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Better Sleep Week: Foods you can eat today to sleep better tonight

The CBS 58 Morning News is dedicating an entire week to stories about better sleep.

Monday we focus on food you can eat during the day to help you sleep better at night.

Registered dietitian, Kerry Clifford, with Fresh Thyme did some research for us. Her first pick is fruit. She says, go for the cherries.

“Lots of scientific studies have been done on cherries and tart cherry juice. What's in there is, naturally, a source of melatonin which is that hormone that you hear people taking that helps regulate that sleep and wake cycle,” Clifford explained.

The other fruit that can help is kiwi.

“The people in the study ate two kiwis within an hour of sleeping and it reduced their time to fall asleep by 17 minutes,” Clifford said.

The next food group is nuts and seeds, known for their magnesium content.

“Magnesium is a mineral that if you're deficient, you actually sleep worse. So definitely having a handful of pistachios or pumpkin seeds before bed is great,” Clifford said.

The third suggestion is carbohydrates, but not just any carbs.

“Now I’m not saying go and eat a bunch of bread or candy. We’re looking at the whole grains like oatmeal or popcorn. Eating them just an hour before bedtime will help make you feel drowsy,” Clifford said.

Three foods to avoid before bed are sugary drinks, fast food, and proteins.

Soda tends to give you a quick boost of energy and many kinds have caffeine. 

Fatty foods like fast food can cause acid reflux which can keep people awake after getting into bed.

Proteins, while healthy during the day, can interfere with your body’s sleep hormones, according to Clifford.

“Having a protein shake can interfere with your body’s sleep hormones because of tyrosine, which makes your brain very active. Also, proteins like beef and lamb close to bed might keep you wide awake,” she said.

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