What you choose to eat today will actually have a big influence on your sleep tonight. Focus on foods that have cinnamon and tryptophan, an essential amino acid (meaning you get it through your diet) that converts to the neurotransmitter serotonin once it crosses the blood brain barrier. Serotonin helps to regulate your mood and enhances your sleep cycle.
You can get tryptophan in lean meats, such as turkey and chicken breast (skip the skin), soybeans or fish (not fried).
Foods that are high in saturated fat—like cheese fries, hamburgers and wings—may disrupt sleep cycles. Avoid them, especially late at night.
Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, is a Wellness Manager and Nutritionist at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, Department of Disease Reversal, where she oversees the nutrition component of the Cleveland Clinic's Lifestyle 180 program. Kirkpatrick presents nationally on a variety of nutrition and wellness-related topics; is a regular guest on The Dr. Oz Show; and also writes for The Huffington Post, DrOz.com and 360-5.com.
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