The carbohydrates in nonfat popcorn help bring the amino acid tryptophan into your brain, where it's used to make a sleep-inducing neurotransmitter called serotonin. Since eating a heavy meal within two hours of bedtime can keep you awake, low-calorie popcorn (just 93 calories in three cups popped) is a great late-night snack. Choose plain, fat-free popcorn and jazz it up with some curry powder.
Halibut is packed with two building blocks for better sleep: tryptophan and vitamin B6, which has a mild flavor and meaty texture that appeals to finicky seafood eaters. Other foods high in tryptophan include poultry, beef, soybeans, milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and eggs.
To make a mango lassi: cut up one fresh, peeled mango and put it in a blender. Add a handful of ice, a small scoop of plain Greek yogurt (go full fat, it's more satiating!), and a splash of water or milk. Add a dash of stevia for extra sweetness if desired.
Don't like mangoes? Substitute frozen berries or watermelon!
Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
High-fiber garbanzo beans are rich in vitamin B6, which your body uses to produce serenity-boosting serotonin. Try adding garbanzo beans to salads, soups, and stews when you need sleep. Or use this easy recipe for spiced red-pepper hummus to have a healthy snack on hand when you can't sleep.
This herbal drink lacks the caffeine found in traditional teas, and it has a calming effect on the body. (That's why it's one of our favorite ingredients for these DIY spa treatments.) Also, a warm liquid before bed can make you sleepy by raising body temperature.