It may seem like an old wives' tale, but it's not. Certain foods really can make you sleepy.
So if you're having trouble falling asleep, try nature's sleeping pill before you hit the medicine cabinet, reports RealAge.com. These foods will not only help your muscles relax, but also quiet a busy mind and even induce two sleep hormones, serotonin and melatonin.
The top 10 foods that will help you sleep, according to RealAge.com:
"They're practically a sleeping pill in a peel," quips RealAge.com. Each tasty bite contains melatonin and serotonin to make you sleepy, as well as magnesium, a known muscle relaxant.
2. Chamomile tea
This herbal tea is not only caffeine-free, but also has a mild sedating effect.
3. Warm milk
Mom was right! Milk contains a trace of tryptophan, an amino acid with a sedative-like effect, as well as calcium, which helps the brain process tryptophan.
If you're really wide awake, put a teaspoon or two of honey in warm milk or chamomile tea. This tiny bit of glucose will send a message to your brain to turn off orexin, a neurotransmitter that has been linked to alertness.
A small potato--about the size of your computer mouse--will eliminate acids that can interfere with tryptophan. Supercharge it by mashing it with some warm milk.
Oats are a wonderful source of melatonin. Make it with warm milk and a drizzle of honey and you'll be lucky to make it to your bed before dozing off.
Not only are almonds good for your heart, but also since they contain tryptophan and magnesium they can make you sleepy. Very, very sleepy.
Can't fall asleep because you're feeling a little blue? Sprinkle some flaxseeds on your bedtime oatmeal. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, they'll perk your mood up and help your forget your troubles.
9. Whole wheat bread
Make a cup of chamomile tea and drizzle honey on whole wheat toast. Enjoy. The combination will release insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain where it's converted to serotonin. Zzzzzz....
Arguably the most famous sleep-inducing food, turkey is packed with tryptophan. Eat a turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, and you'll be in Snooze City soon.
Don't want to eat a snack before bed? Then eat one of these dinners, recommended by DrSears.com as the best dinners for a good night's sleep. They're high in carbohydrates and low in protein, which will help you relax. Large, high-fat meals can keep you awake all night.
Best sleepy-time dinners:
Pasta with parmesan cheese
Scrambled eggs and cheese
Hummus with whole wheat pita bread
Seafood, pasta, and cottage cheese
Meats and poultry with veggies
Tuna salad sandwich
Chili with beans, not spicy
Sesame seeds sprinkled on salad with tuna chunks and whole wheat crackers
--From the Editors at Netscape