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Sleepy Foods:Snacks to Help You Get to Sleep

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

A good night’s sleep is not only important for a healthy mind and body, it’s also important to have successful, fulfilling days. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep it’s hard to have the energy to get up and going in the morning, let alone out and doing everything that needs to get done. Getting to sleep at night, though, is not always the easiest of tasks. Even with all of the simulation (computer, television, unnatural light sources, etc) off and out of the picture you may still find yourself wide awake.

It may be time to head to the kitchen for that proverbial “midnight snack.” Although, hopefully, you aren’t really sneaking into the kitchen at midnight (when you should be sound asleep) there are foods and snacks that can help you wind down and drift off at bed time.

When you mention Thanksgiving and its big turkey dinner most people get sleepy just thinking about it. That’s because turkey has an amino acid called tryptophan in its meat. Tryptophan helps create the sleep-inducing neurotransmitter serotonin, which is produced naturally in the brain.

Most people already know about tryptophan in turkey. What they may not know is that there are other foods that contain it and are perfect for a moderate, nighttime snack.

Popcorn, already a night-time snacker’s favorite, has its own levels of the amino acid and will help you fall off to sleep. However the best effects will be found in plain, air-popped popcorn, so try to stay away from the buttery kind.

Almonds have many benefits. They are recommended to help keep you awake during the day, but they can also help you get to sleep when combined with other sleepy food. They, too, contain tryptophan.

Bananas are a great night-time snack. Not only do they have the amino acid, but they are also packed with healthy carbohydrates, which help to slow you down a bit.

Milk is an old standby as a sleep aid. For many people it may be the soothing effects of warmed up milk that help lull the senses. Milk does contain tryptophan to help you feel sleepy, but it also has calcium to help lower stress and anxiety levels.

Just like milk, yogurt is another food for thought. Not only does it have the same properties as milk, it also has protein to fill you up and satisfy you on your way to bed. (It’s hard to sleep when you’re hungry!)

Last, but not least, edamame is a great, fresh snack to help you sleep. Unexpectedly just a cup of soybeans has 122% of your daily recommended value of tryptophan.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > Sleepy Foods:Snacks to Help You Get to Sleep

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