Having trouble sleeping? It may just be that you’re not eating the right foods! Just like chugging caffeine keeps you up, certain foods contain chemicals that can put you to bed – but it’s not just about getting sleepy! Certain foods can make you sleep sounder, allowing you to wake up more refreshed in the morning. Put an end to restless nights with some of these sleep super-foods!
Bananas are full of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that can trigger sleepiness) and magnesium (which relaxes your muscles). Bananas also contain melatonin, which is commonly used to treat certain sleep disorders and insomnia, and has been found to significantly increase sleep time in addition to helping your body become accustomed to a more regular sleep schedule.
Similar foods: grapes, cherries, honey
There’s no need to save it for breakfast only: a bowl of oatmeal a few hours before you’d like to go to bed can help you sleep through the night! Not only do oats contain a good amount of melatonin and tryptophan, this carbohydrate also encourages the release of serotonin, while not digesting quickly enough to make you hungry in the middle of the night like other carbs.
Similar foods: rice, whole grains, potatoes
Turkey might be the most famous sleep-inducing meat, but tryptophan (the infamous sleep-inducing amino acid) is actually far more plentiful in fish! Fish like salmon, cod, trout, and herring are packed with things that will help you sleep better, including tryptophan (which your body converts into melatonin and serotonin) and essential fats vital to brain function!
Similar foods: turkey, pork chops, egg whites
Warm milk, in addition to containing a good amount of tryptophan, can also raise your temperature just enough to trigger a slow-down response similar to how you might feel on a particularly warm day. (It’s also suggested that warm milk might be relaxing on a psychological level, reminding us of the nurturing calm of our infancy).
Similar foods: hot tea, hot chocolate, yogurt
Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
Chick peas are rich in B6, which your body needs to convert essential amino acids like tryptophan, which your body uses to make melatonin and serotonin! It’s also a great mix of protein and carbohydrate that will fill you up without digesting quickly enough to wake you up in the middle of the night! For a bedtime snack, try hummus with whole wheat crackers!
Similar foods: almonds, avocados, green peas
Photo credits: GentlemanREDUX, Recipes Wikia, Top News, Blog Critics, Fishex, The Daily Green