By Narena Nerahoo ’24, Fathima Yumna Hussain ’25, and Olivia Bamford ’24

Daniele Rossner, Lafayette College’s dietitian, offers one-on-one sessions with students and student-athletes to plan their healthy diets. Are there certain foods to eat to help with a better night’s sleep? Absolutely. Rossner shares these tips:

  • Eat complex carbohydrates: Embrace whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas, and brown rice. Try to avoid simple carbohydrates such as bread and sweet items that reduce serotonin levels in the body, preventing a restful sleep. 
  • Stick with lean proteins: Examples of lean proteins include low-fat cheese, chicken, turkey, and fish. These proteins are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which also increases serotonin levels. Conversely, high-fat cheeses and the majority of fried protein take longer to digest and are more likely to keep you awake at night. 
  • Look for heart-healthy fats: Unsaturated fats will not only boost your heart health but also improve your serotonin levels. These can be found in many nuts (pistachios, almonds, and walnuts). Avoid saturated fats and trans fats such as fried foods/snacks that will bring your serotonin levels down. 
  • Try foods high in magnesium: Like tryptophan, the nutrient magnesium is associated with better sleep. This can be achieved by adding more leafy greens, such as spinach, to your meals alongside avocados, black beans, and nuts. 
  • Reach for sleep-inducing snacks: (Find out what’s available on campus)
    • Banana with low-fat yogurt (available at Upper!)
    • Apple with mozzarella string cheese (available at Lower)

Questions? Contact Daniele Rossner at

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