top of page
  • Writer's picture고플릿

8 Korean Foods That Promote Restful Sleep

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

If you're finding it tough to get a good night's rest, you're not alone. Sleep plays a critical role in our health and wellbeing, but a variety of factors can disrupt our sleep patterns. This article explores several Korean foods and drinks that, based on their ingredients, may be beneficial to a restful slumber.

sleeping baby with spoon and bowl

Image Souce: BBC

Let's look at the science-backed connection between what we eat and how we sleep.

Understanding the Food and Sleep Connection

Research indicates that certain foods contain compounds which positively impact sleep quality and duration. Foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid, can increase serotonin levels in the brain, promoting relaxation and sleepiness. Moreover, melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles, is present in certain foods. By incorporating these sleep-supportive foods into your evening meals, you could potentially improve your sleep.

Korean Foods and Drinks for Better Sleep

1. Banana Milk (바나나 우유): Bananas are a rich source of potassium and magnesium, known to relax muscles. Milk contains tryptophan, which aids in the production of sleep-regulating hormones.

date and banana milk

2. Bibimbap (비빔밥): This meal is a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables, which can prevent nighttime hunger pangs, ensuring a more comfortable sleep.

bibimbap with side dishes

3. Japchae (잡채): A light meal with a balanced nutritional profile, Japchae prevents overeating close to bedtime, reducing the likelihood of disrupted sleep.

korea glass japchae noodles

4. Ginseng Tea (인삼차): Renowned for its adaptogenic properties, Ginseng can help the body adapt to stress, thereby promoting tranquility and improved sleep quality.

ginseng tea

5. Warm Milk with Honey (따뜻한 우유와 꿀: Milk consumption before bedtime can induce relaxation, while honey's glucose content allows tryptophan to enter the brain more easily.

warm milk and honey

Image Source: BeBodyWise

6. Chamomile Milk (국화우유): Chamomile is recognized for its calming

properties, making this milk drink a relaxing pre-bedtime snack.

chamomile milk

7. Sweet Pumpkin Porridge (호박죽): Pumpkin is rich in magnesium, which has calming effects, and the low sugar content of the porridge is a suitable option before sleep.

sweet pumpkin porridge

8. Kimchi Fried Rice (김치볶음밥): Kimchi, made from fermented napa cabbage and Korean radishes, promotes gut health. Studies show a connection between gut health and sleep, with the gut-brain axis potentially playing a role in sleep disturbances.

kimchi fried rice with side dishes

These Korean foods and drinks, each with unique attributes and potential benefits, could positively influence your sleep. Keep in mind that quality sleep is essential for health, and incorporating these foods into your evening routine may be a positive step towards achieving that.

Understanding Korean Sleep Habits

korean man sleeping

Image Source: BBC

Korean sleep habits are unique, impacted by societal norms and cultural values. Korea has one of the longest working hours amongst OECD countries, which affects the quantity and quality of sleep. Koreans' busy work culture also causes many people to opt for sporadic naps during the day, where sleep is taken in short durations at any available opportunity instead of in one long period at night.

Sleep Duration by Age

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended sleep duration varies by age:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours

  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

  • Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours

  • School-age children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours

  • Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

  • Adults (18-64 years): 7-9 hours

  • Older adults (65+ years): 7-8 hours

In Korea, the average sleep duration for adults is around 7 hours and 46 minutes, slightly below the recommended range.

Other Helpful Ways to Improve Sleep Quality

Besides diet, several practices can enhance sleep quality:

  • Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.

  • Limiting Screen Time Before Bed: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the production of melatonin, impacting sleep quality.

  • Maintaining a Sleep Schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time daily helps regulate your body's internal clock and could improve sleep quality7.

  • Creating a Restful Environment: A quiet, dark, and cool environment can facilitate better sleep.

Remember, a good night's sleep is vital for your overall wellbeing. By incorporating these Korean foods into your diet and adopting healthy sleep habits, you're taking a step in the right direction towards achieving a restful slumber.

shuttle delivery korea

Use code FLEETKR to get ₩4000 off your next Shuttle order!

38 views0 comments


bottom of page