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Food That Will Help You Fall Asleep At Night

| Filed under: Exclusives!FoodMargaux J. Rathbun

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We all toss and turn every once in a while as we struggle to drift off to la la land.

T.R., a FitPerez reader from Florida, is regularly suffering sleepless nights and wrote certified nutritional therapy practitioner Margaux J. Rathbun for some nutritious advice, asking:

"Hi Margaux! Lately, I have been having a really hard time going to sleep at night. I can't seem to get tired and I just don't want to take any sleeping pills. Are there any foods or natural ways that I can get a good night’s sleep? Thanks!"

According to Margaux:

Hi T.R. and thanks for your question.

You are not alone with having trouble sleeping at night. Between work, family life and the mind racing with all of our to-do lists, it’s amazing that we even have time for the 4-5 hours of rest most of us are getting (the majority of adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night). Fortunately, there are some natural and nutritional ways to help you fall and stay asleep at night:

* Try eating a handful of fresh cherries. They are full of naturally-occurring melatonin which helps us fall asleep.
* Take a warm Epsom salt bath before bed. The natural magnesium will enter your skin to relax your muscles and help you sleep.
* Just like cherries, walnuts are a good source of sleep-promoting melatonin and other beneficial nutrients. To help promote relaxation before bedtime, eat a small serving of raw walnuts. You can also find natural sleep-aid supplements that contain walnuts.
* If you have a green-thumb and have an herb garden, be sure to plant some basil. This fragrant, bright green plant has sedative properties, which makes it a great food for helping us to sleep. Try making some homemade pesto!
* If you are experiencing insomnia, try eating dates, figs, bananas, nut butter, tuna, or turkey at least 2 hours before bedtime. These foods are rich in tryptophan which is shown to promote sleepiness.
* Don’t eat large meals before bedtime and avoid caffeine and alcohol four to six hours before sleeping.
* If you are a tea drinker, try brewing a cup of chamomile tea to help you relax. You can add some honey to it if you wish for a sweeter taste.
* Get outside and exercise in the morning. A “sunlight break” promotes sleep 12 hours later and keeps circadian rhythm regular. Take a calm stroll before bedtime.

We hope you can finally get a good night's rest, T.R.!

For more nutrition tips, check out Margaux's website and write Tips@FitPerez.com with any questions for her!

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