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10 foods to help you sleep better

By The Daily Word

If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep, take a look at your diet.

Eating certain foods a few hours before bed, can help bring sleep better and improve its quality.

  • Almonds: They contain magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation. They also supply enough protein to help maintain a stable blood sugar level. Try a just a handful or a tablespoon of almond butter.
  • Tea: Decaf varieties, like chamomile, are helpful and safe sleep aids. Green tea contains theanine which also helps promote sleep. Just make sure the green tea is decaf. Try a 1-cup serving.
  • Miso soup: The broth-based soup often served in Japanese restaurants also is available in 8-ounce instant packs. Miso contains amino acids that can help boost the production of melatonin, a natural hormone that helps make you sleepy.
  • Bananas: They are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which can help relax overstressed muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin.
  • Dairy: Yogurt, milk and cheese also contain tryptophan. But calcium, too, works as a good stress reliever.
  • Oatmeal: A warm bowl is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium, all important nutrients that support sleep. But go easy on sweeteners. Too much sugar can have an anti-calming effect.
  • Hard-boiled egg: High in protein, this satisfying snack can help you stay asleep.
  • Edamame: The young soybeans are especially helpful for women who are dealing with menopause-related sleep symptoms. The natural estrogen-like compounds found in soy based products like edamame can help control those nighttime hot flashes that can disturb sleep.
  • Cherries: Whether frozen, dried, fresh or in juice form, researchers found that they naturally boosted the body's supply of melatonin. Tart cherries proved even more effective.
  • Cereal: A small bowl of whole-grain cereal that's low in sugar also may help you sleep soundly. That's because complex-carbohydrate rich foods boost tryptophan in the bloodstream.