We're told time and again to stop eating at a certain point in the evening for weight-loss purposes, but what if that little snack actually better prepared you for bedtime? Just imagine: no sleeping pills, no drowsy p.m. cold medication, just some healthy, good-for-you quick bites that will help your head hit the pillow faster. Jason Wrobel, raw vegan chef and author of the newly released cookbook Eaternity ($15), has found that certain foods with components like potassium, magnesium, calcium, and, of course, tryptophan, can help you catch more z's in no time.
Well+Good outlined these slumber-inducing foods to help you fall asleep faster tonight and each night thereafter while still feeling light and getting nutritional benefits. Keep scrolling to find out which foods will put your insomnia to bed—literally.
A banana a day keeps sleeplessness away. Wrobel calls bananas one of his "favorite insomnia-fighting ingredients."
If you find yourself frequently reaching for the Ambien to fall asleep, Wrobel says that brown rice contains gamma-amino butyric acid, a natural form of the sleep aid.
Chickpeas are filled with vitamin B6, which is essential for making melatonin. Snack on them throughout the day, or have a little fresh hummus in the evening.
Cherries are also rich in melatonin, which helps reset your body's sleep clock—a must for travelers on a fluctuating sleep schedule.
While turkey has long been thought of as the go-to food source for tryptophan, it's not the most feasible snack option (especially if you're a vegetarian), Instead, try walnuts, which Wrobel says are a great source of the amino acid.
Keep scrolling for more sleep-inducing foods.
According to Cynthia Pasquella, CCN, CHLC, CWC, the grains found in oatmeal trigger insulin production which then makes you feel sleepy—so consider forgoing it for breakfast to avoid slumping at your desk and having as a post-dinner snack.
Almonds—while also packed with protein, making them a filling post-dinner snack—contain melatonin to help you drift off to sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, fruits rich in antioxidants, like berries, are rich in melatonin and also have the potential to counteract oxidative stress caused by certain sleep disorders.
To read about the rest of Wrobel's sleep-inducing foods, pick up a copy of Eaternity ($15).