Do vegans sleep better?

 I believe you have already heard about many health benefits that vegan diet has to offer. But how does it affect your sleep? After all, if you can not rest well at night, your quality of life might decrease significantly. So lets find out if being vegan helps you to have a good nights rest


Vegan diet has plenty of essential elements - such as melatonin, serotonin and tryptophan - that are very important for a good sleep


It is a hormone (often called sleep hormone) that is responsible for the body´s sleep-wake cycle. Its production increases as it starts getting darker outside, promoting healthy sleep and helping to orient circadian rhythm in our bodies. 

Even though melatonin is created within our bodies (known as endogenous melatonin), it can also be produced externally - exogenous melatonin, which is made synthetically and you can find it in liquid serum forms or as pills
However, vegan diets are filled with melatonin high foods, such as: bananas, tomatoes, oats, cherries and spinach can help you fall asleep faster naturally, without using any melatonin supplements.


It is a hormone - often called happiness hormone - that is used by the body to synthesize melatonin. It is also responsible for stimulating the parts of the brain that control sleep and waking up. Whether you are sleeping or waking up depends on which serotonin receptor is used and what area of the brain is stimulated. 

Serotonin is produced from the very important amino acid tryptophan. You must get this amino acid through your diet and even though common knowledge is that you can get it from cheese or red meat, these are definitely not the best options. Especially knowing, that if you consume meat or cheese not long before going to bed, your body will not rest as it will be working harder than ever to digest these animal products and you can forget about good quality sleep

Dr. Neil Barnard, founding president of PCRM, states that plant-based foods are beneficial for sleep because they stimulate the release of serotonin, which helps us to sleep. 

As a healthy vegan you are probably already consuming such foods as wheat, walnuts, mushrooms, potatoes, leafy greens, cauliflower and cucumber, so you do not have to worry about the lack of serotonin in your body.

However, since vegans do not eat dairy products, you need to make sure to consume enough vegan source of calcium (pulses, sesame seeds or leafy greens) because calcium converts those essential amino acids into serotonin which, as mentioned before, support your natural sleeping cycle


As you have read earlier, tryptophan is an essential amino acid which promotes sleep. It also plays a big role in the production of serotonin and melatonin (which help to regulate sleep patterns) and many other essential elements.

Unfortunately, tryptophan can not be produced by our bodies, so we must obtain it through the diet. Here big discussion appears, as it is not only found in plant based foods (such as kale or bananas) but also in poultry. However, according to experts, plant based sources of tryptophan are better, because when it is ingested as a part of a high protein meal (f.e. turkey breast), tryptophan levels in the brain decline. 


Healthy vegan diet is filled with lots of fruits, veggies, nuts and other plant based ingredients, which are full of elements needed for a good sleep. However, you should avoid eating high-in-protein foods such as, tofu or beans, lentils shortly before going to bed as it is harder for your body to digest it. 


Nevertheless, vegan source of protein is way easier for our bodies to digest rather than animal-based protein which may cause conditions as bloating, inflammation or constipation and you may forget about good nights rest. 

A recent study by the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that animal-based products worsen the condition of sleep apnea

In conclusion to all the information stated above, we can surely say yes, vegans may have better sleep than omnivores. But who am I to tell - try it for yourself! Go vegan

The Vegan Society is ready to welcome you! 💚


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