If you have trouble sleeping, you might want to think about what—and when—you eat. One rule of thumb is to avoid eating anything 30 minutes before bedtime. Another is to make sure your after-dinner snacks are on the lighter side. For example, don’t reach for that slice of leftover pizza right before you go to bed. I recently came across an article in AARP Magazine describing the types of snacks that can actually help you sleep better, as long as you don’t eat them right before going to bed.
(Photo credit: Lotus Carroll)
Almonds contain magnesium, a muscle-relaxing mineral that plays a key role in regulating sleep.
These contain tryptophan, an amino acid that has been linked to sleep quality. They also offer abundant amounts of magnesium and potassium.
Cereal and milk
Milk contains tryptophan, which the brain uses to make serotonin and melatonin, hormones that control sleep and wake cycles. Meanwhile, the carbohydrates in cereal make tryptophan more available to the brain.
Cherries, particularly the tart varieties, are one of the few foods containing melatonin, the sleep hormone that regulates your internal clock.
Green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which helps reduce stress and promote relaxation. However, make sure any green tea you drink at night is decaffeinated.
The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are rich in tryptophan, folate, and vitamin B-6. Folate helps to regulate sleep patterns and vitamin B-6 helps to regulate your body clock.
Peanut butter contains plenty of tryptophan. As with some of the other foods I’ve mentioned, the body uses tryptophan to build hormones essential for sleep.
Pineapple is another fruit that can boost the level of melatonin in the body, thereby promoting sleep.
Like peanut butter, pumpkin seeds are packed with substantial amounts of tryptophan.
A natural source of melatonin, walnuts also help your body respond better to stress.
To learn more about how these foods and others can help you sleep better at night, click here. I’ve also provided a second article which discusses a variety of foods that can interfere with your getting a good night’s sleep. Click here to read.