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August 05, 2019

Why bananas might be the answer to a good night's sleep

Smarter snacking for better sleep

Wellness Sleep
bananas bedtime snack Ioana Cristiana/Unsplash

Bananas don't just have a place in your morning smoothie.

Bananas somehow found themselves with a reputation as being a morning-only food, likely because of their grab-and-go nature and light, but nutrient-rich serving size. However, you may want to consider flipping your timing on bananas.

Turns out, these tropical fruits are actually a top-notch choice for a nighttime snack.

Instead of reaching for that pint of ice cream in the back of your freezer, Well and Good makes an argument that bananas are a wonderful pre-bedtime snack.

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Bananas, according to Well and Good, have a number of nutrients that make them ideal for nighttime snacking, including tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce the calming and sleep-inducing effects of serotonin. They’re also an excellent source of fiber and blood-pressure regulating potassium and magnesium, Well and Good explains.

Men’s Health notes that while bananas may carry a heavier carb count than what a low-carb eating plan would typically allow, they mainly consist of fast-digesting carbs. When eating before a long period of sedentary time — like sleep — fast digestion is the goal.

While Well and Good suggests eating the banana itself for some sleep-improving benefits, Healthline cites a study that found men who ate two bananas to have a four-fold increase in sleep-promoting melatonin within two hours of consuming the fruit. Healthline adds that a banana with almond butter may, too, support the production of melatonin.

This time of year, it might be beneficial (and delicious!) to consume your bedtime banana in the form of some frozen “nice-cream,” which can be made easily by blending one frozen banana into a soft-serve-like consistency. 

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