Trying to get more shut-eye? Take a look at your diet. Eating the right foods in the hours before you hit the hay may help you fall asleep faster, say experts, and even improve the quality of your sleep. Just remember: stop noshing two hours before bedtime to give your body enough time to properly digest.More
Craving a salty snack before bed? Turn to lightly salted soy beans, says Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, an internist — especially if you're dealing with menopause-related symptoms. "The natural estrogen-like compounds found in soy-based products can be very beneficial in controlling those nighttime hot flashes that can disturb your sleep," she says. If it's crackers and dip you're craving, try making this easy edamame recipe: in a food processor, blend together 2 cups of shelled, cooked edamame with 1 tsp salt, a drizzle of olive oil and 1 clove garlic (optional) until smooth.
If you have trouble staying asleep at night, it may be because you didn't eat a pre-bedtime snack high in protein, or perhaps your snack was too high in simple, high-sugar carbohydrates, like biscuits or sweets. "The problem with simple carbs is that they can put you on a 'sugar roller coaster' and drop your blood sugar while you're sleeping, causing you to wake at 2 or 3 in the morning," says Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, who specialises in chronic fatigue syndrome. A better bet? "Eat an egg, cheese, nuts or other protein-rich snack instead," he says, "so you can not only fall asleep, but stay asleep."