We’re not great sleepers in this country. According to Healthy People 2020, a science-based government organization, about 25 percent of us suffer from insufficient sleep (that’s less than six hours per night) about half of every month. That’s a lot of lost z’s! Some experts believe that tossing and turning at night can lead to an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure and even heart disease. That means that a good night’s sleep may be just as important as a well-balanced diet and regular exercise!
Some food companies are going beyond the often used warm-milk solution by making nutrition bars that tout nutrients and minerals that may help you sleep better. Calcium, magnesium and fiber are a few nutrients that can help slow the digestion of carbohydrates while you snooze. A sign of this new food-to-sleep trend: the launch of a new bar called Cookies n’ Dreams from NightFood that’s formulated to satisfy nighttime hunger with fewer calories. But you can also consider giving a good old glass of warm milk a modern makeover. Follow our pictogram for Banana-Cocoa Chia Milk (maple syrup is optional). Remember, food and nutrients aren’t necessarily cures for serious sleep issues, and you should always consult an expert.
Per serving: Calories 140; Fat 4.5 g (Saturated 2 g), Carbohydrate 21 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 12 g; Protein 6 g; Calcium 182 mg; Magnesium 31 mg
Leah Brickley is a Nutritionist-Recipe Developer for Food Network Kitchen.