Monday, April 11, 2011

Foods that help you sleep

We all know that staying active (aka exercising) and eating right are major components in maintaining good health. Getting enough restful sleep is just about as important, too. Here's an interesting piece from an excellent food blog called The Daily Meal ( According to the article "9 Foods to Help You Sleep," the brain needs two things to produce enough serotonin to send you happily to la-la land. They are the amino acid tryptophan, and some sort of carbohydrates. The nutritionist writing the article suggests that a snack that consists of some of these foods about an hour before bed is great for getting your shut-eye.

1. Oatmeal with Milk or Walnuts

A good snack to have before bedtime because it combines carbohydrates with protein.

2. Yogurt

A great food because it’s about half carbohydrates and half protein.

3. Hummus

Eat this with some pita for a perfect mix of both protein (from the chickpeas) and carbohydrates.

4. Warm Milk

Has tryptophan, and there's also the soothing aspect of sipping a warm beverage.

5. Bananas

Contain tryptophan, melatonin, seratonin, and magnesium, which can act as a muscle relaxant. Try them with some peanut butter and toast.

6. Turkey

While it’s a well-known source of tryptophan, almost any type of poultry has similar amounts of it. Try eating half a turkey or chicken sandwich.

7. Potatoes

Contain both tryptophan and carbohydrates, so eating a few as a small snack before bed could help you sleep.

8. Almonds

Have both tryptophan and magnesium, so you could also try adding these to your oatmeal.

9. Tart Cherries

Contain melatonin, which helps regulate sleep. These are the sour ones used in pies, not so much the sweet Bing cherries that you can eat plain.

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