Foods That Will Help You Sleep Better

June 28, 2019

Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images News

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We all know how sleepy we get after Thanksgiving dinner. For starters, we generally eat a lot, which makes us tired. Then there's the turkey. More specifically it's the tryptophan found in turkey. It's an essential amino acid that the body changes into serotonin, a relaxing neurotransmitter, then the body changes that into melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycles. Combine that with other complex Thanksgiving foods that speed up tryptophan’s metabolism into serotonin and melatonin and it's nap time.

But turkey isn't the only food to contain tryptophan. Here are some other things you can eat to help you get a better night's sleep:

  • Dried egg whites
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Atlantic cod
  • Cheeses
  • Soybeans
  • Edamame

However, there is one food that studies have shown will increase melatonin levels enough to give you longer sleep time and less tossing and turning. Tart cherries. There is a flavonoid in cherries that actually increases tryptophan availability. Plus, cherries help to reduce inflammation, so it also helps your body relax.