Snacking before bed may help you sleep better

You shouldn't, however, consume caffeine at least six hours before bedtime

(CNN) – Snacking before bedtime could be beneficial to achieving optimal zzzzzs. But just what should you eat and when?

Those foods need to contain the amino acid tryptophan, the one and the same we associate with turkey and Thanksgiving dinner-induced slumber.

Tryptophan is identified with sleepiness because it is converted to two brain chemicals linked with sleep: melatonin, which regulates your body’s sleep cycle – and serotonin, which causes relaxation and drowsiness.

But, before you gnaw on that turkey leg, consider other high-tryptophan snacks like egg whites, low-fat cheese, or chicken.

Carbohydrate rich foods like granola, unsweetened cereals and whole-grain crackers are known to boost the production of melatonin and serotonin.

Set your sweet snacking sights on pineapples, oranges and bananas which are also linked to an increase in melatonin.

So, are you ready to raid the fridge for your midnight snack? Don’t do it. Stay away from spicy snacks and stick small. Avoid big meals at least 4-5 hours before hitting the sack.

And, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep in 2013, you shouldn’t consume caffeine at least six hours before bedtime.

Copyright 2017 CNN