Food and sleep are deeply intertwined. Just as some eats can keep you from catching Z’s (like, say, sugar and caffeine), other foods can help enhance your shut-eye. Perhaps the most popular instance is Thanksgiving: Ever notice how you feel blissfully sleepy after a few servings of turkey? That’s because the meat contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a precursor to serotonin (which, as you’ll see, plays a significant role in our sleep).
While Thanksgiving turkey seems to gain all the hype, registered dietitian Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, reminds us that we can find tryptophan in a host of other sources: “It’s in pretty much all animal protein,” she says on the mindbodygreen podcast. “But you are also going to find it in some plant foods.”
One of her favorite plant-based sources? Chickpeas. Here’s why a handful of chickpeas should be your bedtime snack.