Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.  -George Iles

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Foods That Help You Sleep

Maybe a rich, hearty dinner, topped off with a big slice of chocolate cake might seem like the perfect way to end the day, but it’s wise not to eat a large meal within two hours of bed. Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods as bedtime snacks.


However, a light snack before bed, especially one which contains the amino acid tryptophan, can help promote sleep. When you pair tryptophan-containing foods with carbohydrates, it helps calm the brain and allow you to sleep better. For even better sleep, add some calcium to your dinner or nighttime snack. Calcium helps the brain use and process tryptophan.  On the other hand, you might want to avoid eating too much protein before bedtime - protein-rich foods contain tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulates brain activity. Experiment with your food habits to determine your optimum evening meals and snacks.


Some bedtime snacks to help you sleep:


Glass of warm milk and half a turkey or peanut butter sandwich

Whole-grain, low-sugar cereal or granola with low-fat milk or yogurt 

A banana and a cup of hot chamomile tea

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