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Snacks that can help you sleep

Fruits are served at the New York Culinary Experience 2014 presented by New York Magazine and the International Culinary Center at the International Culinary Center in New York City.
Fruits are served at the New York Culinary Experience 2014 presented by New York Magazine and the International Culinary Center at the International Culinary Center in New York City.
Photo by Neilson Barnard

If you are one of those people having difficulty in getting a good night’s rest, consider some recommended light evening snacks that can help you sleep.

Neurologist Alon Avidan, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, suggests a list of snacks containing natural substances to help you enjoy a longer and better rest. He also advises that you be sure to allow your body sufficient time to absorb the nutrients and digest the food by eating them no later than half-hour before retiring.

Peanut butter

Peanut butter is rich in an essential amino acid called tryptophan; our bodies use tryptophan to build hormones necessary for sleep. Spread some peanut butter on whole-grain crackers. The crackers help provide carbohydrates to help the tryptophan in easily reaching the brain.

Bananas

Are you ever abruptly wakened by agonizing charley horses in the middle of the night? According to UCLA’s Alon Avidan, bananas have rich quantities of the minerals potassium and magnesium. These minerals help in relaxing your muscles to help you avoid getting those painful cramps and spasms. Bananas also contain tryptophan to help you in acquiring a good rest.

Almonds

Almonds also help in regulating your sleep. They contain the muscle-relaxing magnesium mineral, as well. Before retiring, a mere tablespoon of almond butter or a handful of these nuts may help you to get the restful sleep you need.

Pineapple

Melatonin is a hormone that helps in regulating sleep. As we age, our natural levels of melatonin decrease. Research shows that eating pineapple substantially increases our melatonin levels over 266 percent. Additionally, melatonin levels are amplified 47 percent after eating oranges and 180 percent after consuming bananas.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm is a perennial herb, which helps in providing a calming effect. It’s from the mint family. It contains organic compounds from the naturally occurring oils that help us relax and sleep better. Brewing your own lemon-balm tea is quite easy. Boil a cup of water and add 1 to 3 teaspoons of dried leaves. Cover and allow it to steep for approximately 10 minutes. Strain and serve.

Sleep well

Close to 70 percent of Americans have sleeping problems; nearly half of them suffer with insomnia. However, there is a connection between how we sleep and what we consume. Timing also plays a part in whether we get our required sleep.

The food products above were just a few suggestions on snacks that can help you sleep. The healthy snacks are natural and work for many people who had difficulty in getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep well!