Choose These Superfoods to Help You Sleep

sleepy-personWhile it’s important to avoid a big, heavy meal right before bed (a full stomach will disturb your sleep), some foods may actually help you sleep. If you’ve had a few nights of restless sleep, make a light whole-wheat-pasta dish with fresh vegetables, a little diced chicken breast, tomato sauce, and a sprinkle of Parmesan for dinner. This meal contains a sleep-friendly combination of protein and tryptophan, which is an amino acid that converts to sleep-promoting serotonin in the body.

If your stomach’s growling late at night and you feel hungry when you know you really shouldn’t be eating, try a few slices of turkey breast which is low in calories and also supplies tryptophan to help promote sleep.  The foods that give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to tryptophan are:

Here is a list of some healthy foods that are naturally rich in tryptophan:

  • Beans
  • Whole grains, including rice
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Hazelnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Eggs
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Miso (fermented soy beans)
  • Raw dairy products (if you can tolerate dairy)

I find that taking a 400 mg. of Magnesium and your calcium supplement together near bedtime also helps with a deeper, more restful sleep.

Drinking alcohol of any kind makes you fall asleep quickly but actually makes the second half of your sleep cycle gets disrupted. This makes you actually feel more tired in the morning since you did not get enough of your “deep cycle” sleep.  So, if you drink wine or alcohol, try to finish your drinks within 2-3 hours of your bedtime.

Courtesy of The Nutrition Advisor Blog — you can also visit her website.

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© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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