Close-up of sleeping young woman

Getting a good night’s sleep is imperative to your health, but many Americans experience shuteye troubles. Your body needs enough rest to recharge, and sleeping for the recommended seven to nine hours a night is linked to improved mood, better cognitive function, a stronger immune system, healthier skin, and a trim waistline. Sleep also reduces your risk for a variety of health conditions, including high blood pressure and heart disease.

Despite the importance of sleep, research shows one-third of Americans aren’t getting enough of it. While you probably know drinking caffeine before bed is a no-no, you may not know that there are many foods that promote better sleep. Here are five great superfoods to incorporate into your diet to catch some shut-eye.

Cherries

Researchers from Louisiana State University found drinking eight ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day helped adults with insomnia increase their sleep time. Cherries are high in melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. Drink a glass of cherry juice before bed, or eat a cup of fresh or frozen cherries as a snack for better sleep.

Bananas

Bananas are known to improve regularity, protect against muscle cramps, and lower blood pressure, but the superfruit can also enhance your sleep.  Bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, which promote muscle relaxation. They also contain vitamin B6, which stimulates the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Eat a banana a day for a successful slumber.

Almonds

Like bananas, almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, as well as the sedative amino acid tryptophan, to help your body relax and get ready for sleep. Almonds also provide a boost of protein to help you stay full and avoid midnight hunger pains.

Kale

People who are calcium deficient often have poor sleep habits. That’s because calcium helps the brain make melatonin, which we know induces sleep.  While you don’t typically associate green vegetables with calcium, dark leafy greens like kale, collards, and spinach are full of it.  They’re also a good source of magnesium to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.

Yogurt

Dairy products contain two key ingredients for better sleep: calcium and tryptophan. Yogurt can help your body de-stress, nod off quickly, and wake up well-rested. Yogurt also introduces probiotics, or good bacteria, into your digestive system to help you avoid sleep disturbances like indigestion, heartburn, and nausea.

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to your health and wellbeing. Chow down on these superfoods to fall asleep faster and wake up refreshed and renewed.

If you’re still having trouble sleeping, check out the five bad habits that could be ruining your sleep here.

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