Why Kiwis Are A Good Snack To Eat Before Bed

As hard as it may be to wake up in the morning, it may be even harder to fall asleep at night — and scientists are trying to solve this problem. For instance, one 2017 study examined whether eating kiwi fruit just before bedtime might help the sleep-challenged to sleep better. Specifically, the researchers asked 74 students with chronic insomnia symptoms to, one hour before bedtime, eat 130 grams of either pear or kiwi fruit (half were told to eat pear, half to eat kiwi). The students' sleep was then monitored noninvasively but objectively, and when they woke, they answered questions about their sleep experience. This was repeated every day over the course of four weeks. Although the study has a number of acknowledged limitations, the authors nevertheless concluded that "the results suggest that kiwi may possess some sleep improving properties." 

We'd seen similar suggestions in previous research. And we weren't surprised, given that we know kiwi is a fruit worth eating more of. Nor is Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert, RDN, LDN. Even though Bachtell-Shelbert believes that sleep is more about the bigger picture — what you eat overall — as opposed to being about any one thing that you might snack on before bed, she still recommends kiwi as a good snack before bed. Here's why.

If you're going to snack before bed at all, kiwi's a good choice

"Getting a quality night's sleep is more about getting adequate amounts of micro- and macronutrients throughout the day," says Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert, RDN, LDN. "This can be achieved by eating a variety of whole, plant-based foods daily." That being said, Bachtell-Shelbert does make room for the possibility that you'll be craving a snack before bed, and in that case, "the best option is a small, whole, nutrient-dense food," not in excess of 200 calories. This, of course, describes the kiwi fruit, which Healthline describes as being rich in a number of vitamins and minerals while being small, whole, and relatively low in calories. 

Further, eating kiwi can't hurt if your body is already deficient in magnesium or potassium, which both contribute to sleep quality, as Bachtell-Shelbert explains. "Other functional foods to consider that promote better sleep are pumpkin seeds, tart cherries, walnuts, and whole grains," Bachtell-Shelbert adds, reminding us that eating for a good night's sleep is about far more than what you eat any one night. Speaking of which, here are seven foods you should be eating before bed and seven you shouldn't.