Tryptophan -- as in turkey -- is legendary for being a snooze food. But actually, not so much. Other foods are far better at pulling the shades down over your eyes. True, when tryptophan's combined with other nutrients (B6, B12, folic acid), it helps make serotonin, the sleep hormone. The trouble is, it's hard to get enough tryptophan into your brain to put you to sleep. Other smaller, more nimble amino acids tend to crowd it out, says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of The Food & Mood Cookbook: Recipes for Eating Well and Feeling Your Best.
What to do? Eat more carbohydrates. They release insulin, which reduces the amino acids in your blood stream -- except for tryptophan. With the competition gone, whatever tryptophan is around can enter your brain and make serotonin. Even better, the carbs also lower your blood sugar, which also makes you drowsy. (Still with us? Great. We're done.)
So if you're often staring at the ceiling for more than 15 minutes, try one of these light,Read More »from Trouble Sleeping? Top 10 Foods That Help You Sleep