Food for thought (or sleep): did you know that certain foods actually promote sleep? Anyone who’s seen the Seinfeld episode with the vintage toys will remember that turkey (and wine!) played a big role in getting one character to sleep. The science behind it all is that eating foods high in tryptophan, an amino acid that is found in proteins, helps the body to produce serotonin, also known as the calming hormone, which creates an overall sense of relaxation and well-being.
In addition to the popular poultry-as-sleep-aid, other snoozey-foods include dairy, complex carbs, some fruits (like lemons, mulberries, & bananas), nuts, seafood, some spices (dill & basil), and soy products. Try a banana with peanut butter, a small bowl of oatmeal with warm milk and honey, a handful of almonds, or a quick snack of cheese and crackers. That iconic “midnight snack” of a turkey sandwich now has scientific backing, putting together several serotonin-inducing foods in one tasty package.
One thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to overdo the evening snack – too big a meal right before bed can leave you feeling bloated & uncomfortable, or may even cause heartburn – definitely not conducive to a restful night’s sleep. Stick with smaller portions and healthier options to get the best benefit.
Bon appétit and goodnight!