Catching enough zzz's is not just nice, it's important to your overall health. While the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, this can sometimes be easier said than done. If you're one of many people around the nation who has difficulty falling or staying asleep, there are ways to combat this problem, and it might start with adding certain foods to your diet.
Here are a few fresh ideas for getting plenty of shut-eye from now on:
Chock it up to cherries
Cherries are one summer fruit that offer multiple benefits - one being a boost in sleep. According to Real Simple magazine, cherries, specifically the tart variety rather than sweeter maraschino options, can help you find rest easier.
"There is research to show they [tart cherries] have melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you sleep," Elizabeth Somer, author of "Food & Mood," told the publication. "When there is an increased level of melatonin in your body, it helps you sleep better."
Munching on a few cherries before bed may not only help you sleep better, but could help ward off cancer, ease arthritis pain and keep you skinny, Fox News reports.
Wheat bread snooze
While wheat bread might be anything but extraordinary when it comes to flavor, consuming a slice before bed could help you start feeling sleepier when it's time to lay down for the night. Somer told Real Simple the boost in carbohydrates before bed can raise the brain's levels of tryptophan, an amino acid known to boost sleepiness that is also found in turkey.
Even though any bread will do, opting for a whole wheat option can be more beneficial for your entire body, making it a smarter choice.
Warm milk does the trick
The old wives' tale that a glass of warm milk will help you sleep actually turns out to be true.
"Anything warm raises the body temperature, and that naturally makes you feel sleepy," Somer told the news outlet. "It's like an internal bubble bath."
If warm milk isn't your fancy, you could also opt to take Somer's advice more literally, by soaking in a warm tub with soothing luxury spa products to prep your body for sleep.