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Eat Your Way to a Better Night's Sleep

aving trouble dozing off at night? Registered dietitian and founder of Tracy Lockwood Nutrition, TRACY LOCKWOOD, is here to help.

Bedtime can spark anxiety and nervousness for some, while others can't wait to crawl back into bed. No matter your evening routine, what you eat may be affecting how you sleep. From turkey to yogurt, chamomile tea and almonds, read on to learn more about sleep-friendly foods.

Tryptophan. You know that food coma you experience post-Thanksgiving feast? It's not just in your head. Turkey actually contains a compound known as tryptophan. This sleep-enhancing amino acid is able to cue your body to produce serotonin and melatonin, inducing happiness and sleepiness. So next time you're thinking about dinner after a long day, turkey could be a wise choice. Looking to go meatless? Walnuts are also a great pre-bedtime snack — add some to Greek yogurt for a healthy dessert!

Calcium. With tryptophan, comes calcium: consider the two BFF. Calcium, found in many dairy-based foods such as cheeses and yogurts, allows the brain to use tryptophan more efficiently to produce melatonin. As the brain produces more melatonin (a hormone which regulates our sleep/wake cycles), the body is on its way to a more restful and successful sleep.

Glycine. A crowd favorite, chamomile tea is extremely high in glycine. Glycine is a protein that helps relax the body and muscles, and calms nerves. If you aren’t a tea drinker, meat, dairy, fish and eggs all contain their own individual amounts of glycine.

Magnesium. Magnesium not only aids sleep, but also has anti-inflammatory effects, helps protect heart health and the immune system, and may even ward off migraines. When it comes to shut-eye, this mineral, which can be found in almonds, dark leafy greens, and fish, helps us stay asleep.

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Article by Tracy Lockwood
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