The 5 Foods That Will Help You Sleep Better Tonight, According to a Sleep Expert
There are very few things that are worse than the inability to fall asleep and get a quality night's rest. If you desperately want to improve your sleep without medication, grab a pen and a piece of paper — or open the notes app on your phone — and get ready to take notes.
To find out the best foods to eat for better sleep, POPSUGAR spoke to Alon Avidan, MD, MPH, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center. Dr. Avidan explained that sleep disorders and disruption are caused by a variety of factors like having caffeine after 10 a.m. and restless legs syndrome.
If you have difficulties falling asleep, Dr. Avidan recommends skipping over-the-counter medicine because side effects can be severe. Instead, he advises seeing your primary care physician, completing a sleep questionnaire, and if necessary, a sleep study to get to the root of the problem.
He also suggests eating foods that have high levels of tryptophan (the precursor to melatonin) before bed to promote better sleep. "Melatonin helps the body transition to sleep. It is produced in the brain in response to darkness, it shuts down the alerting signal generated at the level of the circadian clock in the brain and allows people to fall asleep," he explained.
Ahead, you'll find five tryptophan-containing foods you should stock up on if improved sleep is what you're after.