A light meal at night should have a few complex carbohydrates to promote serotonin production, but not too much that may give you too much energy before you get to bed. You can try a small bowl of oatmeal or cereal, or a chicken sandwich, along with a glass of warm milk. Milk contains high levels of calcium, which can calm your nerves, as well as sometryptophan, an amino acid that has been found to increase serotonin production.
You can therefore take low amounts of tryptophan-rich food to help you sleep. Such foods may include eggs,meat, fish, beans, nuts and cheese. You can also take low amounts of carbohydrate-rich food to help you sleep. These will include cereals, figs, fruits, potatoes, and pasta. Although sugar is a good source of carbohydrates, keep the consumption to a minimum.
You will also need food to help you sleep soundly. In order to stay asleep, your brain needs to produce enough serotonin to last the entire night. You can try eating a banana, which is digested slower, so that serotonin is released later. You can also add a few fats to your evening diet, but only in low quantities. Such food might include butter, peanut butter, nuts, and chocolate. Thus, a good bedtime snack will consist of a sandwich made of chicken and cheese sandwiched between two pieces of whole wheat bread, along with a square of chocolate and a glass of warm milk.
The key to finding and eating food to help sleep come to you is to never overindulge in any one food. For instance, at low levels, carbohydrates can allow your brain to lower production of the neurotransmitter orexin, which is associated with alertness. At high levels, however, carbohydrates will give you an energy boost. Tryptophan-rich foods will work for serotonin production, but only if you have carbohydrates along with them, and if your stomach is not empty.
There are many other drinks and food to help you sleep. You can drink a cup of chamomile tea, which can bring on mild sedation and relaxation. You can drizzle your tea or milk with honey. A handful of almonds has enough tryptophan to induce serotonin production, as well as magnesium to relax your muscles. You can also substitute the chicken in your sandwich with turkey, which is rich in tryptophan.
There are also foods and drinks to avoid if you want to sleep. Stay away from caffeine or nicotine, which act as stimulants. Although alcohol can relax you, it can keep you from sleeping soundly, so don't drink that nightcap down. With the right food to help you sleep, and the stimulants out of your diet, you can have sweet dreams when you finally get into bed.