Is There Melatonin in Food? 5 Before-Bed Foods to Improve Sleep

Is There Melatonin in Food 5 Before-Bed Foods to Improve Sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is essential for our overall well-being, and many factors can influence the quality of our sleep. One key element in regulating our sleep-wake cycle is the hormone melatonin. While melatonin is naturally produced by our bodies, certain foods also contain melatonin or have properties that can promote its production. In this blog post, we will explore the question of whether there is melatonin in food and delve into some before-bed foods that can help improve sleep.


Understanding Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It plays a crucial role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. Melatonin levels increase in the evening, signaling to our bodies that it's time to sleep, and decrease in the morning, helping us wake up and feel alert. However, melatonin production can be influenced by external factors, including exposure to light, stress levels, and diet.


Melatonin in Food: A Natural Boost

While melatonin is primarily produced by our bodies, some foods contain small amounts of this hormone. However, it's important to note that the melatonin found in food is typically in trace amounts and may not have a significant direct impact on our melatonin levels. Nevertheless, consuming certain foods can indirectly support the natural production and release of melatonin, helping promote better sleep.


Top Foods for Better Sleep

  1. Tart Cherries: Tart cherries, particularly Montmorency cherries, have been found to contain small amounts of melatonin. Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Enjoying a handful of tart cherries or a glass of tart cherry juice before bed may help improve sleep quality.
  2. Kiwi: Kiwis are not only delicious but also an excellent source of various nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and fiber. They also contain small amounts of serotonin, a precursor to melatonin. Consuming a kiwi before bed has been associated with improved sleep duration and quality.
  3. Almonds: Almonds are a nutritious snack that provides a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and magnesium. Magnesium is known for its relaxation-promoting properties and may help improve sleep quality. A small handful of almonds before bed can be a beneficial addition to your bedtime routine.
  4. Herbal Teas: Certain herbal teas, such as chamomile, lavender, and valerian root, have been traditionally used for their calming and sleep-inducing properties. While these teas may not directly contain melatonin, they can help promote relaxation and create a soothing bedtime ritual.
  5. Warm Milk: Warm milk has long been cherished as a natural sleep aid. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can contribute to the production of serotonin, which, in turn, can be converted into melatonin. A warm glass of milk before bed may help relax your body and prepare you for a restful night's sleep.



While melatonin is primarily produced by our bodies, incorporating certain foods into our diet can indirectly support our natural sleep-wake cycle and promote better sleep. Foods like tart cherries, kiwis, almonds, herbal teas, and warm milk offer additional benefits that can aid relaxation and improve sleep quality. However, it's important to remember that a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a conducive sleep environment also play crucial roles in achieving restful sleep. If you have persistent sleep issues, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice. By making mindful choices about our diet and sleep routine, we can optimize our sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Back to blog

Featured collection