Mr. Food: Lullaby Food Tip List

February 25, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
For some of us, catching those all-important z's each night is nearly impossible, even with a top-of-the-line mattress. So how can we try to prevent all that tossing and turning? Check out our list of food that promotes good sleep.

Studies show that certain food tends to make us sleepy, such as:

  1. Food containing tryptophan, which is a natural amino acid with a sedative-like effect. Take turkey. It's a big reason lots of us are sleepy after our Thanksgiving meal. In fact, it makes us even sleepier when we have it on an empty stomach in combination with some carbs. It works like a charm!
  2. The old standby warm milk. We've all heard we should have a glass of warm milk before turning in. It also contains tryptophan, and it's a comforting, tasty childhood bedtime memory that still works!
  3. Chamomile tea. It also has a mild sedating effect. And studies show that drizzling just a bit of honey into our tea may have us drifting off even quicker, because a small amount of the glucose in honey tells our brains to turn off a chemical linked to alertness.
  4. Nuts. They work wonders, as does other food containing magnesium, which is a muscle relaxer. Maybe try a handful of almonds or cashews before hitting the hay, and see what happens.

So, now that we're getting a better night's sleep, what can we do to help us wake up refreshed in the morning? Tomorrow I'll share some rise-and-shine food that helps energize us with more...