How to get to sleep: The one drink you need before bed to help you get your forty winks

By | January 4, 2019

It’s safe to say that ‘Veganuary’ is in full swing, with many, including a number of celebrity advocates and social media health gurus, taking on the challenge. Among veganism’s many health benefits, turning your back on a carnivorous lifestyle could also aid a good night’s sleep. Many vegan foods contain high levels of sleep-inducing chemicals, such as serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin all of which have a positive impact on your quality of sleep. Neil Robinson, Sealy UK’s Chief Sleep Officer, recommends one drink in particular, as part of this diet, to encourage a more restful night’s sleep.

He said: “Chamomile tea increases the levels of amino acid glycine in the body which causes our muscles to relax.

“Additionally, the anti-anxiety effects of glycine mean that chamomile tea is excellent for de-stressing. We’d recommend trying chamomile tea with a teaspoon of honey for that sweet kick.”

Alongside this drink, Neil advises on seven vegan foods to eat before bed to help you with your slumber.


Calcium is a natural sleep aid, which is why a deficiency in your diet may make it difficult to fall asleep.

Neil explained: “Calcium contains tryptophan, the amino acid that your body uses to create melatonin – a hormone that helps induce sleep.

“Not gaining the mineral in dairy products needn’t be a worry as leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach are a perfect alternative for your daily calcium intake.”


Bananas are useful when battling insomnia due to their naturally high levels of amino acid, tryptophan, according to the expert.

He added: “In addition to the sedative effects that this produces, bananas also contain high levels of magnesium and potassium which work to relax the muscles, promoting a good night’s sleep.”


If you find yourself reaching for a pre bedtime snack, grab a handful of almonds, recommends Neil.

He said: “Like bananas, almonds contain both tryptophan and muscle-relaxant, magnesium. Almonds always have a high protein content which will keep you feeling full all night.”


Oats are great for keeping your heart healthy and also contain a wide array of vitamins and minerals that collectively work to encourage relaxation.

Neil explained: “As a natural source of melatonin – the hormone that regulates our sleeping and waking cycles, oats are guaranteed to help you drift off into a peaceful sleep. So why not try a bowl of milky porridge for supper?”


Like oats, cherries are extremely high in melatonin. Neil added: “In addition to promoting weight loss and being a delicious snack, cherries contain antioxidants like anthocyanins, which work alongside melatonin to help maintain a deeper sleep for longer.”

Peanuts or peanut butter

Peanuts and peanut butter are high in niacin, a form of vitamin B3 which aids the production of serotonin – the hormone responsible for our moods, said Neil.

“Rich in good fats, peanuts and peanut butter will keep you feeling fuller for longer, meaning you won’t wake up hungry in the night.

“Watch out for brands that contain palm oil as these are not suitable for a plant-based diet, and opt for Vegan-friendly brands such as ‘Whole Earth’ and ‘Meridian’.”


Due to its high magnesium content, avocado could be exactly what you need to drift off into a deep sleep.

Neil said: “Research shows that magnesium decreases levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” that increases irritability and therefore the quality of sleep.”

For more helpful sleep advice and tips, visit

If you suffer from tiredness, six vitamins and minerals are recommended to boost your energy levels.

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