You place a mask over your eyes to block out the light, put in earplugs to avoid the loud neighbors, and try to relax your mind from thinking about your to-do list, but you still can’t sleep. What gives? Are you tired (literally) of crawling into bed only to find yourself lying wide awake? Or do you wake up every hour on the hour? Well, there are some things you can do to ensure a good night’s sleep — and it starts with what you eat for dinner.

It’s important to look for foods that contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that releases serotonin, which play a key role in regulating sleep. Consuming tryptophan late in the day will release melatonin and serotonin for good sleep.

So, if you are one of those people that lie awake tossing and turning for hours before you fall asleep, you may have to alter what you eat in the afternoon and evenings. Start by checking out the list of foods that can help you sleep and see if you can incorporate them into your late lunch or dinner. Nothing is worse than not being able to fall asleep when you know you have to wake up early. So, learn how to avoid it from the start.

Sleep is important — and you deserve a good night’s rest. If you are having trouble falling asleep or wake up constantly throughout the night, try eating some of these foods to fall asleep and stay asleep until morning. Get cooking with these foods to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Sweet dreams!

Bananas are well known for being rich in potassium and are also a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.

Cherries are one of the few natural foods to contain melatonin, the chemical that helps control our body’s internal clock, so some cherry juice before bed could help you sleep more soundly.

Chickpeas boast vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin, which can successfully aid in helping you fall asleep.

Fresh Herbs
Fresh herbs can have a calming effect on the body. Sage and basil, for example, contain chemicals that reduce tension. Try to incorporate these herbs into your dinner. Avoid red and black pepper at night, as they may keep you up.

Lean Protein
Lean protein contains tryptophan, an amino acid, which increases serotonin levels, which play a key role in regulating sleep. Lean protein is found in foods such as beans, fish, greens, and eggs. Consuming tryptophan late in the day will release melatonin and serotonin for good sleep. It speeds up the onset of sleep, decreases the level of spontaneous awakenings during your sleep, and helps to increase the amount of refreshing sleep that you get.

Lemon Balm
Benefits of lemon balm include better digestion and decreased agitation, both of which can be main contributors in preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep.

Heart-Healthy Fats
Unsaturated fats improve heart health and serotonin levels. Foods like peanut butter and nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios are good examples.

For me personally it is Lean Protein! Every night my last meal is a 6-7 oz. grilled flank steak with either some roasted asparagus or steamed string beans. I sleep like a baby!

Hope this works for you! Try it and let me know your thoughts!