Why Eating Grapefruit At Night Can Benefit Your Sleep & Overall Health

Ripe grapefruits in basket and bowl on brown wooden table

Last Updated on November 22, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff

Sweet, colorful, and a favourite fruit of many, you can’t go wrong with eating grapefruit. They’re not just tasty too. Eating grapefuit before bed can help you sleep and give you a number of health benefits as well. We explain how, right here.

Disclaimer: You must always consult your doctor before including a new supplement or food into your daily routine as only your doctor can explain any pros or cons that are specific to you. Some supplements & foods may interfere with medications and/or cause allergic reactions.

Close-up Grapefruit slices abstract background
iStock.com/Julia Manga

Eating grapefruit before bed: The surprising sleep aid

Although eaten around the globe for generations, it’s only recently that we’re discovering that eating grapefruit at night may actually benefit sleep.

That’s because grapefruit is a great source of tryptophan – an essential amino acid that we don’t produce naturally, and which we must obtain through diet. Supplementing with this amino acid appears to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep as tryptophan helps your body produce an important sleep hormone called melatonin.

Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle, and is so important to our sleep health that often individuals who are struggling to sleep – or have been diagnosed with insomnia – are prescribed melatonin.

Therefore eating grapefruit before bed could be a great way to top up your natural melatonin levels at the right time.

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Tryptophan also helps your body produce serotonin – a hormone that helps with our mood, well-being and happiness. Serotonin has a role to play in inducing sleep, and is needed in order for the body to produce that all-important sleep hormone – melatonin!

It doesn’t end there either. Grapefruit is packed with folate – also known as Vitamin B9. Why’s that notable? Well folate tends to be low in individuals that suffer from insomnia and sleep disorders, so topping up folate levels by eating grapefruit could help sleep quality.

However an important caveat – grapefruit is known to interfere negatively with some medications, so if you want to introduce grapefruit into your diet then consult your doctor if you take any medication or have pre-existing health conditions.

Eating grapefruit at night could help sleep quality and onset due to the presence of tryptophan – which helps produce the sleep hormone melatonin – as well as folate. All of which have been shown to have a positive effect on sleep.

Man sleeping on side in bed

Eating grapefruit at night: What are the HEALTH benefits?

This remarkable fruit is also an anti-inflammatory, and is loaded with antioxidants. Both are crucial to keeping your health in check, and can even reverse damage done to your body.

The anti-inflammatory nature of grapefruit has been studied before, and is important to note as many major diseases like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s are often linked to chronic inflammation. Therefore incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet – like grapefruit or walnuts – is a no-brainer.

Grapefruit is also a great source of antioxidants. That’s important as antioxidants appear to have a direct effect on sleep quality, as they support the immune system and help promote restfulness at night.

Antioxidant foods also help protect your body and can even reverse damage that has been done by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress comes about when there’s an imbalance between free radical molecules (which can cause harm) and antioxidants – that imbalance then causes illness and tissue damage. The result can be the development of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and many others. Therefore eating antioxidant foods – like grapefruit or grapes – should be a priority.

The science has been backed up too. One study saw potential for grapefruit to help with memory and learning in Alzheimer’s, another saw potential in grapefruit to reduce both insulin levels and insulin resistance, and could help boost your immune system due to the high Vitamin C content.

It’s also a great food for weight loss as grapefruit is low in calories but nutrient dense. So eating grapefruit could help you lose weight.

Grapefruit has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Because of that, eating grapefruit could have a positive effect on health and boost the immune system.

Ripe grapefruits in basket and bowl on brown wooden table

Grapefruit for sleep and overall health: Incorporating it into your diet

Grapefruit can be found in shops and supermarkets around the world. They are delicious and can be eaten in their natural form, and so are easy to incorporate into your diet.

There are many different ways to incorporate grapefruit into your diet too. You can use them as a topping for yoghurt, as part of a fruit salad, and even in a salsa!

Eating grapefruit at night: What about side effects?

If you don’t have a grapefruit allergy then moderate consumption of grapefruit shouldn’t cause any side effects. However eating grapefruit in excess could lead to side effects like bloating, gas, diarrhoea, and vomiting.

Furthermore grapefruit is known to interfere negatively with some medications, so if you want to introduce grapefruit into your diet then consult your doctor if you take any medication or have pre-existing health conditions.