6 Bedtime Snacks That Help You Sleep Better

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Published on July 27, 2018

6 Bedtime Snacks That Help You Sleep Better

image of sleepy dog with alarm clock

image of sleepy dog with alarm clockHaving trouble falling or staying asleep? Try one of these sleep-inducing foods.

Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and offers countless health benefits, affecting everything from your mood and productivity to your heart and weight. Even though many people know it’s important to get a good night’s sleep, 6 out of 10 Americans report having sleep problems, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Having a small bedtime snack can help you drift off into more restful slumber. These 6 foods contain naturally-occurring substances that may help you sleep better:

  1. Milk: Dairy and fortified nut milks are rich in calcium, a key mineral that helps you achieve and remain in the deepest levels of sleep. Any food containing calcium helps, including cheese, yogurt and other calcium-rich foods like kale and green leafy vegetables.
  2. Bananas: The potassium and magnesium in bananas naturally help muscles relax. The fruit also contains L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid that aids the body in producing serotonin, which helps you fall into deep REM sleep.
  3. Cherries: One research study showed that tart cherry juice increased the amount of sleep participants got (participants slept an average of 84 more minutes per night). This is due to the natural presence of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep cycles.
  4. Walnuts: Walnuts are a natural source of melatonin and a good source of L-tryptophan. Other good sources of L-tryptophan include pumpkin seeds and peanut butter.
  5. Pistachios: These tasty green nuggets are loaded with vitamin B-6 and contain unsaturated fat. Both improve serotonin levels, an important regulator of the sleep-wake cycle.
  6. Hummus: Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), the main ingredient in hummus, are rich in several nutrients that are important in regulating sleep cycles, including folate, vitamin B-6 and L-tryptophan.

If you have a problem sleeping on a regular basis, talk to your doctor or call PIH Health Pulmonary department at 562.789.5470. Visit PIHHealth.org/Doctors to find a doctor near you.

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The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.