Bedtime Snack Attack: These Sleep-Promoting Options May… | MOBE

Bedtime Snack Attack: These Sleep-Promoting Options May Surprise You

bowl of yogurt and fruit
Created and curated by the MOBE Guide team.

Eating a major meal too close to bedtime can set you up for a lot of tossing and turning.1 But a light, healthy snack just before you turn in can help make sure hunger won't keep you awake.

Even better—the right snack may even help improve how much and how well you sleep.

Six functional foods to help you snooze.

Functional foods are foods that could have a positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition.2 Based on their research, our MOBE Guides recommend these six foods to help send you off for a restful night.

  1. Bananas
    They're more than their potassium. Bananas also contain tryptophan and magnesium to help you fall asleep.3
  2. Kiwi fruit
    Kiwi has an abundance of antioxidants and serotonin that can affect how quickly people fall asleep, how long they sleep and contribute to overall sleep efficiency.4
  3. Tart cherry juice
    Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a substance known to help regulate sleep.5 Their anti-inflammatory power may also contribute to higher-quality sleep. Try an eight-ounce glass an hour or two before bed.
  4. Yogurt or cheese
    These dairy products are rich in both calcium and tryptophan, two elements that work together to create melatonin. They're also a good source of selenium, an antioxidant that supports improved sleep, and magnesium, a muscle relaxant.6
  5. A slice of whole-grain bread or a bowl of brown rice
    These whole-grain foods can help boost your fiber intake. People with diets that are higher in fiber spend more time in restful, slow-wave sleep, and enjoy better overall sleep quality.7
  6. Pistachios or walnuts
    If you're looking for a plant-based source of melatonin, nuts are your best option.8

You may already have some of these nutritional sleep aids in your pantry or fridge or on your kitchen counter. If not, they're worthy of a spot on a shopping list that can help you rest easier.

If you’d like to learn more ways to improve your sleep—and your overall well-being—a MOBE Guide can help. Get started today.


1. Olson, Eric J. “Foods and Sleep.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, May 3, 2017.

2. Lin, Hsiao-Han, Pei-Shan Tsai, Su-Chen Fang, and Jen-Fang Liu. “Effect of Kiwifruit Consumption on Sleep Quality in Adults with Sleep Problems.” Asia Pacific journal of clinical nutrition 20, no. 2 (2011): 169–74.

3. Sleep physicians at American Sleep Association. “Top 10 Foods That Help You Sleep.” American Sleep Association. Accessed January 19, 2021.

4. Pigeon, W. R., Carr, M., Gorman, C., & Perlis, M. L. “Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study.” Journal of medicinal food 13, no. 3 (2010): 579–583.

5. Nisar, M., Mohammad, R. M., Arshad, A., Hashmi, I., Yousuf, S. M., & Baig, S. “Influence of Dietary Intake on Sleeping Patterns of Medical Students.” Cureus, 11 no. 2 (2019):

6. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Anja Mikic, Cara E Pietrolungo. “Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality.” Advances in Nutrition 7, no. 5 (2016): 938–949,

7. Meng, X., Li, Y., Li, S., Zhou, Y., Gan, R. Y., Xu, D. P., & Li, H. B. “Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin.” Nutrients 9, no. 4 (2017): 367,

8. Zeratsky, Katherine. “What Are Functional Foods?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, June 27, 2020.