The secret to a great night's sleep

Recipes For Sleep

To eat, or not to eat - that is the question! An unspoken rule when trying to catch a good night's sleep is to ditch caffeine and cheese but what should you really avoid? We're going to investigate the midnight snacks that will either take you to the land of nod or keep you up all night.

  • Tryptophan is an amino acid that's believed to induce sleep. This is because it's a precursor to the sleep-inducing chemicals serotonin and melatonin in the brain. Tryptophan is present in small amounts in most protein-rich foods and in higher amounts in yoghurt, milk, oats, bananas, dates, poultry, eggs and peanuts. With that much good stuff, it's hard to ignore!
  • Combine these tasty, high-tryptophan treats with rice, pasta or potatoes to help the body get the most benefits from tryptophan. Try a chicken and noodle stir-fry or similar. Drink warm milk with a cracker or oatcake before bed - you'll feel so relaxed…
  • Sleep is all about routine. Forming regular eating patterns will make it easier to fall asleep in the evening. It's a good idea to eat dinner four hours before going to sleep and to establish a ritual, such as drinking a sleepy tea before bed.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake gradually. Try decaffeinated coffee or caffeine-free drinks like red bush tea.
  • Build relaxation and exercise into the day to help manage stress: although not food-related, this is important and helps get those insides working!
  • Why not swap sugary cereal for a wholegrain alternative, topped with milk and a sliced banana tonight?

Whether or not you eat before sleep we would love to hear your sleep snack do's and don'ts, so let us know on Twitter and Facebook!

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