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Whether you are struggling to fall asleep, to stay asleep, or get as much sleep as you need, the answer to your prayers may be just down the hall.  No, not in the bathroom or in that bottle of over-the-counter sleep aids.  Keep going until you get to the kitchen and you can find a wide variety of sleep friendly foods that can help you get the sleep you need.

If you are consistently struggling to get a good night sleep, trying adding some of these power foods into your daily diet. Try these 8 great foods for a great night’s sleep.


1.     Fish

Most varieties of fish are high in vitamin B6.  This vitamin is a key ingredient in melatonin; the hormone your body makes naturally that is triggered by darkness and sends a signal to your body telling it that it is time to go to sleep.  If you have more B6 from eating tuna or halibut which are both great sources, your body will be better able to use these natural processes to send you off to dreamland.


2.     Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice provides a big boost of melatonin, the hormone that helps bring on sleep.  In one study, people who were suffering from insomnia drank two glasses of tart cherry juice a day and experienced a decrease in the severity of their symptoms.


3.     Whole Grains

Many whole grains like barley are high in magnesium, one of the minerals that promote good sleep.  If you are struggling to get the sleep you need, increasing your intake of magnesium-rich whole grains may help you fall asleep faster.


4.     Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens like kale and collard greens contain a lot of calcium.  Studies have shown that calcium deficiencies can contribute to sleep problems.  Try snacking on some kale chips to help you get to sleep at night.


5.     Bananas

Bananas are beneficial on two fronts.  First, they are high in vitamin B6 which is a key ingredient in producing melatonin.  They are also full of potassium, which like magnesium and calcium, can cause sleep disturbances if you don’t have enough of it.


6.     Dairy Products

Dairy products like yogurt are also high in calcium.  Toss some kale, some yogurt, and some bananas in the blender and you will have a soothing smoothie that is good for your body and good for your sleep.


7.     Oatmeal

Oatmeal is full of carbohydrates which helps tryptophan enter the brain.  Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps induce sleep.  You can eat oatmeal for breakfast but if you have a small bowl closer to bedtime you may get a greater sleep benefit.


8.     Honey

Honey can be a big help if you are trying to get to sleep.  A little splash on honey in a bowl of oatmeal or a cup of decaffeinated tea gives you just enough sugar to help you fall asleep fast and sleep all night long.


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Tempe, AZ