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Eat To Sleep (and What To Avoid)

There are so many myths out there about what to eat or avoid before bedtime... we thought we'd turn to the country's top sleep scientist for some answers.

So what does Oxford's Prof Russell Foster - head of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute - say should or shouldn't be on the menu for a perfect night's sleep? 


  • Caffeine can live in the body for anywhere between 5-9 hours after consumption (depending on your liver). So try to reduce intake after 2pm and avoid caffeine in the early evening because this will delay sleep.

  • While we are on the topic of hot drinks, it turns out the soothing image of a milky drink before bed is “most likely a placebo effect” - and same goes for your evening cuppa of chamomile tea.

  • What about food? Professor Foster says you have to be careful with any pre-bed cravings. If you’re feeling peckish after dinner, avoid foods with high sugar and fat content and instead aim for protein-rich snacks (sorry, Bridget, no crisps then).

  • The time of day you eat your meals is also a really important issue. It’s best to concentrate the majority of your calories on the first part of the day - so breakfast and lunch - as it tends to be cleared from your system sooner. If you eat a lot of calories before bedtime though, it takes longer for the glucose to be broken down and processed by your body which can pave the way for a potential diagnosis of type 2 diabetes later in life (if part of a sustained pattern).


Something else we think you might fancy for better quality sleep are the 18 precise botanicals, minerals and vitamins selected by Karmacist's Harvard and Stanford scientists for the Relax Formulation - to help you unwind and get some deep-rooted, natural rest.