Sleep – it’s a beautiful thing.

But if you don’t catch enough zeds, it can be a nightmare, not just for the way you look, but for your health too.

While we’re constantly bombarded with ways to help us sleep better and longer, from darkening a room to using lavender, there’s something else that could be standing in the way of your slumber - your diet.

We asked leading bed accessories supplier Soak and Sleep to let us in on the dietary secrets that make disrupted night sleeps and counting sheep a thing of the past.

Porridge

As the old adage says, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it set you up for the day ahead, it can also influence your sleep too.

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Start your day the right way by combining protein with complex carbohydrates as this will balance blood sugar levels from the outset which is integral in regulating the hormones that deal with our sleep patterns. Try porridge topped with nuts and seeds or poached eggs on rye bread.

Cashew nuts

Snack on cashew nuts throughout the day. Packed with magnesium, touted as ‘nature’s Valium’, these nutrient-packed nuts will ensure that you can get your 40 winks when your head hits the pillow.

Keep a stash in your desk draw to curb hunger cravings and ensure your magnesium levels are topped up.

Turkey

Turkey’s not just for Christmas, it’s for the whole year! This rich protein source is packed with the amino acid tryptophan which has a calming effect on the brain.

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Our bodies convert tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin, hormones which are both essential for a peaceful night’s sleep. When these hormones are not at the optimum levels it can disrupt our sleep patterns so make sure you have turkey twice a week for maximum results.

Bananas

If you are looking for a bedtime snack to help calm the body, try munching on bananas. Packed with magnesium and potassium, these essential components are muscle and nerve relaxants, putting the body in a state of calm - perfect if you want to nod off.

The Vitamin B6 also contains tryptophan which helps our brains better utilise serotonin, a key component in ensuring we get restful sleep. Have one an hour or so before you want to hit the hay for the best effects.