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These foods and practices can help you get better sleep

Posted at 6:17 AM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-29 07:50:16-04

(KPRC/NBC News) Having trouble getting to sleep at night? Your diet may be playing a role in how well you rest.

You may know that taking a little melatonin can help you drift off to sleep, but nutritionist Erin Gussler recommends taking it sparingly.

Long-term use can have the opposite effect.

"What's interesting about melatonin supplements is that the more you take supplementally, the less your body thinks it needs to produce," she explains.

Instead, she recommends encouraging your body to make melatonin through diet. To do that, you should know melatonin comes from serotonin and serotonin comes from tryptophan. Remember, tryptophan is what makes you feel sleepy after Thanksgiving.

"So actually, eating turkey for breakfast or lunch, you get that nice dose of tryptophan which then as the day progresses you convert it to serotonin and then melatonin and you get that nice sleep at night," Gussler says.

The most important sleep support your body needs is magnesium.

Foods with magnesium include: figs, sweet potatoes, prunes, almonds and dark chocolate.

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