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Sleep Myths: How to Eat for a Good Night's Sleep

Your eating habits could be affecting your zzzz's.

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Nighttime Do's and Don'ts

Are you always tired? Your food choices and eating habits can have a huge impact on your sleep quality. But there's a lot of misinformation out there. We investigated some of the most-popular myths about bedtime so you can get a better sleep tonight.

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Myth: Warm Milk

TRUE: Mom was right, again. Drinking a glass of milk before bed may, in fact, help you get a more restful sleep. According to registered dietitian Karman Meyer, RD, LDN, author of upcoming book, Eat to Sleep (May 2019), milk before bed can do the body good for lots of reasons. "The calcium, magnesium and potassium in dairy foods help promote muscle and nerve relaxation, just what our bodies need when trying to drift off to sleep. Magnesium also plays a role in decreasing stress levels and inflammation in the body," says Meyer.

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Myth: Eat Yogurt

TRUE: If milk isn’t your thing, try some yogurt. The amino acid tryptophan found in yogurt is converted to serotonin and then melatonin, a naturally produced hormone that helps you nod off.

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Myth: Go to Bed Hungry

FALSE: Ever go to bed hungry and wake up feeling full? Well, there’s a reason for that. Your body releases glycogen from the liver while you’re asleep to help maintain your blood sugar levels overnight. To help prevent dramatic drops in blood sugar, which can cause restless sleep, help out this system by having a light, sensible snack before bed. Meyer suggests healthy combos like cottage cheese with cherries, a banana with peanut butter, or a glass of milk with almonds.

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