Drifting off to sleep can be super hard some nights, but what if we told you that getting a bite to eat could help you fall asleep faster? It's true, as long as you choose an evening snack that's rich in melatonin.
"Melatonin is the chemical that makes us sleepy at night. Light — either from the sun or your laptop — suppresses melatonin," W. Christopher Winter, MD, author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broke and How to Fix It, told POPSUGAR. That means you should power down your devices in the evening, but supplementing with melatonin can also help improve sleep and combat insomnia. That said, taking it in the over-the-counter form you find in pharmacies may not be safe, particularly over the long-term. Instead, try one of these three melatonin-packed snacks:
- Walnuts: "In addition to having high levels of tryptophan (an amino acid that aids in melatonin production), walnuts also have a unique form of melatonin in high levels," Dr. Winter said.
- Tart cherries: "Tart cherries have been shown to produce a surge in melatonin that can be helpful with sleep initiation," Dr. Winter explained. A 2017 pilot study found that those who drank one cup of tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks increased sleep time by 84 minutes compared to those in the placebo group.
- Kiwis: The fuzzy fruit can seriously help you fall asleep. In a small study, people who ate two kiwis an hour before bed for four weeks decreased the amount of time it took for them to fall asleep by 35 percent.