Stuck counting sheep under the covers? Perhaps you need to nourish your body with a better dinner. Certain foods, such as the ones below, help synthesize the amino acid tryptophan—a precursor to sleep-regulating hormones serotonin and melatonin—or contain slumber-inducing nutrients including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and B vitamins. Find out which picks are midnight snack-approved, then scope out these 25 Doctors’ Own Tips for Better Sleep.
Milk contains sleep-inducing tryptophan to help you catch Zzzs more soundly. Mom was right!
Kiwi contains the sleep hormone serotonin and folate, which can ward off insomnia.
Magnesium and calcium work together to prime your body for slumber, and almonds just happen to be a potent source of both.
Who knew chickpeas are a good source of slumber-promoting tryptophan?
The tart fruit’s fibers are packed with naturally-occurring melatonin, helping you doze off quicker.
Nanners contain two key muscle relaxers—potassium and magnesium—in addition to tryptophan.
Consider raw spinach the best-kept secret for a perfect night’s sleep: in addition to tryptophan, it’s got a winning combo of folate, magnesium, and vitamins B6 and C to help synthesize serotonin.
The tryptophan in meat such as chicken, turkey, beef, elk, and lamb can help whisk you off into dreamland.
For a quadruple tryptophan treat, layer low-fat Greek yogurt, honey, raw oats, and banana.
Jelly’s partner in crime happens to be jam-packed with tryptophan.
Whole Grain Toast
In addition to muscle-relaxing magnesium, whole grains contain B vitamins that are essential for proper tryptophan absorption.
Cheese may seem like an overly indulgent midnight snack, but it’s chock-full of tryptophan to help you nod off.
Passionflower tea can help you savor sleep thanks to its flavone chrysin, which works as a mild sedative.
Lemon Balm Tea
Another natural sedative, lemon balm tea has been shown to nip sleep disorders in the bud.
Besides for helping you stay regular, prunes pack in vitamin B6, calcium and magnesium, which are essential for melatonin production.
Soy foods such as miso, tofu, edamame, and tempeh are brimming with isoflavones, which help produce serotonin.
This indulgent treat delivers a powerful serotonin punch in every bite.
Insomnia stands no chance against carbs and calcium!
These succulent taters are brimming with magnesium, potassium, and calcium to help you hit the hay.
Salmon, halibut, and tuna are especially high in vitamin B6, which helps make melatonin. Wild salmon is also one of our 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss.