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Knowing what not to do isn’t enough in life, you also have to know what to do. Think of it like  sewing a dress, you know you can’t sew the material as a whole without cutting it but unfortunately, you don’t know how to cut it out.

Sequel to the write-up on the worst foods to have as or with your dinner, here is a list of the best foods to have as or with your dinner if you don’t want to keep tossing in bed.

1. Cherries
Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock. One study—albeit a small one—found that drinking tart cherry juice resulted in small improvements in sleep duration and quality in adults who suffered from chronic insomnia. Travelers often take melatonin capsules to combat jet lag.

2. Milk
Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin is the precursor for melatonin which helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycles and the internal clock. Although the topic is a controversial one, some people believe that tryptophan and serotonin might make it easier to sleep or maybe  a simple glass of milk brings back soothing childhood memories, which help you drift off.

3. Jasmine rice
Jasmine rice ranks high on the glycemic index (value of how carbohydrates affect blood glucose level), meaning the body digests it slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream. The authors of a 2007 study in the American journal of Clinical Nutrition speculate that high-glycemic-index meals may up the production of tryptophan.

4. Fortified cereal
Carbs in general are good for sleep but it is not a great idea to binge on a box of cookies before bedtime (or anytime). Instead, try a bowl of oats or shredded wheat which contain “good” or complex carbs. Even better, cereal goes well with milk which has its own sleep-promoting qualities. Other complex carbs are quinoa, barley, and buckwheat.

5. Bananas
Bananas help promote sleep because they contain the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium. We need potassium for cardiovascular health and cognitive functioning. They’re also carbs which will help make you sleepy as well. In fact, bananas are a win-win situation in general.

6. Turkey
Like milk, turkey contains tryptophan. Eating a meal of turkey will not help if you are a chronic insomniac, you will need to eat several plates and have several glasses of milk for it to be effective. If you just need a start to sleep, turkey is the way to go.

7. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are a sleeper’s dream. Not only do they provide sleep-promoting complex carbohydrates, they also contain that muscle-relaxant potassium. Other good sources of potassium include regular potatoes (baked and keep the skin on), lima beans, and papaya.

I really hope this helps someone because no one wants to stay up late into the night when he/she really needs the rest.

Eat right to sleep tight!

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