Eat Your Way to Better Sleep
It's Monday. If you're feeling a tad tired from lack of sleep over the weekend, here are a few foods you can eat that will help you get to sleep.
Different kinds of fish and other sea critters include the protein tryptophan, which is known for its natural sleep inducing properties; according to an article published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Shrimp, Pacific cod, albacore tuna and halibut are all excellent choices. Make sure you prepare them in a healthy way like steamed or grilled so when you go to sleep, heavy breading and fatty oils aren't inducing heartburn and keeping you awake.
I used to go to the coffee shop and get what was known as a steamer, which was basically a glass of warm milk with a flavor shot in it. The warm milk felt good in my tummy, and milk also contains tryptophan. If you're not into the whole warm milk thing, combine milk with cereal. Make sure it's a whole grain cereal like Special K or Cheerios and not Honey Smacks. Adding bananas can help, too.
I don't ever think of an egg as a snack, but a hard boiled egg is a great pre-bedtime snack, according to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. The good doctor says that many evening snacks are chock full of carbohydrates and, “The problem with simple carbs is that they can put you on a ‘sugar roller coaster’ and drop your blood sugar while you're sleeping, causing you to wake at 2 or 3 in the morning." Dr. Teitelbaum says that high protein snacks like eggs, cheese and nuts can help you go to sleep and stay asleep.
Now, I'm not talking about the bright red cherries you'd find in a jar on the shelf packed in some unidentified syrup. I'm talking about the actual whole cherries. Cherries contain the chemical melatonin that your brain releases when it's dark to make you tired. Eating a cup of these as an evening snack can help you get to sleep faster. Drinking tart cherry juice can have the same effect, but nutrition experts say it's healthiest to eat foods in their most whole form.