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Adding these foods to your diet may help to increase your odds of a good night’s sleep.

Lots of us have trouble falling asleep. Some of us can’t stay asleep. And then there are some who have trouble switching off and heading to bed at a reasonable hour.

Whatever the reason, we’re not alone – over nine million Aussies are sleep deprived (source: Sleep Health Foundation). Yet the health benefits of a good night’s rest are many: sleep helps keep you happy, your brain sharp, your immune system strong, your waistline trim, your skin looking youthful, and lowers your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. It is fair to say sleep contributes to a better quality of life.

Here’s the good news: Incorporating these foods to your diet may help to increase your odds of a better night’s sleep:

1. Fish

Fried salmon filet placed on a wooden chopping board

Most fish, and especially salmon and tuna have high levels of vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness).

2. Jasmine Rice

A bowl of jasmine rice

When healthy sleepers ate carbohydrate-rich dinners of veggies and tomato sauce with rice, they fell asleep significantly faster at bedtime if the meal included high-glycemic-index (GI) jasmine rice rather than lower-GI long-grain rice.

3. Tart cherry juice

A cup of cherry juice placed next to a basket full of fresh cherries

Cherry juice is rich in melatonin. In a small study, two glasses of cherry juice daily was shown to aid sleep with patients who suffered from chronic insomnia.

4. Yoghurt

A bowl of yoghurt

There’s research to suggest that being calcium deficient may make it difficult to sleep. Dairy products like yoghurt and milk boast high levels of calcium.

5. Whole Grains

An assortment of organic whole grains

Barley and other whole grains have high levels of magnesium. Consuming too little of magnesium may make it harder to stay asleep.

6. Kale

Kale leaves

Love them or hate them, but leafy green vegetables, such as kale or collard, also boast high levels of calcium.

7. Bananas

A bunch of bananas

Bananas are well known for being rich in potassium. They are also high in vitamin B6, which is required for the body to produce melatonin.

8. Chickpeas

A small pile of chickpeas

Chickpeas are also high in vitamin B6.

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