1. Carbohydrates

Eating carbs increases the level of tryptophan in your blood, which the body converts into serotonin – a sleep-inducing brain chemical that slows nerve impulses and promotes calm. While more research is needed, sleep researchers generally agree that including a carbohydrate, particularly slow-burning carbs (beans, pasta, quinoa, sweet potato) to your evening meal will help you sleep more soundly.

2. Chamomile Tea

This caffeine-free herbal tea contains Chrysin – a type of antioxidant found in the chamomile often promoted for its relaxing properties and its sedative effect. It’s a good alternative to coffee and black or green tea, which will contain caffeine.

3. Cherries

These summer seasonal fruits are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that is essential for regulating sleep patterns. Melatonin is made in the brain and is released to induce drowsiness, lower body temperature and put the body into sleep mode. When there is an increased level of melatonin in your body, it helps you sleep better.

4. Almonds

A handful of these heart-healthy nuts can send you snoozing because they contain both tryptophan and a nice dose of muscle-relaxing magnesium. The unsaturated fats found in nuts also improve

5. Bananas

Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle and nerve relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. Bananas are also rich in B-vitamins, which convert tryptophan into serotonin, helping you relax even more.

What to Avoid