For those of you who get the midnight munchies, it might be a relief to learn that not all midnight snacks are bad. In fact, some midnight snacks can help you get a better night’s rest. Here are some snacks to reach for if you’re tossing and turning in bed trying to sleep.

Nuts

Almonds, walnuts and pistachios are among some of the best foods to munch on when trying to sleep. These nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that research has shown to be a natural sedative. Insomnia is often one of the key symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency can often cause you to wake up at night, develop anxiety problems, and can permanently disrupt your sleep cycle. Nuts such as almonds and cashews are particularly rich in magnesium and can help you sleep better.

Turkey

Turkey is often cited as a food source that can cause drowsiness due to its high level of tryptophan. Tryptophan is one of the building blocks of serotonin, a calming agent that triggers the body’s desire to nap. Melatonin, in particular, is another compound found in turkey that helps to regulate the sleep cycle.

Milk

As getting quality rest gets harder as we age, it becomes increasingly important to watch what we eat before bed. Milk, however, can help people of all ages get a better night’s rest. Milk has tryptophan and natural melatonin and can be especially useful for the elderly. Tryptophan is one of the components that helps calm your mind and gets you ready to sleep. Melatonin is directly responsible for maintaining your sleep cycle. Drinking a little warm milk before bedtime can help ease your mind and body into falling asleep.

Fruits

Fruits such as bananas, kiwis, and cherries can help you fall asleep. Tart cherry juice, in particular, contains melatonin. Eating a handful of cherries an hour before bedtime is one of the best ways of falling asleep. Other fruits to help you sleep include magnesium-rich bananas and the serotonin-rich kiwis.

 

When it comes to sleep, our bodies can be very complex and confusing. While there are certainly psychological problems that will prevent you from sleeping, there are certain food groups that contain the right type of minerals and compounds that help make falling asleep easier. However, if you do find yourself unable to sleep for one reason or another, give some of these food groups a try and see if they will help give you a good night’s sleep.

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