14 Foods That Can Improve Your Sleep

Struggling to fall asleep

To get a good night’s sleep is a challenge for many. You may have tried black-out curtains, soft music or even medication in your quest for quality sleep. But have you considered making changes to your diet?

These 14 foods may help you to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and feel better in the morning.

AlmondsAlmonds

If you toss back a handful of almonds before bed, you might find yourself sleeping well. The quick snack will fill you with protein, so you won’t wake up hungry in the early morning hours. Almonds also contain tryptophan, that chemical famously known for making you sleeping after eating full plates of Thanksgiving turkey. That in concert with niacin and other nutrients can help keep your melatonin levels in balance.

BananasBananas

Bananas contain potassium that can help your body relax. They also have that fantastic tryptophan which gives your serotonin and melatonin levels a boost.

If you’re craving a sweet snack before sleep, a banana is a good choice.

CherriesCherries

Cherries don’t just have ingredients that help provide melatonin, but they contain it. Your body uses melatonin to tell itself when to go to sleep, and adding some about an hour before bed should help tremendously. You can choose fresh cherries, dried cherries or even cherry juice.

ChickpeasChickpeas

Munch on some whole grain crackers with hummus before bed, and you’ll get the benefits of protein, good carbs, and the right vitamins.

Chickpeas contain vitamin B6, which is essential to creating melatonin and relaxing serotonin.

Cottage cheeseCottage Cheese

Cottage cheese offers a balance of protein and carbohydrates that is excellent for sleep.

The protein will keep you from feeling hungry overnight, and the carbs will help soothe you so an excellent and healthy choice.

Fatty fishFish

If you’re having dinner a little bit late in the evening, choose a fatty fish as your entrée. You’ve heard that people who eat fish are smarter than those who don’t. That may be because those people tend to sleep well. This connection was revealed by a study that found Chinese school children who regularly eat fish also sleep better and do better in school than kids who skip the seafood.

The difference is probably in the omega-3 fatty acids in fish, a nutrient that improves sleep quality. Salmon and tuna are good choices.

Chamomile teaHerbal Tea

Tea is traditionally considered one of the most relaxing beverages around. That’s because many have sedative qualities. For better sleep, choose a variety that is not caffeinated. Chamomile, valerian root, and lemon balm are good options. Many tea manufacturers have created blends especially made for sleeping.

Jasmine riceJasmine Rice

An Australian study found that Jasmine rice, as opposed to other types, is the best option when it comes to falling asleep. That is probably because of the high glycemic index of the rice which helps insulin kick in to cause your body to relax.

Miso soupMiso Soup

Miso soup is another type of food that has the right nutrients to help your body create melatonin.

Add to that the calming effect of nearly any warm liquid, and you have the perfect recipe for sleep, so well worth trying this soup.

OatsOats

Oatmeal is useful for starting the day because it fills you up and provides healthy fiber, but it’s also a terrific choice for nighttime noshing. That’s because the carbs in oatmeal will raise insulin levels that bring on a sense of relaxation. It’s also a rare, natural source of melatonin and contains vitamin D to help with headaches and B vitamins to reduce stress.

PistachiosPistachios

Pistachio nuts are an excellent source of B6, that essential vitamin that can increase levels of serotonin and melatonin making it a great snack in evenings.

The vitamin also is linked to decreasing depression, which can inhibit sleep.

PrunesPrunes

Prunes are another sweet choice that will do much more for your sleep quality than traditional late-night snacks like ice cream or cookies. Snack on prunes before going to bed, and get the benefits of melatonin-boosting B6 as well as calcium and magnesium, which can promote a feeling of calm.

Sweet potatoSweet Potato

Delicious sweet potatoes fill your body with the complex carbohydrates that can make you tired. They are also sources of magnesium and potassium, which signal a calm response in your brain. Skip the butter and other toppings for the best results.

Whole grain cerealWhole Grain Cereal

Put your body in the mood for dreams with the complex carbohydrates of whole grains.

Add some milk, and you’ve included a dose of tryptophan as well, and the carbs from the cereal will help your brain use it as serotonin and melatonin. Choose a healthy, whole grain cereal without added sleep-killing sugar.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, it makes sense to try a change in your evening eating habits. One or more of these sleep-friendly foods could prove to be your dream come true.

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