If cow’s milk sends you on too many trips to the bathroom or results in allergic reactions, almond milk is another good source of tryptophan, Dasgupta said.
One 8-ounce glass of almond milk also has around 20 milligrams of magnesium, a mineral that helps to support the sleep by regulating neurotransmitters to calm our nervous systems and working with melatonin to control our bodies’ sleep-wake cycles.
Tart cherry juice may increase your melatonin levels and the time you sleep, stay in bed and feel rested afterward, according to a small study of healthy adults. Tart Montgomery cherries have been reported to contain high levels of melatonin.
Despite the reported benefits of these beverages, most of the studies haven’t compared if one method of consumption — such as pills, powder or tincture — is more fast-acting than the other, Dasgupta said. Talking with your physician about sleep aids is important, especially if you would be consuming them in combination with alcohol or medications.
And although herbal supplements may help you fall asleep, Dasgupta said, they could interfere with revealing the true underlying cause of poor sleep.
“Getting good sleep is like a puzzle,” he added. “It’s so hard to have all the right puzzle pieces for sleep. And when you try to find which one you’re missing, that’s the hard part.”
Make sure to try to put all the puzzle pieces together, including room temperature, light exposure, bedding, sound and routine.
Although he doesn’t buy in to all the existing research, Dasgupta doesn’t discount “a little non-caffeinated chamomile tea before bed as part of your ritual as you turn off the technology and sit down,” he said. “I think those things are really good.”