Food can affect your sleeping pattern. Picture: Supplied

Insomnia affects roughly one in three people, while most adults struggle to get a full eight hours every night.

The reason for our restless nights could be the foods and drinks we're having just before we go to bed, according to a sleep expert.

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Sammy Margo, author of ‘’The Good Sleep Guide’’, has revealed the five surprising foods we should always snack on before we try to fall asleep before sharing the five we should never have before bed.

1. Banana 

Bananas are rich in magnesium, a muscle relaxant, as well as sleep-promoting hormones serotonin and melatonin.

A recent survey by Simba Sleep found that the average adult manages just 6 hours and 28 minutes of sleep a night, and misses out on 6 hours and 10 minutes of sleep each week.

2. Honey

A teaspoon of honey contains glucose, which tells your brain to shut off orexin, the chemical known to trigger alertness.

Turbulent thoughts are the most common cause of a sleepless night, with 53 per cent of people unable to stop their mind racing when the lights go out, according to the survey

3. Almond

Almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium, which both help to naturally reduce muscle and nerve function while also steadying your heart rhythm, says Margo.

The survey also revealed that a quarter of people are kept up by soaring stress levels.

4. Oats

Grains in oatmeal trigger insulin production and raise your blood sugar naturally.

Oats are also rich in melatonin, according to Margo.

5. Turkey
The post-Christmas lunch nap is no coincidence, turkey is packed with sleep-inducing tryptophan, says Margo.

Just 11 per cent of Brits have tried modifying their diet to see how it improves their quality of sleep, according to the recent study.

Of those actively attempting to improve their sleep health through diet, a calming cup of chamomile tea is their sleep aid of choice, followed by a glass of hot milk or some wine.

FOOD TO AVOID:

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1. Alcohol

A nightcap can make you feel drowsy, however drinking more alcohol prevents you from getting into the deeper stages of sleep and can lead to grogginess the next day.

More than half of Brits enjoy a nightcap to help them sleep, says the study.

2. Spicy food

Spicy foods can give you indigestion, and it is speculated that capsaicin, an active ingredient in chilli peppers, may affect sleep via changes in body temperature.

3. Fatty foods 

Greasy foods cause your stomach to go into overdrive to digest them, producing acid in the stomach which can spill up into your oesophagus, causing sleep-disrupting heartburn.

Burgers, fast food, ice cream, or super cheesy foods should be avoided before bed.

4. Coffee

One of the most common sources of caffeine, the stimulant has a half-life of five hours, which means 25 per cent of it is still working through your system even 10 hours later.

More than one in ten believe a cup of caffeinated coffee helps them to nod off, according to the study.

5. Cheese 

Hard cheeses and processed meats contain higher levels of the amino acid tyramine, which causes the brain to release a chemical that makes us feel alert.