7 bedtime snacks to help you fall asleep
Always wired when it’s time to hit the hay? It could be because of a sneaky culprit never considered—what you’re eating before bed. (Avoid these foods and drinks!) Trade in the yawns for a long snooze by tweaking your food choices at night, relying on the following bedtime snacks for some sleepy-time vibes.
Eating a handful of nuts isn’t just a healthy bedtime snack — it’s also a way to increase some zzz’s. Grab some walnuts and cashews, which contain the highest amount of tryptophan, the same amino acid that turkey gets credit for triggering Thanksgiving sleepiness.
Researchers at the University of Texas found that walnuts have natural melatonin, increasing its potential as a sleep aid. Or, opt for almonds, which are loaded with another mineral known to flight insomnia, magnesium.
Loaded with potassium and B6, along with being a filling carbohydrate, puts this fruit on the bedtime snack list. It doesn’t get easier than peeling a banana and devouring before bedtime, or go an extra step in freezing a few chopped bananas overnight and pureeing in a food processor for a one-ingredient ice cream.
No need to resort to a glass of warm milk before bed, unless you really enjoy it. All dairy products will promote drowsiness, due to the calcium (which, in turns, helps with melatonin supply). Whether it’s a scoop of frozen yogurt, spoonfuls of cottage cheese, or a few small slices of mild cheese like provolone, any dairy product can help bring about a sleepy existence.
Milk and fortified cereal
Going a step further to increase the benefits of bedtime snacks, pairing sleep-friendly milk with fortified cereals is a winning combination. The B vitamins in the cereal are another melatonin-promoting mineral, in addition to carbohydrates. Just be certain the cereals are fortified and low on sugar to reap these advantages.
Tart cherry juice
Some think cherry juice may be the miracle sleep cure insomniacs have been seeking. One of only a handful of foods that contain melatonin naturally, tart cherries may promote the length of sleep, along with the quality.
In a study, subjects who drank the tart cherry juice versus the placebo drink experienced a decrease in insomnia. Drink a glass of this juice on its own or add into a smoothie along with a few other sleep helpers on this list.
Herbal teas such as chamomile and valerian root can help lull you into sleepiness. While there aren’t components in the tea to be tied to these claims, many think it’s the calming ritual of sipping a relaxing drink that actually helps. So consider adding a cup of herbal tea to the nighttime routine, along with other calming measures.
Another winner in the bedtime snack department are greens, such as spinach and kale, which contain the sleep aid trifecta: vitamin B6, tryptophan and calcium. Add a few handful of greens into a blender along with yogurt and fruit for a nighttime smoothie.
Whether you try one of the foods on this list or combine a few together, adding these natural sleep aids into your diet presents a new opportunity to ensure a more restful night. So go ahead and stock the pantry and fridge with these foods to combat insomnia and kiss sleepless nights goodbye.
Written by Andrea Lynn
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