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The Sweet Sleep Diet - Part 2
01/21/2015
By: Lissa Coffey

Is your New Year’s resolution to get a better night’s sleep every night this year? Terrific! There are lots of things you can do, including creating a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom, and replacing your old mattress. But have you thought about going on a diet? In my last post we looked at some of the foods to avoid in order to get the sleep you need.  This time around, I’ve got a list of foods to favor; foods that can actually help you sleep soundly!

The “YES” List for Sweet Sleep:

-Almonds: Almonds are high in magnesium, a mineral that is beneficial for quality sleep.

 -Cereal: As long as you just have a small amount, the carbs and calcium combo is helpful when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Choose a whole grain, low or no sugar cereal.

-Cheese and crackers: In moderation – just a few! The calcium that is in cheese helps the brain use tryptophan to make melatonin, the hormone that helps to regulate our sleeping and waking cycles. Calcium also helps to regulate muscle movements, so we relax.

-Chamomile Tea: Chamomile increases glycine, which helps to relax the nerves and muscles. Just a small cup is all that is needed, and have it at least an hour before bed.

-Cherry Juice: Cherries natural boost our melatonin levels, ensuring a great night’s sleep.

-Hummus: Hummus is made of chickpeas, and chickpeas are a great source of tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that helps us produce both serotonin and melatonin.

-Jasmine Rice: Jasmine rice has a high glycemic index, so it helps you to fall asleep faster than other types of rice.

-Kale: A popular “super” food right now, Kale, as well as other dark greens like spinach and mustard greens, is high in calcium, making it a great snack for sleep.

-Lettuce: Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties. An easy way to get this is to take 3-4 large lettuce leaves, place in 1 cup of room temperature, or warm water for 15 minutes. Add a sprig of mint or a squeeze of lemon for flavor, and sip about an hour before bed.

-Passionfruit Tea: Passionfruit tea is an herb tea, so there’s no caffeine. This tea contains Harman alkaloids that soothe the nervous system. Again, keep liquids to a minimum and drink at least an hour before you hit the sack.

-Pistachios: Pistachios are high in vitamin B6, which helps the body make melatonin and serotonin. Other foods that are high in B6 include tuna, salmon, and halibut.

-Walnuts: Walnuts are super high in the sleep inducing amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan helps the body make both serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin helps us to be in a good mood, and melatonin regulates our body clock.

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