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What to Eat Before Bed

January 16th, 2012 Healthy Living

Sometimes it's difficult to fall asleep and get your body into a more relaxed state. If you're stressed or worried about something, chances are you won't be able to get enough sleep at night. Instead of turning to a pharmaceutical aid, you could try promoting sleep in a more natural way by eating a healthy bedtime snack.

Foods that combine tryptophan with carbohydrates are the best at helping you sleep better. Tryptophan is an amino acid which helps the body make serotonin, a hormone that promotes calm feelings and relaxation. The carbohydrates help to get the tryptophan to your brain. Here are some foods to consider, according to Shape magazine and Dr. Ben Kim, a promoter of natural health remedies.

1. Beans, lentils and chick peas. These are naturally full of tryptophan and they're very healthy for you. Try combining them with carbohydrate-rich rice, grains or veggies.

2. Eggs. These are packed with tryptophan as well, so eat them with whole grain toast to get the most benefits.

3. Dried tart cherries. These are packed with age-fighting antioxidants and plenty of carbohydrates. They're also a source of melatonin, which has been found to promote better sleep.

4. Peanut butter. With plenty of protein and tryptophan, your body will appreciate this ingredient the most if paired with something like whole grain crackers.

5. Chamomile tea. This variety doesn't have caffeine, plus it has a calming effect on your body. Warm liquids before bed can help you feel sleepy by raising your body temperature.

As long as you eat a few of these foods with dinner or as a bedtime snack, your body should be in for a great night's rest.