinc, vitamin B and vitamin D.

While research provides substantial clues, unfortunately, it’s not conclusive. There’s a lack of direct evidence about specific foods that are good for sleep. But, it’s good practice to experiment with certain foods and find out what works for you. In fact, most foods don’t contain high levels of these nutrients… except for a few:

The best foods for sleep


Not only do almonds make a healthy evening snack – as they are high in good fats and low in sugar and saturated fats. They also contain a high concentration of melatonin.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleeping and waking cycle.

Almonds are the perfect bedtime snack. Full of many components - which are nutritious for your mind and body.

You can buy it in supplement form – or better, grab some almonds at a wholefoods shop.



Holland & Barrett Natural Almonds 100g1 of 3

Holland & Barrett Natural Almonds 100g

Meridian Organic Almond Butter 170g2 of 3

Meridian Organic Almond Butter 170g

Nutty Bruce Activated Unsweetened Almond M*lk 1L3 of 3

Nutty Bruce Activated Unsweetened Almond M*lk 1L


Kiwi is said to be beneficial for sleep. In one small study, those who ate two kiwifruits one hour before bedtime experienced improved sleep. It may contain compounds such as melatonin, potassium, magnesium and calcium – which help us fall asleep faster and for longer.

Why not try and incorporate this unusual fruit into your diet more often?



Dorri - Dried Kiwi1 of 3

Dorri - Dried Kiwi

Kiwi Jam2 of 3

Kiwi Jam

Mockingbird Raw Kiwi Krush Smoothie750ml3 of 3

Mockingbird Raw Kiwi Krush Smoothie750ml

Chamomile tea

The herb chamomile is a traditional remedy for insomnia. Scientists believe that a compound called apigenin is responsible for chamomile’s sleep-inducing properties.

However, research has found only small amounts of evidence that chamomile can improve sleep quality. At Spirit & Destiny, we believe that brewing a cup of chamomile tea can be a great ritual to add to your bedtime routine. Our wellbeing relies on reflecting, de-stressing, unwinding from the day and being thankful.

Chamomile tea is available everywhere. Here are our favourites:



Teapigs Chamomile Tea1 of 3

Teapigs Chamomile Tea

Twinings Superblends Sleep2 of 3

Twinings Superblends Sleep

Heath & Heather Organic Camomile with Manuka Honey 20 Tea Bags3 of 3

Heath & Heather Organic Camomile with Manuka Honey 20 Tea Bags


Walnuts contain a few compounds that promote and regulate sleep, including folate, magnesium, potassium and calcium. Though walnuts are said to be high in melatonin, researchers have not found a solid association between eating walnuts and better sleep. Some dieticians believe that walnuts are amongst the best foods for sleep.

Walnuts have such a beautiful and earthy feel to them. It's like you're dipping your hand into Mother Nature itself. Make sure to treat yourself to this marvellous food, which can prevent you from tossing and turning. You can get walnuts in several forms, including milk and essence - the latter of which you can drop into your drink.



Holland & Barrett Walnut Pieces 200g1 of 3

Holland & Barrett Walnut Pieces 200g

Bach Original Flower Remedies Walnut 20ml2 of 3

Bach Original Flower Remedies Walnut 20ml

Valsoia Walnut Drink 1l3 of 3

Valsoia Walnut Drink 1l

Fatty fish

It’s common knowledge that eating fish is great for your health – especially your brain function. In fact, some research has concluded that fish may be the best catch for a good night’s sleep.

Why? Well, fish contains a healthy dose of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids – which help regulate the body’s production of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the hormones that helps us sleep.

We’ve got some helpful supplements if you don’t fancy cooking fish.



Seven Seas Omega-3 FISH Oil Plus Cod Liver Oil, 120 Capsules1 of 2

Seven Seas Omega-3 FISH Oil Plus Cod Liver Oil, 120 Capsules

Holland & Barrett Vegan Omega 3 from Algal Oil 30 Softgel Capsules2 of 2

Holland & Barrett Vegan Omega 3 from Algal Oil 30 Softgel Capsules

Malted Milk

Popularly known as Horlick’s, malted milk is made by combining milk and a formulated malt powder mix. With this comes an assortment of vitamins – namely vitamins B and D – which can help reduce sleep interruptions.

If you haven’t got some Horlick’s knocking about in your cupboards, why not grab a pot? Just like a cup of herbal tea at the end of the day, adding a cup of Horlick’s into your bedtime ritual may help you feel better about the day that has just rushed by. At that moment, you will have a chance to reflect and enjoy a tasty drink all the while.



Horlicks Original 500g1 of 2

Horlicks Original 500g

Horlicks Vegan Malt 400g2 of 2

Horlicks Vegan Malt 400g

Tart cherry

Not only do they taste great, but cherries are high providers of four sleep-regulating compounds: melatonin, tryptophan, potassium, and serotonin. Additionally, food scientists have debated whether polyphenols (antioxidants to us) in tart cherries may also help with sleep.

Just like walnuts, tart cherries make a good snack before bed. We’ve got our top picks below:


Tart cherry

Biona Organic Tart Cherry Pure Juice, 1L1 of 3

Biona Organic Tart Cherry Pure Juice, 1L

Berrilys Organic Dried Tart Cherries, 450g2 of 3

Berrilys Organic Dried Tart Cherries, 450g

 Montmorency Cherry Capsules 3000mg - 1803 of 3

Montmorency Cherry Capsules 3000mg - 180

Other natural remedies

Aside from food, there are other traditional remedies that are thought to improve the quality and length of sleep.

These include:

• Valerian

• St. John’s Wort

• Passionflower tea

However, it is best to speak with a medical professional before taking any new supplements. This is to ensure that they will not interact with other medications or supplements or affect any existing medical conditions.

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