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5 Foods That Will Help You Snooze

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Caffeine’s the worst, and its effect can last up to 10 hours, so steer clear of coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate and other foods that contain caffeine after lunchtime. Some other foods have a similar sleep-disrupting effect. Avoid these five sleep saboteurs:

– Sugar. It’s the worst; it prompts the brain to release stress hormones that block sleep, and causes blood sugar fluctuations that can wake you in the wee hours.

– Chocolate. In addition to caffeine, it’s high in theobromine, a stimulating plant compound.

– Red wine contains sleep-disrupting alcohol, as well as tyramine, an amino acid that increases the brain’s levels of stimulating neurotransmitters.

Aspartame is worse than sugar; like monosodium glutamate (MSG), it encourages the release of excitatory nerve transmitters that can keep you up all night.

– Spicy foods like garlic, ginger and hot peppers are way too warming and stimulating to eat before bed.

For better, faster and deeper Zs, ease yourself into sleep with these soothing snacks…

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Read more: Blogs, Diet & Nutrition, Health, Inspired Eating, Natural Remedies

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Lisa Turner

Lisa is a chef and nutritionist with more than 30 years of professional experience and formal training in food, nutrition and product development. She’s written five books on food and nutrition and is the creator of The Healthy Gourmet iPhone app, and has been a featured blogger for many national sites, including Huffington Post and Whole Foods Market. Lisa is a faculty instructor at Bauman College of Culinary Arts and also teaches food and nutrition classes and workshops to individuals and corporations. She's a black belt in Ninjutsu, an active volunteer in the Boulder Valley school lunch system, and an avid wild food forager.

586 comments

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3:28PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Thanks

5:29AM PDT on May 23, 2011

thanks much!

8:14AM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep, will try some of these snacks!

1:50AM PDT on Apr 12, 2011

deep sleep...

7:17PM PDT on Apr 11, 2011

Thanks for tips, will give them a try.

4:37AM PST on Jan 23, 2011

thanks! for me its also stress that bothers me but that's no food

7:51PM PST on Jan 11, 2011

Unbuttered and unsalted popcorn works miracles in the sleep department for me. Eating several handsful just before bedtime will almost always ensure a sound, peaceful night's sleep. Might as well give it a try. Chances are it will work for you too. Remember, NO SALT OR BUTTER.

11:10AM PDT on Sep 21, 2010

thanks !

2:26AM PDT on Sep 5, 2010

Teresa Medlin.. Yes! I Am another advocate of oatmeal. If I feel hungry before bed, this is my usual bedtime snack. I know that people have been told that you shouldn't eat before bed, but if I didn't eat for a few hours before bed, I would NEVER sleep, because I would be hungry! Mind you, I am a very active person and very slim and so, I think my metabolic rate is too fast to not keep my body fairly regularly stoked!
Thanks Lisa for this post, as I will try some other ideas, which may make a welcome change from... PORRIDGE!

4:49PM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

gonna be hard to go for the turkey/lettuce rollup instead of the chocolate right before bed...

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