Do Eggs Help You Sleep?
Posted on: September 29th 2021
Keeping up with our busy schedules in today’s fast-paced world can make sleeping soundly at night a challenge. Even when we get the chance to slow down and lay in bed, the stress from the day can make falling asleep or staying asleep difficult. Fortunately, getting a better night’s sleep can be as easy as switching up what you eat during the day.
If you’re experiencing disrupted sleep, understanding the way food influences your sleep quality can help you get back on a regular sleep cycle sooner. Specifically, knowing how eggs help you sleep and the wide variety of recipes you can use to make egg-based dinners or bedtime snacks is a great start to snoozing more soundly.
The Relationship Between Sleep and Nutrition
Research has found sleep and nutrition are strongly linked to one another. The relationship between sleep and nutrition suggests what you eat can have a direct influence on how well you sleep. Specifically, dietary factors like the quality of your diet, eating certain foods, and the nutrients your body gets on a regular basis can all have an impact on your sleep quality.
What you eat affects your sleep cycle because certain foods high in particular nutrients can help the brain generate melatonin, which is the hormone that triggers sleep. While the neurotransmitters in your brain mainly rely on serotonin to make melatonin, other nutrients are needed to create healthy sleeping patterns and maintain physical health overall, too.
Here is a brief breakdown of the essential nutrients for both falling asleep and staying asleep through the night:
- Melatonin: Melatonin naturally occurs in some foods, such as cherries, bananas, walnuts, eggs, and oatmeal, meaning these foods can help you achieve a more stable sleep cycle.
- Tryptophan: Tryptophan is a crucial amino acid to the sleep cycle because it serves as the precursor to serotonin, which in turn produces melatonin. You can find this necessary component for sleep in protein-dense foods like eggs, poultry, meats, nuts, and dairy products.
- Calcium: Calcium regulates your melatonin levels, making it key to getting a good night’s sleep. Foods with a high calcium content include broccoli, kale, collard greens, tofu, dairy products, and certain nuts like almonds and cashews.
- Magnesium: Like calcium, magnesium helps to regulate the body’s melatonin levels. Magnesium can also induce muscle relaxation to help you fall asleep easier. Try to snack on magnesium-rich foods before bed, such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and dark leafy green vegetables.
- Potassium: Potassium is another natural muscle relaxer, which is why the nutrient is so commonly associated with relieving cramps. Along with relaxing your muscles, potassium can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Foods rich in potassium include bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, salmon, squash, mushrooms, and legumes.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is also suspected to have a significant impact on the sleep cycle due to how it interacts with certain sleep neurons. Studies have found that a vitamin D deficiency tends to put people at a higher risk of developing a sleep disorder. Foods full of vitamin D include eggs, red meat, yogurt, and oily fish such as salmon and sardines.
Does Eating Eggs Before Bed Improve Sleep?
Yes, having eggs before bed can help improve your sleep. Because eggs are an excellent source of tryptophan, melatonin, and vitamin D, they can enable some people to experience better sleep. If you struggle with falling asleep on a regular basis, consider having an egg or two a couple of hours before going to bed.
Eating eggs can help cause drowsiness and aid sleep because the tryptophan they contain sets the production of melatonin in motion, leading to increased feelings of tiredness. You may already be familiar with tryptophan being present in turkey, which is why most people crave a nap after a big Thanksgiving feast. Tryptophan allows your body to naturally become more susceptible to sleep, resulting in a more restful night.
Eggs also offer a considerable amount of straight melatonin. These superfoods are one of the highest melatonin-containing animal products. As a melatonin-rich food, eggs can assist with falling asleep and improve your sleep efficiency.
Additionally, the rich amount of vitamin D found in eggs can help you sleep more soundly. Eating more eggs may help prevent a vitamin D deficiency, which is associated with a decrease in sleep duration, worse sleep quality, and multiple sleep disorders. Studies show that a vitamin D deficiency in children, in particular, can lead to poorer sleep efficiency due to the influence the vitamin has on their circadian rhythm.
Working more eggs into your diet can help you avoid these sleep issues by providing your body with sufficient vitamin D and tryptophan. With these essential nutrients, your body will be able to maintain adequate levels of melatonin and give you a more peaceful night’s sleep.
Can Eggs Keep You Awake at Night?
While eating eggs typically improves people’s sleep quality, some people may experience more sleep difficulties if they have eggs before bed. Specifically, someone with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may have interrupted sleep after eating eggs close to bedtime. GERD symptoms can be worse at night, especially in the case of nighttime acid reflux. Nighttime acid reflux can lead to other side effects, such as disrupted sleep.
The lean protein eggs provide can sometimes ease GERD symptoms. But the higher fat content of egg yolks can also exacerbate the symptoms and make sleeping comfortably through the night more difficult. For those with GERD who experience digestive problems after eating eggs, it is advised to stick with egg whites only. Eating egg whites without the yolks can help someone with GERD receive the benefits of the egg’s protein without the drawbacks of the yolk’s fat content.
In general, anyone with GERD should also try not to eat immediately before bed or too late at night. The digestive process increases the amount of gastric acid in the stomach. Laying down limits the body’s ability to prevent stomach contents from traveling up the esophagus, which creates acid reflux. Finishing eating a few hours before going to bed can help those with GERD avoid this issue.
Will Eating Eggs During the Day Make Me Sleepy?
Although eggs can help you sleep better at night, having eggs for breakfast will not cause you to fall asleep during the day. So if you do decide to have a delicious egg scramble or fluffy omelet in the morning, you don’t need to worry about crashing at work later. In fact, the protein in eggs will help fuel you up for the day ahead.
Eating eggs for improved sleep is most effective for those who have difficulty sleeping, rather than causing people without sleep troubles to feel excessively tired. Eggs may help people with poor nutrition or low levels of melatonin sleep better by boosting both of those areas. On the other hand, eating eggs won’t have that noticeable of an effect on those with proper nutrition and normal melatonin levels.
To achieve the desired drowsy effects from eating eggs, aim to have eggs as a light snack before bed instead of eating them as a part of a large meal close to bedtime. Eating a large meal too close to the time you go to bed can have a negative impact on sleep quality, so try to have your last big meal three to four hours before going to bed to give your body more time to digest.
Top 10 Egg Dishes to Eat Before Bed to Improve Sleep
Now that you know the details of how eggs can help you sleep better, you’ll need some delicious egg-based bedtime snack and dinner recipes to make. Using recipes that include other sleep-enhancing foods along with eggs can promote a night of even more restful and refreshing sleep.
If you’ve been struggling to get enough sleep, try one of these top 10 egg dishes for improving sleep quality:
1. Cheesy Scrambled Eggs With Spinach
Grabbing a nighttime snack that is higher in protein than sugar can help you get a better night of sleep by keeping your blood sugar more stable throughout the night. A high-quality protein source, such as cheese, is much better to have before bed than something sugary and sweet. Dairy products also contain both tryptophan and calcium, making cheese a key ingredient for regulating your sleep cycle.
You can enjoy cheese with your eggs in a variety of ways, from simply sprinkling some shredded cheese into your scrambled eggs to making a cheese-stuffed omelet. One of the best methods of getting your nightly dose of cheese and eggs is this cheesy scrambled eggs with spinach recipe. By incorporating multiple types of cheese, eggs, and magnesium-loaded spinach, this delicious scramble will have you snoozing in no time.
2. Fried Rice With Veggies and Eggs
Studies have found that eating rice about four hours before going to bed could help you fall asleep more quickly. Having even a small amount of carbs at night may be helpful for falling asleep. The brain uses the carbs to produce serotonin, which naturally leads to more feelings of relaxation and calmness.
Making a large batch of fried rice with veggies and eggs and keeping it in the fridge is an ideal way to ensure you always have a sleep-promoting snack or dinner on hand. By combining sleep-inducing foods like rice and eggs, a small bowl of fried rice with veggies and eggs may be able to encourage drowsiness to set in faster.
Fried rice is also easy to make — simply scramble some eggs, saute some veggies, and add in the rice to create this basic dish. While simple and straightforward, fried rice is flavorful, so you can enjoy your pre-bed snack while knowing you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to fall and stay asleep.
3. Broccoli and Cheese Omelet Bites
Eating foods high in fiber, such as broccoli, can help you wake up feeling more well-rested. Research shows the more fiber included in a person’s diet, the more time they spend in restorative sleep. Considering that broccoli also contains a high amount of calcium, which helps regulate melatonin, broccoli may be an essential ingredient for a good night’s sleep.
These broccoli and cheese omelet bites combine the sleep-inducing qualities of broccoli and eggs to create the perfect nighttime snack. Because the omelet bites are made in a cupcake pan, they are pre-portioned so you don’t have to worry about having too big of a snack before going to bed.
All you have to do to get these bite-sized omelets is layer cooked broccoli, beaten eggs, and cheese inside the cups of a cupcake pan, then bake them for about 25 minutes. You can easily store the leftover omelet bites in the fridge and pull one out any time you need a pre-bed snack.
4. Sweet Potato Hash Egg Cups
Sweet potatoes are a superstar in the sleep world. These root vegetables offer a remarkable amount of potassium, which promotes proper muscle contraction to help prevent leg cramps at night and make sleeping easier. Sweet potatoes are also filled with the carbs your brain uses to make serotonin — another critical component to a good night’s sleep.
Use your cupcake pan again to make a sweet potato hash and baked eggs mashup that will send you smoothly into dreamland. Like the broccoli and cheese omelet bites, these sweet potato hash egg cups are wonderfully snack-sized. This snack offers the sleep-enhancing qualities of sweet potatoes, eggs, and cheese in one convenient cup so you can enjoy the sleep benefits of all these foods more conveniently.
5. Egg Drop Noodle Soup
Feeling a bit under the weather? Warm liquids, such as soup or hot tea, may relieve cold symptoms, which will help you sleep better and recover quicker. Even if you’re not sick, something about a steaming bowl of soup is so comforting and cozy, you may find yourself more prone to dozing off.
Make the most of your soothing snack or dinner by making egg drop noodle soup. This soup is brimming with sleep-enhancing ingredients, providing a double dose of drowsiness from the eggs and the warming broth so you can slurp your way to sweet dreams. If you want a slightly lighter snack before bed, consider leaving the ramen noodles out of the recipe or scaling back the amount it calls for.
6. Smoked Salmon and Egg Scramble
Salmon is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which research has linked to deeper and more restful sleep. Making sure you get enough omega-3s in your diet may help boost the sleep-promoting effects of melatonin. Salmon is also a rich source of potassium and vitamin D, which fends off sleep disorders.
This pink fish also happens to pair perfectly with scrambled eggs, making it easy to whip up a sleepy time scramble. To make a simple smoked salmon and egg scramble, saute some onion, whisk together the eggs, milk, and seasonings, and cook the mixture in a skillet until the eggs start to firm up. Then, add the smoked salmon to the skillet and remove the scramble once the eggs are cooked through.
You can eat the scramble as-is or enjoy it on top of a slice of toast — the choice is yours! Although this recipe calls for smoked salmon, you can swap it for regular salmon if you’re trying to cut down on sodium.
7. Eggs Baked in Avocado
If you’re looking for a potassium powerhouse, the avocado is your new best friend. Avocados are packed with potassium, which means they are excellent for helping your muscles relax so you can get a more restful night of sleep. A potassium boost from avocados can be especially helpful for anyone who enjoys physical activity, such as athletes, and may be pushing their muscles to the max.
When it comes to delightful nighttime snacks, avocados and eggs are a match made in sleep paradise. Getting the sleep benefits of both avocados and eggs is as easy as baking eggs in half of an avocado. A simple eggs baked in avocado recipe only requires slicing an avocado in half, scooping a bit of the center out, and filling it with a freshly cracked egg. Pop the avocado halves in the oven for about 20 minutes, and you’ll get a tasty bedtime treat.
For extra flavor, top your eggs baked in avocado with seasonings like salt, pepper, chives, and tiny crumbles of bacon. If you think bacon before bed might be a bit too heavy, feel free to leave it out — your baked avocados will still be equally as delicious.
8. Avocado Toast
Another way to enjoy avocado and eggs is to whip up some trendy avocado toast. It’s easy to see why avocado toast is so popular — it’s simple and scrumptious. Elevate your avocado toast by topping it with eggs prepared your favorite way, from fried or over easy to scrambled or hard-boiled.
You can also incorporate more sleep-promoting ingredients into your avocado toast by following this scrambled eggs, avocado, and smoked salmon recipe. This toast offers the triple threat of vitamin D-rich eggs, potassium-packed avocados, and omega-3 fatty acid-filled salmon to help you fall asleep with ease.
Regardless of what toppings you choose to stack on your avocado toast, make sure you use whole-grain bread as the base. Whole grains are a great source of magnesium, which will help you attain an even higher quality of sleep by regulating your melatonin levels.
9. Banana and Egg Pancakes
If you want a restful night of sleep, eating a banana before bed can help you relax and fall asleep easier. Bananas are full of potassium and magnesium, both of which help to soothe overstressed muscles. Bananas also contain tryptophan, which your body converts to the calming hormones serotonin and melatonin. This trifecta of nutrients makes bananas an excellent bedtime snack.
To get the sleep-enhancing benefits of both bananas and eggs, try making these banana and egg pancakes. By swapping out flour for bananas and adding protein-packed peanut butter, this pancake recipe has all the ingredients for a good night’s sleep. Try making a large batch of these delicious pancakes and storing them in the fridge or freezer to ensure you always have a nutritious snack to nibble on before bed.
10. Savory Oatmeal and Soft-Cooked Egg
The list of reasons oatmeal is a sleep-inducing champion is endless — it’s rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus, all of which support high-quality sleep. Even the consistency of oatmeal promotes a good snooze, with its warm, soft, and soothing texture. As long as you don’t add too much sugar to your oatmeal, a bowl of it can help you rest easier.
To get the bonus sleep benefits of eggs, give your usual oatmeal a savory makeover. This savory oatmeal and soft-cooked egg recipe is full of nourishing oatmeal, eggs, and cheese and is free of added sugars. Curling up with a steaming bowl of savory oatmeal before bed is the perfect way to unwind after a long day and prepare yourself for a good night of deep sleep.
Make Your Bedtime Snack With High-Quality Eggs From Sauder Eggs
Because nutrition has a huge impact on your sleep cycle, it’s essential to eat foods that promote quality sleep, like eggs. Eggs contain vital nutrients for sleeping soundly, such as tryptophan and vitamin D. By working eggs into your regular diet, you may improve your sleep quality and feel more refreshed throughout the day.
To get the most out of your eggs, make sure you get farm-fresh eggs from Sauder Eggs. We work directly with farmers to help bring you the freshest and highest-quality eggs possible. When you include Sauder Eggs in your nighttime snack recipes, you can sleep soundly knowing you’re using the best ingredients.
Use our online store locator to find Sauder Eggs at the grocery store nearest you.