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1 of 15 of a young woman eating ice cream in bed

Not being able to sleep at night is a nightmare—it’s so awful it makes you wish you were asleep instead and having actual nightmares. When you’re lying there, and the entire world is quiet, it can feel like the streets are mocking you. Everybody is asleep but you. Everybody is getting in those essential REM cycles except for you. Everyone gets to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day…well, everyone but you. You wake up feeling like a zombie. You feel like you’re being released from that prison that is your bedroom. Yup: your bedroom has become a place you dread. Insomnia is so awful and it’s a club nobody wants to be a member of. But if you aren’t willing to take sleeping pills, what are you to do? Use food. Here are foods to eat at night to beat insomnia.

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Not only does the smell of this fruit have calming properties, but its magnesium and potassium will also help your muscles relax. If twitching, tossing, and turning keep you up at night, try a banana split for dessert.

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Whether you want to bake salmon for dinner or make a tuna melt when you’re feeling lazy, the B6 in fish will help your body produce melatonin.

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Whatever you’re making for dinner, make it with garlic. Not only will this naturally add wonderful flavor to your food, but it also contains that sleep-inducing B6 we already mentioned.

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Not only will prunes help you wake up to a nice and easy bowel movement, but they will also give you a good dose of magnesium, vitamin B6, and calcium, all of which promote relaxation. mix in a wooden plate


Walnuts are a quick and easy snack you can have before going to bed. They contain tryptophan and melatonin, both of which will help you sleep. Plus, their protein content will prevent blood sugar spikes from waking you up.

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This will only help those who don’t have a lactose-intolerance, of course. But calcium and dairy both boost the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. So if a cup of warm milk isn’t your thing, put some cheddar on some crackers.

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A bowl of granola

A bowl of granola contains the magical combination of carbohydrates (through the oats) and protein and calcium (through the milk). This mixture helps tryptophan get to your brain.

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If you prefer oatmeal to cold granola, that’s okay because you’ll get melatonin from the oats either way.

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Those trying to lose weight are in luck. You don’t have to eat calorie-heavy cheese or nuts to sleep well. Lettuce actually contains a sedative called lactucarium, so have a salad with your dinner for a better snooze.

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Jasmine rice

Add a side of jasmine rice to your meal if you want to fall asleep quicker. Its high glycemic index may reduce the time you lay in bed, trying to quiet your mind at night. Plus, it goes well with garlic, fish, and many other items on this list.

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This special tea

Studies have found that combining lemon balm with valerian can help you sleep at night. Try combining these herbs in a tea for a REM-inducing bedtime beverage.

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If walnuts are not your preferred nuts of choice, almonds can also help you doze off at night. They contain magnesium to relax your muscles and calcium to boost serotonin production. Try putting almond butter on a banana for an ultra-calming bedtime snack.

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Sweet potatoes

This gorgeous orange vegetable contains potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which will make your eyelids feel heavy fast. So try making sweet mashed potatoes with your salmon. slices


You likely noticed how sleepy you felt after the Thanksgiving meal. That was due to the tryptophan in the turkey. You don’t need to roast a whole bird to go to sleep, of course. Try making a sandwich with antibiotic and nitrate-free sliced turkey. Make it a turkey melt to get some of that relaxing calcium from the cheese, too.

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Dark chocolate

Bite down on a bar of dark chocolate while watching the nighttime news. This sweet treat has relaxation-boosting serotonin. And, you won’t stay up feeling guilty about it the way you would have over that piece of cake.

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