Monday, February 21, 2011

Can't Sleep? Try These Foods

If you have trouble sleeping, here are five foods that can really help you fall asleep:

1. Bananas. Because bananas contain potassium and magnesium and they are natural muscle relaxants, your body may relax more after eating them.
also, bananas contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter0 and the natural sleep aid, melatonin.
2. Cherries. Fresh or dried cherries are a great natural food source of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body's internal clock to regulate sleep. Cherries contain high levels of melatonin and if you eat them  an hour before bedtime you most likely will drift off to sleep easily.

3. Oatmeal. A nice bowl of oatmeal causes blood sugar levels to rise, that makes insulin production and the release of sleep-inducing brain chemicals. Again with the  melatonin, oatmeal is full of melatonin.

4. Warm milk. Just like bananas, milk contains the amino acid L-tryptophan, which turns to 5-HTP and releases relaxing serotonin. There's also lots of calcium, which promotes sleep.

5. Toast. Carbohydrate-rich foods produces insulin and that promotes  sleep by speeding up the release of tryptophan and serotonin, two brain chemicals that relax you and send you to sleep.