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Getting enough quality sleep is essential for overall health and well-being, but many people struggle to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. In addition to following good sleep hygiene practices, such as establishing a regular sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleep environment, incorporating certain foods and nutrients into your diet may also help promote healthy sleep.

One nutrient that has been linked to better sleep quality is tryptophan, an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and promotes feelings of well-being, while melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Foods high in tryptophan include turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds.

Magnesium is another nutrient that has been linked to better sleep quality. Magnesium helps regulate the production of melatonin and has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone that can interfere with sleep. Foods high in magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

In addition to incorporating these nutrients into your diet, there are also certain foods that are naturally rich in melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. Tart cherries and their juice, for example, have been shown to increase melatonin levels and improve sleep quality.

Overall, a balanced and healthy diet rich in whole foods and nutrients can have a positive impact on sleep quality. However, it’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to promoting healthy sleep. If you continue to struggle with sleep despite making dietary changes, it may be helpful to consult a healthcare professional.


  • Peuhkuri, K., Sihvola, N., & Korpela, R. (2012). Diet promotes sleep duration and quality. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 32(5), 309–319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2012.03.009
  • Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B. (2012). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, 17(12), 1161–1169.
  • Howatson, G., Bell, P. G., Tallent, J., Middleton, B., McHugh, M. P., & Ellis, J. (2012). Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. European journal of nutrition, 51(8), 909–916. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7