Health Advice



The best foods for better sleep

By Matthew Kadey, M.S., R.D., on

Published in Health & Fitness

Having trouble sleeping? These snooze-inducing snacks can help you escape a slumber slump.


Eating a heavy meal within two hours of bedtime can keep you awake, but light-and-airy popcorn makes a great late-night snack. Popcorn contains carbohydrates that help send the amino acid tryptophan to your brain, where it is used to make serotonin — a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter. Choose plain, fat-free popcorn and jazz it up with a little curry powder or other tasty topping.


When it comes to seafood, halibut has a mild flavor and meaty texture that appeals to finicky fish eaters. It’s also packed with two building blocks for better sleep: tryptophan and vitamin B6. Other foods high in tryptophan include poultry, beef, soybeans, milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts and eggs.

Mango lassi


Full of antioxidants, protein and vitamins, this treat from the Indian subcontinent can satisfy your cravings for creamy and sweet — without the sugar in most ice creams. A lassi is basically a smoothie, but it’s always made with yogurt. To make a mango lassi, cut up one fresh, peeled mango and put it in a blender. Add a handful of ice, a small scoop of plain Greek yogurt and a splash of water or milk. Add a dash of stevia for extra sweetness, if desired. If mango isn’t your thing, substitute frozen berries or watermelon.


High-fiber chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are rich in vitamin B6, which your body uses to produce serenity-boosting serotonin. Try adding rinsed canned chickpeas to salads, soups and stews.

Chamomile tea


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