We're all aware that foods high in caffeine and sugar provide major roadblocks in helping us to get a good night's rest - but if you aren't quite ready to give up that afternoon cup of coffee, try these out:
Everyone loves bananas as a major source of potassium - but they also contain a large amount of melatonin, which helps induce sleep, increases sleep duration, and counteracts the effects of jetlag. It's great at strengthening REM and slow wave sleep patterns, too.
Dark chocolate contains a ton of magnesium, which helps decrease cortisol, also known as "the stress hormone" - a one ounce serving provides as much as 64 mg of magnesium per 1 ounce serving. Pick a chocolate containing at least 70% cocoa solids in order to reap the most benefits.
Every Thanksgiving we hear the stories of turkey containing large amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, which largely contributes to that post-dinner snooze. If you're not the biggest fan of turkey, try out Atlantic salmon, which contains nearly the same amount.
Speaking of which, calcium can help use the tryptophan in dairy to produce melatonin. If a warm glass of milk isn't quite your speed, try a little Parmesan or cheddar to finish off your night.
Go ahead and have some crackers or bread with that cheese, too - researchers report that carbohydrates quickly raise blood sugar and help you get to sleep quickly, especially when eaten four hours before bedtime.
6. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Keep yourself to one drink before bedtime. While alcohol reduces the time it takes to get to sleep, it also plays a major role in disrupting your body's natural circadian rhythms.