The prospect of eating yourself to sleep may sound a bit farfetched (mostly because food as a solution in general sounds too good to be true), but when you find yourself tossing and turning as the clock ticks on, it might help to reach for a remedial midnight snack. Read on to see some of our go-to evening snacks when we’re in need of a little extra help getting some shut eye.
If you’re not crazy about late-night snacks, but are considering making an exception due to restlessness, yogurt could be the perfect solution. Totally effective without being too heavy or filling, protein-rich yogurt is a great source of tryptophan, the amino acid that acts as the body’s natural sedative.
Seriously, though, is there anything that peanut butter can’t do? (Do you know of any other foods that could just as easily be paired with jelly as they can with Pad Thai? We didn’t think so.) When it comes to getting you to sleep, the protein in peanut butter is a source of tryptophan. For an extra sleep boost, pair your late-night PB fix with some whole grains, like a piece of wheat toast, which help tryptophan make its way to the brain.
Bananas are a triple threat when it comes to fighting off insomnia and helping you doze of. Not only do they contain tryptophan, but they’re also rich in magnesium and potassium, both of which play a role in relaxing tired muscles. Once your muscles feel relaxed, the rest of your body starts to follow suit.
A spoonful of sugar might not really help your medicine go down, but it could help you get to sleep. Kind of. Honey, which is packed with natural sugar, can raise insulin levels in your body, which in turn makes it easier for tryptophan to get to your brain. So, in a way, sugar contributes to better sleep. Talk about supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
Fish might not be what comes to mind when you think of getting out of bed for a midnight snack, but there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that it should be. Because of its high content of vitamin B6, tuna, along with other fish like salmon and halibut, can help the body produce melatonin, a hormone that maintains the body’s circadian rhythm and promotes sleep.
Cereal is a breakfast staple, so the idea of having it as an evening snack may seem a bit backwards, but fixing yourself a bowl before bed might set you up for better sleep. Cereals that are made with whole grains and are low in sugar are a good source of complex carbs that increase tryptophan in the body, while protein from the milk helps get the amino acid to the brain. This makes having breakfast for dinner not just totally acceptable, but beneficial, too. We can totally get behind that.
To ensure you get a good night of sleep, you can try drinking a natural sleep elixir such as reBloom at bedtime and wake up feeling refreshed for your next day.