Tired and stressed? Join the club. As many as 40% of Americans report having symptoms of insomnia at some point within a given year, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
It doesn’t matter whether your shut-eye is being hampered by a time change, a stressful job, or some other problem in your life, being tired sucks. And it can lead to serious health problems including heart disease and depression.
But before you reach for the latest prescription drug, reach for your fork; revamping your diet can go a long way towards improving your sleep quality, provided you opt for foods rich in the right sleep-inducing ingredients. Below, nine foods that may be able to help you catch up on some much-needed sleep.
In one small study, participants drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning, and another eight ounces in the evening, for two weeks and reported better sleeping habits. Why does it work? All varieties of cherries are naturally high in melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. Eat a cup of whole cherries as a late-night snack if you’d rather not drink juice.
Fish are rich in tryptophan, a natural sedative, with shrimp, cod, tuna and halibut having the highest levels, even more than turkey. But since not all seafood choices are healthy for you—some are high in contaminants—or for the planet—many are overfished, or methods for catching them kill other species—stick to catches like Pacific cod from Alaska or pole-caught Albacore tuna from the U.S. or British Columbia.