SLEEP SOUNDLY TONIGHT

Closer Weekly - - Live Better -

The end of day­light sav­ing time makes women twice as likely to toss and turn. To the res­cue: de­li­cious picks that will help you fall asleep fast and wake up feel­ing re­freshed

1

LEMON­GRASS CALMS OVERACTIVE NERVES

The cit­rusy aroma of lemon­grass (a trop­i­cal plant that’s used as an herb) sig­nals the body to pro­duce a com­pound that slows down nerve cell ac­tiv­ity in the brain, trig­ger­ing drowsi­ness. This ef­fect has been shown to help women drift off to sleep within 30 min­utes. To get the ben­e­fits, sip 8 oz. of hot or iced lemon­grass tea (like Alvita Lemon­grass Tea, $5, iherb.com).

2

BEEF STABILIZES BLOOD SUGAR

Post-din­ner blood-sugar fluc­tu­a­tions in­crease the risk of sleep dis­rup­tions, ac­cord­ing to Cana­dian stud­ies. But en­joy­ing beef ke­babs can help. That’s be­cause red meat is packed with pro­tein and stearic acid — a nu­tri­ent duo that USDA re­searchers say slows the ab­sorp­tion of carbs in the in­testines to help sta­bi­lize blood sugar and pro­mote sound sleep.

4

RICE BOOSTS SEROTONIN LEV­ELS

Eat­ing ⁄2 cup of jas­mine rice at din­ner­time

1 helped sub­jects in an Aus­tralian study fall asleep 50 per­cent faster — plus, the rice eaters cut their av­er­age num­ber of night­time awak­en­ings three­fold. How? The grain’s flo­ral aroma kick-starts the pro­duc­tion of re­lax­ing al­pha brain waves while its carbs switch on the en­zymes that pro­duce the sooth­ing hor­mone serotonin.

3

TOMA­TOES QUIET BRAIN AC­TIV­ITY

The more of th­ese ruby gems women in­clude in their diet, the more deeply they sleep, ac­cord­ing to a Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia study. The rea­son? Ly­copene (the pig­ment that gives toma­toes their vi­brant hue) calms the brain’s anx­i­ety cen­ter to ward off sleep-sap­ping stress. Tip: Cook­ing toma­toes in­creases their ly­copene lev­els, so roast them when pos­si­ble.

5

CRAN­BER­RIES REG­U­LATE MELA­TONIN

To pre­vent early morn­ing awak­en­ings, en­joy 1 cup of cran­ber­ries daily, sug­gest re­searchers at Wi­nona State Univer­sity in Min­ne­sota. Plant com­pounds (called an­tho­cyanins) in th­ese gems prompt the brain to pro­duce a steady trickle of the sleep-boost­ing hor­mone mela­tonin through­out the night so you don’t wake be­fore you’ve had am­ple rest.

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