Chocolate is favourite bedtime snack – and may help you sleep

And nutrition expert Sophie Medlin, of King’s College London, believes its high level of the amino acid tryptophan could be the key ingredient behind restful slumber. 

She said: “Tryptophan is the biggest influence on melatonin levels, an important hormone which controls our sleep patterns. So a hot chocolate drink or a little bit of chocolate before bed is actually really good for sleep, so long as you don’t over-indulge.” 

Women are more likely to have a sweet tooth with 40 per cent admitting they like to eat chocolate before bedtime but only a third of men do so. 

They are more likely to enjoy an alcoholic nightcap. 

For insomniacs who prefer to stick to savoury, she says that foods high in B vitamins, calcium and magnesium could also have an impact. 

She suggests they should munch on cheese, meat, fish, nuts and seeds, dark leafy vegetables and yoghurt. 

The survey revealed that a third enjoy crunching crisps, while others dispel the myth that cheese gives you nightmares, with 30 per cent enjoying a snack. 

A further 28 per cent love sucking on sweets while others stick to plain and simple bread (26 per cent), the study by bed and sleep specialist Time for Sleep found.

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