Hey, Barbizon of Akron! Sometimes sleep just doesn't come easy, no matter how exhausted your brain and body may feel. But, did you know that certain foods are conducive to sound slumber. Include more of these healthy foods in your diet for a good night's slumber.
Turkey: "Turkey is rich in the amino acid tryptophan which helps promote a restful, deep sleep. Tryptophan itself doesn't make you sleepy," says Horn. It helps the brain make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is necessary for sleep and relaxation, and melatonin, a neuro-hormone that has recently become popular as a supplemental sleep aid.
Mashed potatoes: Despite being maligned by the low-carb movement, potatoes rank low on the Glycemic Index, a ranking of carbohydrates and their effect on blood glucose levels. Sweet potatoes and potatoes are a root vegetables that won't spike your blood sugar too high and can even help eliminate acids that block tryptophan. Make mashed potatoes with low-fat milk or buttermilk for a healthy sleep-inducing meal.
Milk: Mothers have been giving kids warm milk before bed for years. "Warm milk is another rich source of tryptophan, which is soothing and will help your body relax," says Horn.
Bananas: Bananas are a natural sleeping aid in that they contain melatonin and tryptophan (which converts to serotonin) to help you fall asleep. "Melatonin is a hormone that signals the brain that it's time for the body to shut down for the night," explains Horn. Plus, these creamy-fleshed fruits also contain magnesium, which is a known muscle relaxer to help you ease away physical tension and stress.
Oatmeal not only warms your belly, it's full of fiber, which can make you feel satisfied before heading to bed. A steamy bowl of cooked oats is also a good source of melatonin. Drizzle your bowl of oatmeal with warm milk for an extra dose of sleep-inducing nutrition.