AARP: Nutritionists share which bedtime snacks can help you catch the most winks.
Daniel Barone, M.D., a sleep expert at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian recommends a light snack like peanut butter and crackers. Peanut butter contains tryptophan, just like that warm glass of your mother told you to drink before bed or the Thanksgiving turkey that makes you so sleepy after you eat it. And the carbohydrates in crackers can help the sleep-inducing amino acid reach your brain more easily.
“Many nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios have melatonin, along with magnesium and zinc, which together can help people get a better night’s sleep,” Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, a registered dietitian, says. Spread some nut butter on a rice cake for the ultimate before-bed snack. Or you could reach for a handful of Brazil nuts. A study by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago suggested that people who sleep less than five hours a night do not consume enough of the mineral selenium. “Thankfully, Brazil nuts are chock full of it, and eating just two per day can ensure your body is meeting the minimum requirements for this nutrient,” says Kaytee Hadley, a dietitian, health coach and founder of Holistic Health & Wellness.