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12 Foods That Help You Fall (and Stay) Asleep!

According to the National Sleep Foundation, close to 60 percent of individuals across the United States say they have a problem sleeping every night. While it can be frustrating tossing and turning, you’ll find that a sleepless night can also cause certain health issues and weight gain, especially in the abdomen. Failing to get enough sleep is a unique form of stress that causes the body to respond with a chronic one. However, an overlooked approach to sleep restoration is through a healthy diet. The following foods will contribute to a restful evening of sleep and allow you to remain that way throughout the entire night.

1. Salmon

If you’re anticipating a good night’s sleep, you can begin with a sleep-inducing evening meal. Salmon is an excellent form of omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s crucial in lessening the stress hormones that can be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re not a fan of salmon, you’ll find other varieties of fish such as halibut to be just as beneficial.

2. Tart Cherry Juice

Before you’re hit with a bout of insomnia, you may want to think about having a drink. While alcohol can disrupt your normal sleep patterns, a glass of tart cherry juice can reduce your symptoms of insomnia significantly. This natural source of melatonin makes the ideal bedtime companion when you mix it with almond or soy milk, ice and mix it in the blender. If you can’t find tart cherry juice at your local retail establishment, you can exchange the juice for dried or fresh cherries.

3. Bananas

Finding it difficult to get to sleep? You may want to try eating a banana. In addition to be full of potassium and helping to calm restless legs, bananas can help combat nasty leg cramps that can plague restless sleepers. Studies published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2007, a correlation has been shown between getting enough potassium and obtaining the highest level of restful sleep. This amazing yellow fruit is also chalk full of magnesium to aid in promoting circulation, digestion and helping the muscles and nerves to relax. To get your recommended dose of magnesium and potassium, you can peel and place the banana in a favorite smoothie recipe or cut it up and serve over cereal.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious, healthy and inexpensive staple to keep in your pantry. Known as a good source of potassium, sweet potatoes can aid in digestion, circulation and help promote relaxation. In addition to baking, you can make homemade sweet potato fries by cutting them into slices, laying them on a cookie sheet and drizzling with a little olive oil. Other excellent sources of potassium include white potatoes, papaya or lima beans.

5. Kale

Biochemists sing the praises of this cruciferous vegetable for its sleep inducing properties. Known for being high in both calcium and potassium, kale can contribute to a peaceful night of sleep. Whether you include it in your evening meal or munch on it as a pre-bedtime snack, this leafy green is great for a good night’s rest. If you aren’t a fan of kale, never fear. Green veggies such as spinach and Swiss chard contain a healthy dose of potassium and host the same benefits as kale.

6. Almonds

A handful of almonds before you hit the sheets can help promote a restful night’s sleep. Because they contain proteins that help stabilize your blood sugar levels while you rest, you’re able to switch from a stage of alertness to drowsiness. If your tastes lean toward something more substantial, you can spread a tablespoon of almond butter on a piece of whole-grain toast for a night of good slumber.

7. Chickpeas

Also referred to as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are instrumental in relieving stress and elevating your mood because of its high levels of vitamin B-6. Adding chick peas to an evening meal can help promote a better night’s sleep. You can best utilize this healthy melatonin producer by placing them on top of a salad. You can also make it into a hummus spread and dip crudité such as red peppers, carrots, celery and cucumber spears.

8. Eggs

Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore. High in protein and used to keep your blood sugar levels stable, eggs can also help you catch enough Zzzs at night. Whether you hard boil a few eggs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or scramble them with a little cheese, this protein enriched gem can make an easy evening snack. If you’re not a big fan of eggs, you can find protein in other places such as lean meat or cottage cheese mixed with fresh fruit.

9. Milk

Movies, T.V. shows and advertisements have sung the praises of milk when it comes to getting some sleep. While some individuals swear that a glass of milk contains enough melatonin to lull a body to sleep, the lack of evidence has caused some experts to back off on these statements. If you’re looking to fall asleep at a faster rate, soy products have been shown to place an individual into a deeper sense of slumber.

10. Herbal or Decaffeinated Green Tea

While you may be used to combating bouts of tiredness throughout your busy day with a cup of coffee, you want to put down your cup of java in favor of decaf tea in the afternoon. Because green tea contains sleep inducing ingredients such as theanin, you’re sure to feel the relaxing effects into the evening hours. In addition to being able to lessen the amount of time it takes to get to sleep, decaf tea can also increase the number of hours you stay asleep. Combine the warm mug with a comfy chair or bed, and you have perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep.

11. Cereal

Low-sugar cereals that are rich in whole-grains can set the stage for a slumber-filled night. Tryptophan isn’t just for Thanksgiving and turkeys. A carb-rich bowl of cereal can also have sleep inducing effects on the brain. In addition to cereal and milk, other carb-protein mates can include cheese and crackers or peanut butter and toast.

12. Oatmeal

While a delicious bowl of warmed oatmeal before bed can be a satisfying way to end your day, you’ll find this soothing snack to aid in helping you get to sleep faster. Because it contains nutritional resources such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, you’re sure to conquer any late-night jitters with this super food. However, topping your bowl of oatmeal with too much sugar can be counter-productive. Blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, almonds and cinnamon make better alternative toppers.

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