5 Foods to Help You Sleep Better

| 7/28/2010 12:04:00 PM

What we eat is connected to how we sleep. Just as certain foods can keep you awake, some foods can help you fall asleep. Want a better night's sleep? Try these five foods!

milk and cookies
Have a glass of milk before you head off to bed. Milk contains tryptophan, calcium and magnesium, all of which can help induce sleep. Pass on the cookies, however. The excess sugar and caffeine in the chocolate can keep you awake. Photo By elana's pantry/Courtesy Flickr.

1. Turkey

A post-Thanksgiving dinner is tradition for a reason; turkey is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that the brain uses to make serotonin and melatonin, hormones that calm and induce sleep. Chicken and other poultry also contain tryptophan, but turkey is the classic favorite as it contains some of the highest levels of this sleep-aiding substance.

2. Carbohydrates

While you’re having a slice of turkey before bed, why not throw it on some bread and make a sandwich? Bread is an excellent source of carbohydrates, and eating carbohydrates can also make you sleepy. Carbohydrate-rich foods stimulate the body to release insulin, which clears the bloodstream of any other amino acids that might compete with tryptophan for the brain’s attention.