Eat lentils before bed for a good night’s sleep

Eating lentils before bed helps sleep better at night. They’re packed with many crucial compounds for a good night’s sleep, such as magnesium, iron and folate. However, it’s preferable to consume them with foods rich in melatonin or tryptophan, as these chemicals play a key role in sleep onset latency and quality!

Do lentils help me sleep at night?

Eating lentils before bed is good for weight loss because they contain nutrients that help us sleep.

Short sleep duration, insomnia, or other sleep disorders have been linked to increased risk of weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.[1]

Sleep quality and duration may affect appetite hormones. If we don’t sleep well at night, we have lower levels of leptin (a satiety signal) and high levels of ghrelin (an appetite stimulant)!

Therefore, a bad night’s sleep can lead to overeating, and eventually to obesity.

Actually, eating lentils at night is good for weight loss because they manage appetite and reduce cravings for fattening foods.

Eating lentils at dinner helps you sleep better at night.Pin


A cup of cooked lentils contains 71 mg of magnesium. This dose is about 17% of the recommended daily.[2]

Actually, lentils as well as other beans and legumes are excellent dietary sources of magnesium.

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. It can improve sleep quality. Adequate amounts have beneficial effects on sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, snoring, sleep duration, and daytime falling asleep.[3,4]


Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. It regulates night sleep. Thus, eating foods high in melatonin before bed supports a good night’s sleep.

Melatonin is synthesized from tryptophan, an essential dietary amino acid, which is found abundant in lentils.

Although raw lentils aren’t rich in melatonin, they have other nutrients that may be involved in its synthesis.

Folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may be important for the synthesis of melatonin. Further studies are needed, though.[5]

Lentils are among the richest foods in folate. A serving provides almost 90% of the recommended daily intake. In addition, folate is good for weight loss!

Moreover, a serving of lentils provides about 27% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is also essential for weight loss.

Diet tips

In addition, you could consume sprouted lentils. Actually, they’re good dietary sources of melatonin. Sprouted lentils contain 2,000-fold more melatonin than raw lentils. Sprouted lentils contain about 100 mcg of melatonin per 100g, while raw lentils contain negligible amounts.[6]

Furthermore, melatonin has powerful antioxidant properties. It may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.

Sleep Tips: eat lentils with foods rich in melatonin and tryptophan for a good night's sleep.Pin


Also, lentils are particularly high in potassium. A serving provides 21% of the recommended daily intake. High potassium intake may also improve sleep quality.[7,8]


Actually, lentils are particularly rich in iron. A serving provides 37% of the recommended daily intake!

Iron deficiency is associated with sleep disorders. On the other hand, high iron intake may have beneficial effects on restless legs syndrome, general sleep disturbances, and sleep-disordered breathing.[9]

To increase iron absorption, you could eat lentils with foods rich in vitamin C, such as peppers, broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower.


Lentils are good dietary sources of selenium as well. A serving provides 10% of our daily needs. Selenium deficiency may lead to insomnia and sleep difficulty.[10]

Eat small amounts before bed

Most people can eat lentils before bed. Lentils can help us sleep better at night and also prevent overeating.

However, you better consume them in moderation. 1/2 cup is great for most people. Much higher amounts at dinner may cause bloating, gas, and other stomach disturbances. People with a sensitive stomach should be extra careful about the consumed quantities.

As a rule of thumb, we should have a light dinner. Otherwise, we may have a poor night’s sleep, which may affect the production of satiety hormones.

What’s the best time to eat lentils for better sleep?

It isn’t necessary to eat lentils close to bedtime for a good night’s sleep or a lean body.

Actually, the best time of the day to consume lentils is at lunch. Lentils can keep you full for a long time, containing only a few calories. You could eat a slice of whole-wheat bread to improve the quality of the protein of the meal.

Furthermore, lentils are packed with vitamins, minerals, and many bioactive compounds.

Diet tips: Benefits of eating Lentils & foods rich in melatonin for dinnerPin

It’s better to boost the antioxidant capacity of your body during the daytime. Antioxidants protect us from the detrimental effects of air pollution, sunlight radiation, and smoking. These are common risk factors that contribute to the excessive production of free radicals and eventually to oxidative stress.[11,12,13]

Due to their unique nutritional value, lentils may reduce the risk of many diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, cancers, cardiovascular disease, and many degenerative diseases.[14]

What’s the worst time of the day to eat lentils?

The worst time of the day to consume lentils, or any other food high in fiber, is before a workout or a race. High fiber intakes before exercise are likely to cause bloating, gas, stomach cramps, or discomfort.

How to eat lentils at dinner for better sleep?

Combining lentils rich in melatonin could play a crucial role in sleep onset latency and overall sleep quality. Among the richest foods in melatonin are pistachios, walnuts, almonds, cranberries, apples, and bananas.

Also, you could eat lentils with foods rich in tryptophan like eggs, fish, pumpkin seeds, chicken, turkey, or tofu. Tryptophan is necessary for the synthesis of serotonin; a key neurotransmitter for sleep quality.

Here are 21 healthy, quick, and easy recipe ideas with lentils:

  • Lentil and fish tacos: Combine lentils with grilled fish, fresh salsa, and a whole-grain tortilla.
  • Pumpkin seed lentil salad: Toss cooked lentils with roasted pumpkin seeds, cherry tomatoes, and feta.
  • Chicken lentil curry: Create a hearty curry with lentils, diced chicken, and aromatic spices.
  • Egg lentil breakfast burrito: Scramble eggs with cooked lentils, spinach, and your favorite salsa.
  • Turkey lentil lettuce wraps: Cook lentils and ground turkey with taco seasoning, then wrap in lettuce.
  • Chicken lentil spinach salad: Combine shredded chicken, lentils, spinach, and a zesty vinaigrette.
  • Egg Lentil Veggie Omelet: Make a protein-packed omelet with lentils, eggs, and assorted veggies.
  • Turkey lentil meatballs: Mix lentils with ground turkey, breadcrumbs, and herbs, then bake into meatballs.
  • Grilled fish and lentil skewers: Skewer lentils and fish, then grill for a flavorful and healthy meal.
  • Chicken lentil wrap: Fill a whole-grain wrap with shredded chicken, lentils, and crisp veggies.
Dinner Ideas with Lentils for a good night’s sleep.Pin

Vegan lentil recipes

  • Lentil stuffed bell peppers: Blend lentils, pistachios, and herbs for a flavorful stuffing.
  • Walnut lentil salad: Toss cooked lentils with walnuts, mixed greens, and a balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Lentil and cranberry quinoa bowl: Mix lentils, cranberries, and quinoa for a colorful and nutritious bowl.
  • Lentil and pistachio pesto pasta: Make a vibrant pesto using lentils, pistachios, basil, and garlic.
  • Cranberry lentil muffins: Bake lentil-infused muffins with cranberries for a wholesome treat.
  • Lentil, almond, and spinach salad: Toss lentils, almonds, and fresh spinach with a lemon vinaigrette.
  • Lentil cranberry energy bites: Blend lentils, cranberries, almonds, and oats for a nutritious snack.
  • Walnut lentil stir-fry: Stir-fry lentils, veggies, and walnuts with your favorite sauce.
  • Cranberry lentil quinoa salad: Mix cooked lentils, quinoa, cranberries, and a citrus dressing.
  • Tofu lentil stir-fry: Stir-fry lentils with tofu, colorful veggies, and a savory sauce.
  • Lentil and pumpkin seed soup: Prepare a comforting soup with lentils, pumpkin seeds, and seasonal veggies.

Last, but not least, you could enjoy your dinner with a glass of Merlot. This wine variety is the richest natural melatonin source! Reasonable amounts as part of a well-balanced dinner might improve sleep onset latency and duration.

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