Sometimes sleep just doesn’t come easy, no matter how exhausted your brain and body may feel. If you are one of the many people who don’t feel comfortable taking prescription sleeping aids and want a more natural alternative to help with getting to sleep, one of the easiest things you can do is change your eating habits. By eliminating foods that can keep you awake and snacking on healthy sleep-inducing foods, you can get those much needed nightly Zzzzzz….
But, certain foods are conducive to sound slumber. Include more of these healthy foods in your diet for a good night’s slumber.
Mothers have been giving kids warm milak before bed for years. “Warm milk is another rich source of tryptophan, which is soothing and will help your body relax,” says Horn. Be warned, however, “The combination of turkey and milk together can turn you into a bit of a gassy lassie,” says Horn. “Do not try this out if you’re in a new relationship!”
Bananas are a natural sleeping aid in that they contain melatonin and tryptophan (which converts to serotonin) to help you fall asleep. “Melatonin is a hormone that signals the brain that it’s time for the body to shut down for the night,” explains Horn. Plus, these creamy-fleshed fruits also contain magnesium, which is a known muscle relaxer to help you ease away physical tension and stress.
Oatmeal not only warms your belly, it’s full of fiber, which can make you feel satisfied before heading to bed. A steamy bowl of cooked oats is also a good source of melatonin. Drizzle your bowl of oatmeal with warm milk for an extra dose of sleep-inducing nutrition.
“Turkey is rich in the amino acid tryptophan which helps promote a restful, deep sleep. Tryptophan itself doesn’t make you sleepy,” says Horn. It helps the brain make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is necessary for sleep and relaxation, and melatonin, a neurohormone that has recently become popular as a supplemental sleep aid.
Despite being maligned by the low-carb movement, potatoes rank low on the Glycemic Index, a ranking of carbohydrates and their effect on blood glucose levels. Sweet potatoes and potatoes are a root vegetables that won’t spike your blood sugar too high and can even help eliminate acids that block tryptophan. Make mashed potatoes with low-fat milk or buttermilk for a healthy sleep-inducing meal.
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