Nutrition can help if you have trouble falling asleep. Waking up hungry in the middle of the night means you deprived yourself of food during the day. Make sure you schedule three small meals plus two snacks if you need them, and dine on sleep inducers before bedtime. Certain foods are packed with proven sleep aids such as tryptophan, magnesium, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6. Indulging in cherries and Greek yogurt is much yummier than any sleeping pill.

Keep these foods in mind if you have a problem getting to sleep or staying asleep.


Try a half cup of skim milk before you set your alarm. Milk is rich in magnesium and calcium that help your body produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. The beverage is also loaded with protein that will help you stay asleep.

String cheese

Another satisfying way to consume protein is to top whole-grain crackers with part-skim mozzarella cheese.


Cantaloupe or other water-laden fruits such as apples, oranges or pears will help you avoid dehydration, which can impair falling asleep and staying asleep. Add a cup of fruit to a half-cup of nonfat Greek yogurt for additional protein that will double the sleep-inducing punch.

Sweet Potato Toast

Potassium, magnesium and calcium in baked sweet potatoes are guaranteed to help you relax. Top with a tablespoon of nut butter or a drizzle of honey and a pinch of sea salt for a bedtime treat.

Nut butter

The peanut butter or almond butter you lavish on that sweet potato toast packs a lot of filling protein, so use only a tablespoon to keep from feeling overstuffed. Spread it on graham crackers or a banana as well.


Pistachios deliver a wallop of protein, vitamin B6, and magnesium, but don’t overdo. Too many calories can keep you awake. Limit nuts to a one-ounce snack.


Munch on prunes about 30 minutes before you trip off to bed. Top whole grain toast with dried plums or add them into trail mix. Their nutrients—vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium—help your body produce the hormone melatonin.

Herbal teas

Calm your nerves, soothe your stomach and hydrate your body with herbal teas. Chamomile remains a great favorite among sleep inducers.


The grains in oatmeal your make you feel sleepy by raising blood sugar naturally. The cereal also is loaded with melatonin, which relaxes the body and helps you fall asleep.


Relaxation of muscle and nerve function is a byproduct of consuming tryptophan and magnesium. Almonds are loaded with them.


Cherries, nuts and oats are a natural source of melatonin. Eat them regularly, and they can help regulate your sleep cycle.

Dark Chocolate

Another relaxant for body and mind is found the in the serotonin that’s packed into dark chocolate.


Relaxation for nerves and muscles is also produced by the magnesium and potassium in bananas. The vitamin B6 found in bananas contributes to relaxation by converting tryptophan into serotonin.


Looking for another great source of tryptophan? Try the Middle Eastern spread for better sleep.