12 Foods That Help You Fall (and Stay) Asleep!

#12. Bananas


Can’t sleep? Eat a banana, says nutritional biochemist Shawn Talbott. They’re high in potassium, which may calm restless legs and help prevent nighttime leg cramps.

Plus, bananas also provide magnesium, which helps relax muscles and nerves and promotes healthy circulation and digestion, according to Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and author of “The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep.”

Peel and eat a banana or make a smoothie. Just cut it up and blend it with your favorite type of milk and ice.

#11. Salmon


Planning for a good night’s rest can start with a sleep-friendly dinner, says clinical psychologist Michael Breus.

A good main course is salmon because it offers a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce surges of stress hormones and promote restfulness, according to the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine.

Not a fan of salmon? Other fish, such as halibut, also provide the benefits of omega-3. Plus, these fish contain vitamin B-6, which is needed to make the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

#10. Tart Cherry Juice

Tart Cherry Juice

Before insomnia strikes, have a drink. No, not alcohol, which can actually disrupt sleep patterns. Instead, try cherry juice. A 2010 Journal of Medicinal Food study, conducted on older adults, suggests that a glass of tart cherry juice, a natural source of melatonin, may significantly reduce insomnia.

Intrigued? Try this treat tonight, says clinical psychologist Michael Breus: Combine tart cherry juice, soy milk (or almond milk) and ice, then blend. “It’s the perfect bedtime snack.” If tart cherry juice isn’t available, try dried cherries (or fresh ones if they are in season).

#9. Kale


Ubiquitous cruciferous kale may help put you to sleep, says nutritional biochemist Shawn Talbott. Kale is high in potassium and calcium, both of which have sleep-inducing properties. If you don’t want to crunch on kale right before bed, include it in a salad as part of your evening meal.

It’s never too early in the day to start planning for a good night’s sleep. If kale isn’t your thing, opt for another dark, leafy green like Swiss chard or spinach, which also contain plenty of potassium.