The surprising foods that help you fall asleep

The cure for your sleepless nights could be in the foods you eat before bed.

Sleep expert and author of 'The Good Sleep Guide,' Sammy Margo, says the following foods will help you sleep better at night.

Bananas contain high levels of the muscle relaxant magnesium, as well as sleep promoting hormones.

Honey contains glucose. A teaspoon of the sweet stuff will help your brain power down and help prevent your mind from racing.

If you're feeling stressed, almonds contain tryptophan and magnesium which will reduce muscle and nerve function as well as help maintain steady heart rhythm.

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Lavender 

The scent of lavender is known to be very relaxing and can help you get to sleep at night. 

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

Shut off the screens

Avoid being on your computer, phone or e-reader before going to sleep. Studies have shown the use of these items before bed can decrease the quality of your sleep.

(Photo credit: Tetra Images via Getty Images)

Melatonin supplements 

Taking sleeping pills sounds scary to many people, but melatonin supplements are like a sleep vitamin, giving you a little extra of the naturally produced hormone. 

(photo credit: Ekspansio)

Stick to a schedule

Going to sleep and waking at the same time every day helps your natural sleep/wake cycle. You sleep much better when you go to bed when actually drowsy and wake naturally at the same time each day. 

(photo credit: FogStock/Alin Dragulin)

Exercise 

Regular exercise, even as little as 20 mins a day can help you sleep better at night. 

(photo credit: John Fedele)

Skip the afternoon nap

Taking a nap during the day can exasperate insomnia for many people. 

(Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

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If you thought that post-turkey dinner nap was because you were already tired, think again. Turkey is packed with tryptophan which induces sleepiness.

On the flip side, you should stay away from alcohol before bed as it prevents you from reaching deep stages of sleep and can lead to next day grogginess.

Spicy or fatty foods can give you indigestion and heartburn which can severely interrupt your sleep.

In general, be careful with what and when you eat before bedtime. It could be the difference between waking up refreshed the next morning and having an all-day afternoon slump.

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