Lack of sleep can ruin a lot of things: our mood, our patience, our focus and our sense of enjoyment in life. We've all had those sleepless nights. But taking sleeping pills is usually a problematic strategy, because they don't give you the same natural sleep that revitalizes you, and they can become quite addictive too. Better to eat something that will help you fall into a relaxing, renewing, deep sleep.
Here are five recommended foods to put you to sleep:
1. Frozen Bananas
Frozen bananas can be turned into a thick and tasty ice-cream. All you need is the right technique of consistent mixing. The idea is to blend the bananas for several minutes until they turn into a creamy delight. Add a handful of chopped peanuts for an extra tryptophan boost (a chemical that is known to relieve tension and put you to sleep) and you have a great combination.
Not only will the potassium in the bananas help you fall asleep faster, it can also prevent you from waking up for no reason in the middle of the night.
The halibut fish comes with two great sleeping aids: tryptophan and vitamin B6. It has a meaty, gentle texture and is recommended for sea food lovers. Other foods rich in tryptophan: chicken, beef, soy, yogurt, bananas, peanuts and eggs.
3. Mango Shake
Mangos are packed with antioxidants, proteins, and vitamins. Being naturally sweet they can also help banish your sugar cravings. To make a mango shake cut up a fresh mango and put it in the blender. Add a scoop-full of ice, a small scoop of low-fat Greek yogurt and just a splash of milk or water. To make it a little sweeter, you can add a bit of honey. And if you don't like mangoes, the same can be done with strawberries and watermelons.
A handful of dried cherries won't just provide you with a dose of carbs and serotonin, it's also one of the better-known sources of melatonin - a sleep-inducing hormone (also essential in preventing jet-lag). If that's not enough for you, dried cherries are also packed with antioxidants.
The carbs in popcorn will help your body better utilize tryptophan. This happens because the tryptophan is converted into serotonin, which is responsible for putting you to sleep and waking you up every day. Since a heavy meal about 2 hours before sleep can actually keep you awake at times, a low-calorie popcorn bowl is a recommended treat for late night snacks. If you want to add some flavor, we suggest some curry powder or garlic, instead of butter.