Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ask Your Nanny-Having Trouble Sleeping?

We recently had a question on what to do when you have trouble sleeping.

We have put together a list of healthy snack foods that will help you sleep at night.

1.  Non Fat Popcorn

The carbohydrates in nonfat popcorn help bring the amino acid tryptophan into your brain, where it's used to make a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter called serotonin. Since eating a heavy meal within two hours of bedtime can keep you awake, low-calorie popcorn (just 93 calories in three cups popped) is a great late-night snack.

2.  Halibut

Halibut is packed with two building blocks for better sleep: tryptophan and vitamin B6, which has a mild flavor and meaty texture that appeals to finicky seafood eaters.

3.  Dried Tart Cherries

A handful of dried cherries not only provides the requisite serotonin-boosting carbs, it's may help you sleep better. Plus, tart cherries are packed with age-fighting antioxidants. 

4. Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)

High-fiber garbanzo beans are rich in vitamin B6, which your body uses to produce serenity-boosting serotonin. Try adding garbanzo beans to salads, soups and stews when you need sleep.  

5.  Chamomile Tea

This herbal tea lacks the caffeine found in traditional teas, and it has a calming effect on the body.  Also, a warm liquid before bed can make you sleepy by raising body heat. 

6.  Honey

A rise in blood sugar may reduce the production of orexin in the brain. Orexin is a neurotransmitter that's been linked to wakefulness. Try drizzling a small amount of honey in your chamomile tea. 


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