Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep

During college, I began having trouble sleeping because my brain, which was full of to-do lists, would never hush up. Now, it’s post-grad, and I’m still somewhat of a restless night-experiencing insomniac. Lucky me.

If you tend to wake up looking frazzled before the day even begins, it might be time to find a solution that will put that nightly tossing and turning to rest (punny, right?). Since many of us suffer from similar bedtime woes, I’m sure you’ve looked for answers in that bottle of melatonin, or those “may cause drowsiness” allergy pills, but there’s another way—simple food. By incorporating these common, healthy foods into your dinner, you’ll be getting the sleep one can only dream of, in no time. Well-rested never looked so good.

  1. Bananas: To catch some Z’s, snack on an organic banana before you go to bed. These sweet, potassium and magnesium-rich fruits relax your muscles. Plus, they’re good sources of tryptophan, which is responsible for those necessary naps after a Turkey Day feast.
  2. Cherries: Cherries, especially tart ones, are a natural source of melatonin. Eat them plain, dried, or drink some juice to help regulate your sleep, and get to dreamland sooner.
  3. Nuts: In addition to being heart-healthy, unsaturated fats, nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, contain magnesium and melatonin. Eating a handful of nuts will have a calming effect, while enhancing your serotonin levels. Fear not—quality sleep is on its way!
  4. Oatmeal: Like cherries and walnuts, a good, complex carb-loaded bowlful of oatmeal is full of melatonin. If the sleep-inducing melatonin and carbs aren’t enough to make ya doze off, the tryptophan will surely do the trick. Thus far, it sounds like breakfast for dinner. How fun!
  5. Chamomile Tea: A nice, hot cup of this soothing, herbal tea is perfect for whenever you’re ready to hit the sack because it promotes nerve relaxation. My boyfriend’s mom used to always hand me a warm mug of manzanilla, which I now know is the Spanish term for “chamomile,” before bed, and it worked like a charm! Counting sheep is so overrated. With chamomile, you’ll be fast asleep, snoozing as soon as your head hits the pillow. 

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