To fall asleep: Try some cherries for a bedtime snack because they’re full of melatonin and it helps induce sleep, according to Dr. Steven Feinsilver, a sleep specialist. And nutritionist Dana James says pumpkin seeds are good too because “they’re rich in magnesium which helps to induce a deeper sleep by relaxing the muscles in the body.” Popcorn is a good nighttime snack because it has lots of serotonin which is the chemical that regulates our sleep cycle, says nutritionist Keri Glassman.
To stay asleep: Going to bed with an empty stomach isn’t ideal and it should only be about two hours between your last meal and when you go to bed, otherwise you might wake up when your blood sugar drops too low. James says to try an apple with almond butter to help you sleep through the night. Glassman says if it’s stress that wakes you up, try apricots since they’re high in vitamin C, which reduces stress. Asparagus has folate that can help with anxiety too.
To avoid nightmares: If you’re tired of your intense dreams, try magnesium. James says it has been associated with decreasing nightmares. Avocado has tons of it, leafy greens like kale and spinach do too. Stay away from cheese, as sad as that might be, because it has opioid peptides that send endorphins and our imaginations into overdrive.
For more vivid dreams: If you’re looking for more intense dreams, enjoy some cheese and get some vitamin B6. Tuna and bananas are good sources.
To help with snoring: Vitamin C can help reduce snoring. Get your lemon, orange and grapefruits ready.
What to avoid: Then there are the things we need to avoid in order to get a good night’s sleep. Alcohol does make it easier to fall asleep, but it isn’t quality sleep. And it can bring out snoring Caffeine should be cut off after noon, if you can deal. And even sugary desserts can cause your blood sugar to drop hours later so you wake up in the middle of the night again.