Does Kiwi Help You Sleep Article Key Points

  • A study on elite athletes sought to find out does kiwi help you sleep.  They found that 2 kiwi fruit before bed positively impacted sleep and recovery in elite athletes.
  • Kiwifruit consumption is associated with improved subjective measures of sleep quality, including feeling more rested and less tired upon waking up. The study also found that kiwifruit consumption was associated with improved recovery.
  • There were improvements in sleep quality, sleep duration, sleep efficiency, and reductions in the number of awakenings and wake after sleep onset. The intervention also improved recovery stress balance, with reduced general stress and sports stress scales.
  • The study suggests kiwifruit consumption can promote better sleep and recovery in elite athletes. These findings have important implications for athletes and coaches looking for natural ways to improve sleep and recovery.

Does Kiwi Help You Sleep?

Sleep is an essential component of an athlete’s recovery process. However, achieving quality sleep can be a challenge for many. Elite athletes are predisposed to sleep disorders, such as reduced total sleep time (<7 h per night) and poor sleep quality (e.g., fragmented sleep). (Walsh et al., 2020) Other lifestyle factors (e.g., nutrition, caffeine use) and exposure to technology (i.e., blue light exposure at night) can also harm athletes’ sleep. (Nathan et al., 2015) Poor sleep can result in negative training adaptations, which may decrease performance. (Gupta et al., 2017; Nathan et al., 2015)

If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, a surprising solution may be waiting for you in the produce aisle. While melatonin supplements are commonly used, they have potential dangers when used excessively. A natural alternative to these supplements is the kiwi fruit, which contains magnesium.

This article explores the benefits of eating kiwi at night, particularly its impact on sleep and recovery in elite athletes. The article also discusses the sleep benefits of kiwi fruit and compares it to other foods known for promoting sleep. So, if you’re tired of tossing and turning at night, kiwi could be the answer to better sleep.

The Nutritional Profile of Kiwi

Kiwi fruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is a nutrient-dense fruit that has gained attention for its potential health benefits. Kiwi fruit contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and dietary fiber. (Satpal et al., 2021) A small, randomized crossover study comprising 6 males and 8 females demonstrated that the consumption of varying doses of kiwifruit (1–3 days a week for 3 weeks, with a 2-week washout between doses) significantly increased plasma Vitamin C levels. Compared to the baseline, consuming 2 kiwifruit daily significantly raised plasma Vitamin C levels by 20%. (Collins et al., 2003)

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Additionally, kiwi fruit contains phytochemicals such as caffeic acid, gallic acid, syringic acid, salicylic acid, ferulic acid, and protocatechuic acid, which have been associated with various health benefits, including antioxidant properties. (Khutare & Deshmukhs, 2023) The nutritional composition of kiwi fruit suggests that it may have potential sleep-enhancing properties.

Kiwi also has a high concentration of serotonin and melatonin, which can significantly impact your sleep. Incorporating kiwi into your bedtime routine can help improve sleep quality and duration. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, has been implicated in regulating sleep, particularly slow-wave and REM sleep. (Gibson-Moore & Chambers, 2019) Low levels of serotonin have been associated with insomnia. 

The melatonin production stimulated by kiwi ensures restful sleep and regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin, a hormone the pineal gland produces, regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It is involved in the timing and initiating of sleep (Gibson-Moore & Chambers, 2019). Its low-calorie and high-fiber antioxidant properties, and potassium and magnesium content make kiwi fruit a healthy and satisfying snack before bed.

The Benefits of eating kiwi at Night: Kiwi Fruit Sleep Benefits

Kiwi fruit has been shown to modulate the immune system and enhance immune function (Satpal et al., 2021). In kiwi fruit, bioactive compounds, including vitamin C and lutein, may contribute to its immune-boosting effects. The mechanisms underlying the sleep-enhancing effects of kiwi fruit are not yet fully understood. However, several potential mechanisms have been proposed.

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The high serotonin content of kiwi fruit may contribute to improved sleep quality by promoting the expression of slow-wave sleep and REM sleep (Gibson-Moore & Chambers, 2019). The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of kiwi fruit’s phytochemicals may also play a role in improving sleep quality by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which are common features of sleep disorders. (Kanagasabai & Ardern, 2015) Furthermore, the melatonin content of kiwi fruit may regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote sleep initiation. (Hayashi et al., 2020)

Does Kiwi Help You Sleep?

A study involving 25 volunteers who self-reported sleep disturbance demonstrated that consuming 2 kiwifruit 1 h before bedtime for 4 weeks significantly improved total sleep time (16.9%) and sleep efficiency (2.4%). Sleep quality and duration were significantly improved following the 4-week kiwifruit intervention. (Lin et al., 2011)

In a similar study, students with diagnosed insomnia consumed either 130 g of kiwifruit or a placebo (130 g pear) 1 h before bed for 4 weeks, and sleep was assessed. Results showed that sleep quality and daytime functioning, as reported using a sleep diary, were improved, suggesting that kiwi may possess some sleep-improving properties. (Nødtvedt et al., 2017)

Yes, kiwi can improve sleep quality as it contains serotonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns. Eating kiwi before bed can reduce the time needed to fall asleep— additionally, the antioxidants and vitamins in kiwi support overall health and well-being.

The Effects of Kiwi Fruit and Sleep on Elite Athletes

A recent study examined the effects of kiwi fruit and sleep in elite athletes. The study aimed to determine whether consuming two kiwifruits one hour before bedtime for four weeks could improve athletes’ sleep quality and recovery, as measured by various subjective and objective measures. The study subjects were 15 elite athletes, 9 from a national sailing squad (7 males and 2 females) and 6 middle-distance runners from a national athletics squad (2 males and 4 females).

The study’s results showed that two kiwifruits one hour before bedtime for four weeks significantly improved sleep quality and recovery/stress balance from baseline to post-intervention. Specifically, there was a reduction in sleep problems, improved sleep efficiency, and reductions in fatigue, physical complaints, and disturbed breaks. However, there were no significant differences in sleep onset latency, sleep duration, sleep disturbances, or daytime dysfunction. Additionally, there were improvements in general stress and sport stress levels.

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The study is significant because it suggests that kiwi fruit and nutrients may promote sleep quantity or quality and athlete recovery. This is particularly important for athletes who must perform at their best and recover quickly from intense training sessions. The study also highlights the potential benefits of natural remedies for sleep problems, which can be a safer and more sustainable alternative to pharmaceutical sleep aids.

Comparing Kiwi to Other Sleep-Promoting Foods

In a recent study conducted on elite athletes, it was found that consuming kiwi fruit before bedtime can have a significant positive impact on sleep quality and duration. Kiwi stands out among other sleep-promoting foods due to its high concentration of serotonin, a hormone that regulates sleep patterns and helps with sleep problems. Moreover, it is packed with antioxidants and vitamins, enhancing its sleep-promoting effects.

Adding kiwi to your bedtime routine can be a natural and effective way to sleep better. Other foods that promote sleep include tart cherries, bananas, almonds, warm milk, and herbal teas, such as chamomile and lavender. These foods contain various nutrients and compounds to help relax the body, reduce anxiety, and regulate sleep-wake cycles.


Yes, kiwi can improve sleep quality as it contains serotonin, which helps regulate sleep patterns. Eating kiwi before bed can reduce the time needed to fall asleep— additionally, the antioxidants and vitamins in kiwi support overall health and well-being.

The practical application of these findings is that athletes and coaches can incorporate kiwifruit into their diets as a natural way to improve sleep and recovery. Consuming two kiwifruits one hour before bedtime is a practical whole food-based intervention that can easily be implemented in real-world settings.

Kiwi, packed with antioxidants, serotonin, and other sleep-enhancing compounds, offers a natural solution for better sleep. Additionally, incorporating other sleep-promoting foods like tart cherries, almonds, and warm milk into your diet can further support a restful night’s sleep. Individual responses to these foods may vary, so finding the right combination that works for you is important. Maintaining a balanced diet and establishing a consistent sleep schedule allows you to enjoy sweet dreams and feel refreshed and rejuvenated.


Collins, A. R., Harrington, V., Drew, J., & Melvin, R. (2003). Nutritional modulation of DNA repair in a human intervention study. Carcinogenesis, 24(3), 511-515.

Doherty, R.; Madigan, S.; Nevill, A.; Warrington, G.; Ellis, J.G. The Impact of Kiwifruit Consumption on the Sleep and Recovery of Elite Athletes. Nutrients 202315, 2274.

Gibson-Moore, H., & Chambers, L. W. (2019). Sleep Matters: Can a Good Night’s Sleep Help Tackle the Obesity Crisis? Nutrition Bulletin.

Gupta, L., Morgan, K., & Gilchrist, S. (2017). Does Elite Sport Degrade Sleep Quality? A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine, 47(7), 1317-1333.


Hayashi, M., Kawamura, M., Kawashima, Y., Uemura, T., & Maoka, T. (2020). Effect of Astaxanthin-Rich Extract Derived From &Lt;i&gt;Paracoccus Carotinifaciens&lt;/I&gt; On the Status of Stress and Sleep in Adults. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.

Kanagasabai, T., & Ardern, C. I. (2015). Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Antioxidants Contribute to Selected Sleep Quality and Cardiometabolic Health Relationships: A Cross-Sectional Study. Mediators of Inflammation.

Khutare, N. S. R., & Deshmukhs, N. A. S. (2023). A Review on Various Medicinal Applications of Kiwi Fruit. International Journal of Science and Research Archive.

Lin, H. H., Tsai, P. S., Fang, S. C., & Liu, J. F. (2011). Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, 20(2), 169-174.

Nathan, A. L., Dave, C., Charles, R. P., & John, P. R. (2015). Can clinicians and scientists explain and prevent unexplained underperformance syndrome in elite athletes: an interdisciplinary perspective and 2016 update. BMJ Open Sport &amp;amp; Exercise Medicine, 1(1), e000063.

Nødtvedt, Ø. O., Hansen, A. L., Bjorvatn, B., & Pallesen, S. (2017). The effects of kiwi fruit consumption in students with chronic insomnia symptoms: a randomized controlled trial. Sleep and Biological Rhythms, 15(2), 159-166.

Satpal, D., Kaur, J., Bhadariya, V., & Sharma, K. (2021). <i>Actinidia Deliciosa</I> (Kiwi Fruit): A Comprehensive Review on the Nutritional Composition, Health Benefits, Traditional Utilization, and Commercialization. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation.


Walsh, N. P., Halson, S. L., Sargent, C., Roach, G. D., Nédélec, M., Gupta, L., Leeder, J., Fullagar, H. H., Coutts, A. J., Edwards, B. J., Pullinger, S. A., Robertson, C. M., Burniston, J. G., Lastella, M., Le Meur, Y., Hausswirth, C., Bender, A. M., Grandner, M. A., & Samuels, C. H. (2020). Sleep and the athlete: narrative review and 2021 expert consensus recommendations. Br J Sports Med.

Additional Resources

Sleep problems, such as insomnia and sleep apnea, are common issues affecting millions of people worldwide. While sleep medicine can provide relief for poor sleep, nutrition also plays a crucial role in promoting restful sleep. One fruit that has been gaining attention for its sleep-promoting properties is the kiwi.

The Nutritional Profile of Kiwi

Kiwi fruit, native to China but popularized in New Zealand, is a small fruit packed with a high concentration of essential nutrients. It contains melatonin, a hormone that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycles. Kiwi also boasts a high concentration of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to good sleep.

In addition to these, kiwi is rich in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that are essential for heart health and muscle relaxation. It also contains a significant amount of vitamin C, which supports the immune system, and vitamin D, which has been linked to improved sleep.

Does Kiwi Help You Sleep?

Research, including a clinical trial conducted by Taipei Medical University, has shown that the intake of kiwi fruit can help alleviate sleep problems. Participants who consumed kiwi one hour before bed experienced improvements in the amount of time it took to fall asleep, the total hours of sleep, and the quality of sleep.

The antioxidant properties of kiwi, along with its high serotonin content, are believed to contribute to these benefits. Serotonin is converted into melatonin in the body, helping regulate sleep. The high fiber content in kiwi may also help regulate blood sugar levels, preventing middle-of-the-night awakenings often caused by drops in blood sugar.

Kiwi in Comparison to Other Sleep-Promoting Foods

When compared to other sleep-promoting foods, kiwi holds its own. For example, tart cherry juice and sour cherries are known for their high melatonin content. However, kiwi offers a broader range of nutrients, including a significant amount of serotonin.

Is Kiwi the Answer to Better Sleep?

Incorporating kiwi into your bedtime routine may promote better sleep quality, as it contains antioxidants and serotonin that can help regulate sleep patterns. However, it’s important to note that individual results may vary. A new study in elite athletes suggests that kiwi has sleep-enhancing properties, but further research is needed to fully understand its effects on sleep.

Is there a specific amount of kiwi that should be consumed for optimal sleep benefits?

According to the study mentioned, consuming two kiwifruits an hour before bedtime may have sleep-promoting benefits. However, optimal amounts may vary for individuals, so it’s best to experiment. While kiwi can improve sleep quality, it’s not a guaranteed remedy. Consult a healthcare professional for any concerns or questions about incorporating kiwi into your sleep routine.

Does kiwi have any other health benefits besides helping me to sleep?

Yes, kiwi has many other health benefits besides aiding sleep. It is rich in vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which can boost immunity and improve digestion. Kiwi also contains serotonin, which helps regulate mood and promotes feelings of happiness and well-being.

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