A good rule of thumb is to have the last big meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime, but there are some late-night snacks that can help you get to sleep, and stay asleep all night long.
Almonds: Almonds are high in magnesium, a mineral that is beneficial for quality sleep.
Cereal: As long as you have only a small amount, the carb-and-calcium combo in cereal is helpful when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.
Cheese and crackers: The calcium in cheese helps the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate our sleeping and waking cycles. Calcium also helps regulate muscle movements, so we relax. Enjoy in moderation—just a few!
Chamomile tea: Chamomile increases glycine, which helps relax nerves and muscles.
Cherry juice: Cherries naturally boost our melatonin levels, ensuring a great night’s sleep.
Hummus: Hummus is made of chickpeas, which are a great source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that helps us produce both serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin helps us to be in a good mood; melatonin regulates our body clock.
Jasmine rice: Jasmine rice has a high glycemic index, so it helps you fall asleep faster than other types of rice.
Kale: A trendy “super” food, kale—as well as other dark greens like spinach and mustard greens—is high in calcium, making it a great snack for sleep.
Lettuce: Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties. Try placing three or four large lettuce leaves in 1 cup of room temperature or warm water for 15 minutes. Remove the leaves, add a sprig of mint or a squeeze of lemon for flavor, and sip before bed.
Passion fruit tea: Passion fruit tea is herbal, so there’s no caffeine, plus it contains harman alkaloids that soothe the nervous system.
Pistachios: Pistachios are high in vitamin B6, which helps the body make melatonin and serotonin. Other foods that are high in B6 include tuna, salmon and halibut.
Walnuts: Walnuts are super high in the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan helps the body make both serotonin and melatonin.
Lissa Coffey is a relationship expert, author and broadcast journalist. She writes for eight websites, including Coffeytalk.com, Whatsyourdosha.com and the Better Sleep Council’s site, Bettersleep.org. A BSC spokeswoman, she stars in several videos that offer sleep and mattress-shopping tips for consumers.