Has a good night’s sleep been eluding you lately? You might want to take a look at what you are eating toward bedtime. One key thing to focus on is food containing tryptophan, an amino acid that produces serotonin in your brain, helping bring on sleep. (Turkey has a lot of tryptophan in it, one reason why everyone feels so sleepy after a Christmas or Thanksgiving day turkey dinner.) Of course, a heavy meal right before bedtime is not good for bringing on sleep, so the trick is to consume something lighter than a turkey dinner. If you are looking for some great foods that will help you get a good night’s sleep, try some of the foods below.
Dried cherries. Snack on some dried cherries for a delicious snack that will give you the serotonin you need to fall asleep. Dried cherries also have melatonin, which will help bring on a good night’s sleep as well.
Warm milk. You may have already heard of this sleep inducing food, but it really does work. Milk is loaded with tryptophan. Try eating a small banana along with your cup of milk, as bananas have the B vitamins necessary to convert tryptophan to serotonin. This small, light meal will help bring on sleep in no time.
Chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is great for bringing on sleep. This herb is well known for its calming effects, and sipping on a hot, caffeine free cup of tea can also make you feel sleepy. Traditional Medicines makes a delicious chamomile tea called Sleepy Time, or you can purchase the dried herbs and make a cup yourself. Add a touch of honey to your chamomile tea for an extra push toward sleepiness.
Almonds, spinach, halibut, and soybeans. All of these foods are high in magnesium, which is important for a good night’s sleep. A lack of magnesium can be responsible for interrupted sleep, so increasing your uptake of magnesium can help you not just fall asleep but stay asleep. You may not want to snack on halibut, but try having some for dinner a few times a week, along with a spinach salad. A handful of almonds before bed will help, too.
Popcorn. Popcorn is a terrific low calorie snack (avoid cheese and butter types) that can be eaten before bedtime to bring on a good night’s sleep. The carbohydrates will get that tryptophan to your brain and bring on the shut-eye.
Chickpeas. Chickpeas are loaded with B vitamins, which will also help your body produce serotonin for that good night’s sleep. Heat up a cup of your favorite soup or make a small salad and add a handful of chickpeas to it for a practically guaranteed full night’s sleep.