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If you find yourself tossing and turning at night and waking up as tired as you were when you went to sleep, you aren’t alone.  Millions of Americans are struggling to get the sleep they need and sleep deprivation is rapidly becoming a national health crisis.  Sleep is one of the foundations of good health.  Not getting enough of it can endanger your health and increase your risk of developing several serious long-term problems like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.  The consequences of sleep deprivation, both immediate and over the long term have many of us searching for the answer and a good night’s sleep in a bottle of pills.  However, the solution to your sleep problem may not be in your medicine cabinet at all.  You might find the key to a good night’s sleep in a different cabinet all together, the cabinet in your kitchen.

 

Whether you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or just wake up feeling tired no matter how much sleep you get, changing the food you eat may make a difference.  Here are 7 foods you can eat that may help you get to sleep.

 

1.     Tart Cherries

A study performed at the University of Pennsylvania found that drinking tart cherry juice can help people fall asleep.  Cherries are high in melatonin, the naturally occurring hormone that helps tell our bodies it is time to sleep.  Drinking a cup of tart cherry juice twice a day can help alleviate the symptoms of chronic insomnia.

 

2.    Fish

Almost all fish is high in Vitamin B6 which is a key component our bodies use to produce melatonin.  Fish like tuna, salmon, and halibut are especially high in this vitamin and can be super sleep foods.  As a bonus, fish is also a heart healthy food.

 

3.     Dairy Products

There may be some truth to the idea that drinking a glass of warm milk may help you fall asleep.  Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are high in calcium which may be crucial to get the sleep you need at night.  The good news is, this means a bowl of ice cream before bed might actually be good for you!

 

4.     Jasmine Rice

According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a meal that includes jasmine rice helped people fall asleep faster.  The initial thinking is that jasmine rice, as a high glycemic-index food, is creating the most optimal ratio of tryptophan in the blood to induce sleep.

 

5.     Bananas

Bananas are a great source of Vitamin B6, one of the building blocks of melatonin.  Snacking on this fruit during the day can ensure your body has enough vitamin B6 to help you get the sleep you need.

 

6.     Leafy Greens

Kale, spinach, and other dark leafy greens are also high in calcium and offer the same kind of benefits as dairy products.  Eating these as part of your daily diet boosts your calcium and ensures you won’t suffer any sleepless nights because you are deficient.

 

 7.     Whole Grains

Whole grains are good for your overall health but may also help you get the sleep you need.  These grains are high in magnesium which can also steal your sleep when you don’t have enough of it.

 

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