6 Snack Combos to Help You Fall Asleep

Cereal + Skim Milk

While carbohydrates in cereal help you fall asleep, protein-rich milk helps you stay asleep. How? By eating them together, you'll absorb more of the amino-acid tryptophan (usually associated with that post-Thanksgiving meal slump) than you would if you ate them alone. Plus, milk is chock-full of calcium and magnesium, which helps you produce melatonin the hormone responsible for sleep regulation. Just stick to one cup of a low-sugar cereal (6 grams of sugar or less per serving) with a half cup of skim milk.



Non-Fat Greek Yogurt + Melon

Since dehydration can affect your ability to fall and stay asleep, choosing a high-water volume fruit like melon can make up for any missing drinks during the day. Others to try? Apples, oranges, and pears. After pairing any of these with the protein in the yogurt, you'll have a perfect sleep-inducing snack. Add a cup of cubed fruit to a 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt.



Related - Eating Late At Night May Be Bad For Your Brain

Dried Cherries + Pistachios

Pistachios have a winning sleep-inducing combination of protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, and research has shown that cherries can help improve melatonin production. Just don't exceed the one-ounce portion of nuts (about 160 calories) and one cup of cherries since anything too high in calories can have the reverse effect of keeping you awake.

 


Crackers + Cheese

The lean protein from dairy with the crunchy crackers is a perfect combo since it's chock-full of calcium, magnesium, and tryptophan all necessary for sleep. Pick a part-skim mozzarella cheese like string cheese to keep total calories and fat content at bay (too much fat can keep you awake), and add about 15 small whole grain crackers.

 


Almond Butter + Banana

Bananas and almonds pack a big vitamin B6 and magnesium punch, making it ideal for a good night's rest. Because it could be a sneaky high-cal snack, just keep that nut butter portion to a tablespoon so you're not feeling too stuffed before you hit the hay.

 

Chamomile Tea + Graham Cracker With Nut Butter

If you regularly lose sleep because of an upset stomach, chamomile tea can help. Not only is it hydrating, but it's also full of a relaxation agent that can soothe nerves before bedtime. Try adding two graham crackers with two teaspoons of nut butter or a slice of cheese for an added dose of protein, which will help you fall asleep faster.


Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, is the nutrition director for the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.
Photos: Getty Images
From: Good Housekeeping  
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