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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Can't Sleep? Here are 5 Foods That Can Help!

It's an all too familiar scene. You're tired, and you know you need a good night's sleep, but the moment your head hits the pillow, you toss and turn, resulting in another night of restlessness. For many people, it is difficult to tune out all the stress of the day and relax enough to fall into the kind of deep sleep that gives your body the rest it needs.

There are foods that can actually help you relax. Many of them contain tryptophan which produces serotonin and melatonin, natural chemicals in the body that help you sleep. Here are some food recommendations that might help.

Warm Milk - your mother probably gave you this when you were young, and she was on the right track! Warm milk contains tryptophan and will help you sleep. But don't add cocoa! Cocoa beans contains chemicals that act as stimulants, so no hot cocoa if you're trying to get to sleep.

Yogurt - instead of a bowl of sugary ice cream, try a non-fat yogurt before you go to bed. Yogurt contains tryptophan and is also a very good source of calcium.

Popcorn - yes, popcorn has carbohydrates that help send tryptophan to the brain to produce serotonin which helps you sleep.

Cherries and cherry juice - both contain melatonin, a natural chemical for sleep.

Chamomile tea - this tea has no caffeine and the chamomile is a relaxant. Chamomile is also believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory capabilities as well as an aid in digestion after meals. Many people don't like the taste, but you can sweeten it with honey. Don't use sugar as it is a stimulant.

Other sleep aid suggestions include not eating a large meal too close to bed time (2-3 hours), avoiding drinks containing caffeine and sugar, and even alcohol, all of which can interfere with your ability to fall asleep and get a good night's rest.

DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.