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What foods help induce sleep?

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Quick Answer

Some foods that help induce sleep include cherries, bananas and toast, according to Forbes. Scottish or Irish oatmeal as well as warm milk may also help to people sleep. These foods also have other health benefits.

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Cherries are a good choice for inducing sleep because they are a natural source of melatonin, which is a chemical that helps the body regulate sleep, as Forbes explains. Cherries are only in season for about two months during the year, but cherry juice and dried cherries are good substitutes. Bananas are also good at inducing sleep because they contain magnesium and potassium, which are natural muscle relaxants. Bananas also contain L-tryptophan and melatonin.

Foods with lots of carbohydrates, such as toast, cause the blood sugar to rise, which eventually causes the "crash" of drowsiness, as detailed by Forbes. This crash can be helpful before bed, which makes toast a perfect late-night snack. Oatmeal is another carbohydrate that helps induce sleep, and in addition to causing the brain to release chemicals to cause sleep, oatmeal is also rich in vitamin B6 and melatonin. Additionally, as of 2015, there is also evidence that warm milk helps induce sleep, especially when consumed with other foods on the list, such as oatmeal or bananas. Furthermore, milk contains L-tryptophan and other minerals, which help promote relaxation.

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