If you want a night of sound slumber, consider having a light sleep-inviting snack about an hour before bedtime. Good choices include:
- Half a Banana and a Handful of Almonds: The combination of tryptophan, carbs, and calming magnesium can help make you drowsy. Don’t like bananas? Have some cherries, a natural source of melatonin, instead.
- Whole-Grain Crackers with Peanut Butter: It’s another magical combo (tryptophan + complex carbs) that will promote sound slumber.
- A Mug of Warm Milk: Grandma was right—drinking warm milk before bedtime can help you sleep better, thanks to the dairy drink’s tryptophan, calcium, and magnesium. Just make sure it’s a small mug and not a huge glass, or else you’ll be running to the bathroom all night.
- A Small Bowl of Whole-Grain Cereal with Milk: The milk’s tryptophan, calcium, and magnesium, coupled with the cereal’s calming carbs and magnesium can make you feel sleepy. Opt for a low-sugar cereal, so you don’t get a spike in blood sugar that could rev you up. Or make hot oatmeal with milk, because oatmeal is a rich source of sleep-promoting melatonin.
- Half a Turkey Sandwich: Make it with whole-wheat bread (rich in complex carbs and magnesium) and a couple of slices of turkey (the most famous source of tryptophan) and you’ll be ready to hit the hay in no time. Low-sugar cranberry sauce optional, if you’re really craving that Thanksgiving feeling.
- A Mug of Herbal (Decaf) Tea: Chamomile, passionflower, and valerian teas each have a sedating effect. For an extra dose of calm, add a teaspoon of honey, which contains tryptophan. (Stay away from ginseng tea, though, because it can have a stimulating effect.)