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Best Nighttime Snacks to Promote Restful Sleep

By Stepy Kamei

When it comes to finding out ways you can induce sleep in the evening, eating may not be the first thing to come to mind. This makes sense, given the fact that there are many foods you should actively avoid in the hours before bedtime because they may mess with your natural circadian rhythms. However, there are some snacks you can turn to in order to encourage feelings of sleepiness and help improve your chances of getting truly deep and restful sleep. Keep on reading to learn more about which foods you can turn to for better sleep going forward!

Snacks to Help Promote Sleep

When planning out your nighttime snacks you should choose ones which contain the important amino acid known as tryptophan. This compound naturally converts into melatonin once it's in the body, which is known to induce sleep. Tryptophan also converts into serotonin, which can provide a calming and sedative effect.

Which foods contain this helpful amino acid? Nuts and seeds, cheese, soybeans, and chicken are all excellent examples. Furthermore, starchy foods such as bread, granola, and whole-grain crackers can also induce sleepiness.

Try to keep your snacking light in the hour or so before you start to wind down for bed. A handful of nuts and a few slices of cheese is an excellent example of a mellowing nighttime snack.

If you need something more substantial, consider making a chicken sandwich on whole grain bread as a calming yet satisfying nighttime meal.

Snacks and Food to Avoid

It should be obvious, but it's important to repeat that any food with high sugar or caffeine content should be avoided once the sun goes down (if not sooner). This means avoiding sugary desserts, such as chocolate, candy, and cookies, as it gets close to bedtime.

If you're really craving something sweet, consider slices of fresh fruit drizzled with honey instead. Bananas, oranges, and pineapples are excellent choices for a healthy nighttime dessert option.

In addition to these healthy eating habits, make sure to follow other examples of proper sleep hygiene by creating a bedtime routine, exercising regularly, and keeping your bedroom dark, cool, and comfortable. 

If you have been following proper sleep hygiene rules, yet still find you're having trouble falling and/or staying asleep, you may want to consider consulting with your primary healthcare provider for further advice on getting better sleep.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sandy Springs, Ga.

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