Eggs are particularly plentiful in the essential amino acid tryptophan, particularly the whites. Tryptophan functions as a precursor to the sleep-inducing neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin, helping to promote rest and relaxation.
Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates. Eating carbohydrates with tryptophan-rich foods, such as meat and eggs, increases the amount of tryptophan available to the brain, helping to manufacture more serotonin and melatonin.
Milk is another good source of the amino acid tryptophan, helping to increase brain levels of serotonin. Remember, serotonin slows down nerve traffic to the brain, calming brain activity and allowing for more restful sleep.
Bananas contain both carbohydrate and tryptophan. When you pair tryptophan-containing foods with carbohydrates,
a combined chemistry occurs which calms the brain and allows for better sleep.
Evidence shows that cherries (particularly Montmorency cherries) contain a significant amount of the hormone melatonin, enough to have a positive effect on sleep. Cherry juice has also been shown to enhance muscle recovery in athletes.