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5 Foods That Help You Sleep

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Should you let yourself have that midnight snack if you're having trouble sleeping and you think hunger might be part of the problem? Here are five foods that can actually help you drift off:

Cherries
Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body's internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.

Bananas
Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin.

Toast
Carbohydrate-rich foods trigger insulin production, which induces sleep. Bring on sleepiness by speeding up the release of tryptophan and serotonin, two brain chemicals that relax you and send you to sleep.

Oatmeal
Like toast, a bowl of oatmeal will trigger insulin production, raising blood sugar naturally and making you feel sleepy. Oats are also rich in melatonin, which many people take as a sleep aid.

Warm milk
Like bananas, milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases relaxing serotonin. It's also high in calcium, which promotes sleep.

Cheers!
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First Helper User Profile StayHealthy2009
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replied March 22nd, 2012
Great article! I only knew the warm milk trick...
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replied April 24th, 2012
Fantastic. It's helpful one.
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