In addition to hushing the rumblings of a hungry stomach before bed, there’s another reason you might want to munch a small bite before hitting the sack. Eating certain foods before trying to get some shut-eye might help you get to sleep easier and stay asleep. Whether you enjoy a hot cup of tea, gnawing on meat or love all things tart and tangy, there’s a bedtime snack out there to suit you.

Admittedly, the research regarding the connections between sleep quality and certain foods isn’t conclusive. It might be that the act of holding a cup of warm herbal tea soothes you more than the beverage itself. All sorts of environmental and psychological stimuli influence your sleep quality. But, whether easy z’s come to you through a chemical found in a specific food or via the ritual that accompanies that snack, “restful” foods are worth a try.

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Plus, most foods that promote better sleep tend to be nutrient packed. So, if you’ve been fighting insomnia, check out the list below. Think about what you’ve eaten throughout the day and hit a food group you might have slighted earlier. You’ve got nothing to lose except, perhaps, sleepless nights.

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1) Proteins

Turkey. Gobbler meat has tryptophan which helps the body produce mellowing melatonin.
Fatty Fish like Tuna, Salmon, and Trout. The omega 3’s and Vitamin D in these fish help release sleep enhancing serotonin.
Walnuts, Pistachios, and Almonds have melatonin, which some say makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Milk, a traditional sleepytime beverage, has a tiny bit of tryptophan.

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2) Teas

– Choose from Chamomile, Passion Flower, Lavender, Valerian Root or a combination of those calming teas.
– Another tea-like option is to mix two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of water and some honey. The combination releases tryptophan.


3) Fruits

Kiwis are a favorite at bedtime. Eating a little kiwi can increase serotonin levels to help you rest.
Tart Cherry Juice has melatonin, a key to good sleep.
Bananas are uncommonly good when it comes to getting a little tryptophan into your system.

4) Something that sticks to your ribs…

Oats will give you a hit of melatonin.

If your sleep is seriously suffering, think about combining several of these purported sleep promoters. For example, you can make a simple banana smoothie by tossing a frozen banana in the blender with a handful of walnuts, oats, milk, and honey. Or have a small fruit salad with tart cherries, sliced banana, kiwi and ground pistachios.

Sweet (or tart…or meaty…or fruity) Dreams!

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