L'influence de l'alimentation sur la qualité du sommeil

The influence of diet on sleep quality

Nov 16, 2023

It is undeniable that the relationship between diet and sleep is complex and fascinating. The food choices we make influence not only our health and physical well-being, but also the quality and quantity of our sleep.

Food and sleep: a complex relationship

It is important to understand that our diet has a significant impact on our sleep . Consuming certain foods can either promote restful sleep or, on the contrary, cause sleep disorders. The two are intertwined and have a significant impact on our overall health.

When you eat, especially before bed, it can affect the length and quality of your sleep. The human body is a complex machine that responds to multiple factors in our environment, including diet. Foods rich in tryptophan , for example, can increase the production of the hormone serotonin, which regulates sleep.

Where and when you eat are also key factors. Eating late at night, for example, can disrupt your internal clock and make it harder to fall asleep. It is recommended to eat your last meal at least two to three hours before bedtime.

The role of food timing on sleep

Eating at regular times each day can help regulate your internal clock, or circadian rhythm. This circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that regulates many bodily functions, including sleep. If your meals are eaten at random times each day, it can disrupt your circadian rhythm, which can affect your sleep quality.

However, it's not just what time you eat that matters, but also what you eat. Researchers have found that certain foods can promote sleep. For example, foods rich in magnesium, like nuts and seeds, can promote deeper, more restful sleep.

Hydration and sleep

How we hydrate ourselves can also impact our sleep. Dehydration can cause headaches, muscle cramps and other symptoms that can disrupt sleep. Additionally, consuming caffeinated beverages or alcohol can also disrupt sleep. It is therefore recommended to drink enough water throughout the day and limit the consumption of caffeinated drinks and alcohol.

Foods to avoid for quality sleep

Understanding which foods are bad and why can help you optimize your diet for better quality sleep.

Here are some foods to avoid:

  • Caffeine: It is known for its stimulating properties which can delay falling asleep and reduce sleep quality. It is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, certain medications and energy drinks.
  • Alcohol: Although it may help some people fall asleep more quickly, alcohol can disrupt the second half of the sleep period, make waking up more frequent and cause breathing problems.
  • Fatty and spicy foods: Foods high in fat can cause heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems that can disrupt sleep. Spicy foods can also cause digestion problems.
  • Foods High in Sugar: Foods high in sugar can cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly, followed by a sharp drop, which can cause you to wake up during the night.

While it's important to note that every individual is unique and what affects your sleep may not have the same impact on someone else, keep track of your diet and note how you feel after eating Certain foods can help you identify your own food sleep triggers.

Eating and sleeping disorders: how to avoid them

Getting into a deep, restorative state of sleep can be a real challenge if your diet isn't aligned with your circadian rhythms .

Large meals, high in carbohydrates and saturated fats, especially eaten late at night, can disrupt your biological clock .

Here are some recommendations:

  • Avoid late meals: Try to eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before bed. This allows your body to digest food before you go to bed, reducing the risk of problems like acid reflux and insomnia.
  • Moderate caffeine and alcohol consumption: Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, which can disrupt your sleep. Alcohol, on the other hand, can cause you to wake up frequently during the night. It is therefore advisable to reduce the consumption of these two substances, especially at the end of the day.
  • Light dinner: A meal that is too heavy can leave you uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep. Instead, opt for light, balanced meals in the evening, with a good dose of protein, vegetables and whole grains.

Implementing these tips into your daily life can go a long way to improving the quality of your sleep , and thus boosting your health and energy.

The prevalence of tryptophan in diet and sleep

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that plays a key role in the production of serotonin , a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of sleep. A tryptophan deficiency can therefore hinder your ability to fall and stay asleep. Food sources rich in tryptophan include eggs, milk, cheese, chicken, turkey, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, bananas and peanuts.

Combined with good sleep hygiene (a quiet, dark bedroom at a comfortable temperature, and a regular bedtime ritual), a balanced diet can help optimize the quality of your sleep.


A wide variety of foods can affect our sleep , for better or worse. Eating habits, such as timing of consumption, choice of food, quantity ingested and hydration are all factors that can influence the sleep cycle.

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