Can an Apple Before Bed Help You Sleep?

Coffee shops all across America are breaking out their Pumpkin Spice, but we’re here to sing the unsung praises of another fall marvel that doesn’t get enough love—even though it’s at its peak in cool, crisp autumn air.

That’s right, folks, while you’ve been excited for your favorite seasonal drink, the blushing apple waits quietly in a shadowy orchard, ready to be mulled into a cider or drowned in a red wine sangria, not realizing it’s a star in its own right.

The apple, whether glowing green or speckled pink, fades to the back of the line when the temperature drops. Always a pastry filling, never the tasteful porch accent. But for a few weeks out of the year, folks just about anywhere dig out that one weird dust-bunny-coated basket in the closet and collect the faithful fruit that not only keeps doctors away, but might improve your sleep.

The better bedtime snack

There’s a myth out there that apples have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, so you should avoid them at night. The reality is that the little boost to your step you may get after eating an apple comes from the naturally occurring sugars of the fruit—it contains 0mg of caffeine. If you’re looking to avoid sugar before bedtime, you might want to count eating an apple or drinking apple juice out, but there are a few other components that might actually make an apple before bed the ideal late-night snack.

An apple before bed is a great source of fiber, which helps you sleep in a few ways. First, fiber-heavy snacks stave off hunger longer than other foods promoting weightloss, meaning you won’t wake up in the middle of the night with a rumbling stomach. Fiber also helps your digestive system break down food slowly and absorb the nutritional content better—your digestion crawls to a halt while you sleep, so if you’re going to snack, an apple before bed could be a better choice for your body’s overnight health. 

Swapping out your usual midnight snacks - foods full of sugar and fat - with an apple can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Foods with high carb and fat content have a tendency to spike your energy while they digest, meaning that your sleep gets interrupted throughout the night. This disjointed sleep can also cause cause nightmares.

Apples are packed with sleep-supporting vitamins

An apple before bed can provide your body with tons of sleep-supporting vitamins and antioxidants. Here are all the vitamin benefits of eating an apple at night! 

 

Vitamin B-6 Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B-6 is one of the star players when it comes to converting food into glucose (Your body’s energy source!) and metabolizing protein and fat from your diet. It also plays a part in creating serotonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep pattern. Vitamin B-6 deficiency has been linked to insomnia and depression, getting high enough levels into your system can help you avoid these issues.

 

Vitamin C A few recent studies found that people who consumed lower amounts of vitamin C also slept less. A large apple can contain up to 10mg of vitamin C - making it a great food source for your overall health. Low vitamin C levels have been linked to restless leg syndrome and an increase in sleep disturbances.  Maintaining a healthy level of vitamin C can also help with memory impairment and cognitive function.

 

Potassium Potassium is an essential electrolyte that allows for our cells to function properly. We can’t produce potassium on our own, so getting it from our diet is extremely important. Two things occur when your potassium balance is off-kilter: muscle spasms and heart irregularities. Low potassium levels can cause muscle spasms that interrupt your sleep and keep you up at night, as well as heart flutters and light-headed feelings. Both can keep you up at night and be dangerous to your health, so keeping your potassium levels in check is vital.

 

Polyphenols Polyphenols are a group of antioxidants found in plants that help maintain your health. These keep you functioning in a variety of ways, but when it comes to sleep, their ability to help you burn fat and fall asleep faster.

 

Melatonin Melatonin is known to slowly increase sleepiness as the light fades from the sky. Apples contain low levels of melatonin, which could help you transition into a good night's sleep. Different varieties of apples contain different levels of melatonin - but even a small amount can help adjust the body to promote the sleep you need. 

 

An apple before bed could be your answer to a good night's sleep. Get out there and start gathering the bedtime snack you’ve been missing out on

If you are in the market to get better sleep, and wake up awake, explore the different mattress options Tuft & Needle has to offer.

 

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Shelly Weaver-Cather
Shelly Weaver-Cather

Shelly Weaver is part of the Content Team at Tuft & Needle, leading the writing and editing of our blog. Not quite a Phoenix native, (They take that sort of thing super seriously.) Shelly has spent most of her life in the Phoenix Metro area and has no plans of leaving anytime soon. She made the unexpected jump out of wedding photography and onto T&N’s team in 2016, and found a passion for the people that keep the lights on. She still finds herself shooting in her free time, though these days there are less bridal portraits and more masterpieces of her first child, Duke, a lab-pit mix with an unparalleled love for both T&N mattress hogging and couch destroying.

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