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Mar 18, 2017 @ 12:19

5 foods to help you sleep better

Getting your head to hit the pillow is easy. But for a whole lot of us, getting some real quality zzz’s is another story. Sometimes, it can actually feel like a challenge. Exercise, meditation and doing a pre-bedtime digital detox all help, but my best friend food can help, too. Here are some of my favorite eats for some serious shut eye.

1. Pineapple

The consumption of melatonin (a hormone found in a few foods, including pineapple) may increase the concentration of melatonin in your blood. Melatonin doesn’t magically make you feel sleepy, but it can help reset your circadian rhythm, also known as your 24-hour sleep and wake cycle. An increased concentration of melatonin signals your body that it’s time for sleep when it actually is.

Mix pineapple with cucumber and fresh lime for a bright salad, or even grill it and enjoy as an after dinner treat. If pineapple isn’t your thing, bananas also contain melatonin.

2. Tart cherries

This is another fruity option for increasing your melatonin levels. Studies have shown supplementing your diet with tart cherries may help improve sleep duration and even increase the quality of sleep. Tart cherries are also loaded with antioxidants and are famous for reducing inflammation and helping reduce pain associated with arthritis, which just may help you get better zzz’s.

You can sip on a club soda with a couple ounces of juice, or buy tart cherries frozen and add to your morning smoothie. Snacking on them dried may not provide the same benefits.

3. Oatmeal

Oats contain more tryptophan per serving than turkey, the food famous for making you sleepy. This amino acid is converted to the feel-good and sleep-controlling hormone, serotonin. Not only that, but just one cup provides you with 60 milligrams of magnesium. If you have trouble quieting down your brain at night, a lack of magnesium might be to blame. Optimal magnesium levels are needed for getting your best sleep.

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