Sleeping and Eating are Connected: Eat Well to Sleep Well

A warm glass of milk before you go to bed is a time-aged tradition passed down as a means to help you sleep better. But in today's day and age, there are so many more options (and tasty ones at that!) If you often get hungry right before bed, here are 5 great foods that will satiate your hunger and help you sleep. Just remember to eat around an hour before you go to bed as it can take awhile for the food or tryptophan (the amino acid in turkey that makes you super sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner) to work it's magic. Avoid caffeine later in the day as it can take up to eight hours for the affects to wear off. Try caffeine-free teas instead such as mint tea or chamomile tea.

Five Foods to Help You Sleep:

1. Bananas: Bananas are rich in melatonin, which is a naturally occurring hormone that is released when you sleep. Eating a banana before bed will not only help you sleep better but will satisfy your late night snack craving as well!

2. Popcorn: With this snack, be sure to skip the caloric version laden with butter and other chemicals. Plain popcorn has complex carbohydrates that will help your body produce serotonin, which helps you feel relaxed. For extra flavor, toss with a pinch of sea salt and cayenne pepper.

3. Peanut butter: A superb pre-bedtime snack would be a simple peanut butter sandwich. It's rich in carbohydrates and calcium, which will help induce sleepiness.

4. Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds are rich in tryptophan. Eat a handful before bed or sprinkle some in a cup of yogurt, which is high in lysine, an amino acid that helps you feel less stressed.

5. Oatmeal: High in fiber and low in sugar, oatmeal is a good pre-bed snack. If you want to have something quick and easy, try yogurt and granola.

Do you have a pre-bedtime ritual or snack?