Perhaps the key to a good sleep lies in the food you eat.
Having a tough time catching up on some Z's?
Perhaps you've tried all the advice -- from counting sheep to taking a hot bath before bedtime -- but just can't seem to get even a wink of sleep.
However, before you opt for sleeping pills (which can get really addictive), try consuming some of these sleep-inducing foods, instead.
Almonds are rich in magnesium, which relaxes the muscles and promotes sleep.
These delicious nuts also contain protein, which ensures that you maintain stable glucose levels through the night and, as a result, don't suffer from headaches and loss of sleep.
A treatment that involves munching on lettuce just before bedtime may seem odd.
But if you suffer from sleep deprivation, it may be just what you need.
That is because lettuce -- particularly, romaine lettuce -- has been found to contain a phytonutrient called lactucarium, which is fantastic for busting stress and inducing sleep.
Many people can't do without a glass of milk before bedtime. These folks are the ones that probably enjoy good sleep, too.
That is because milk is loaded with calcium, which plays an important role in the secretion of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin in the body.
Moreover, milk also contains tryptophan (an amino acid), which breaks down into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the mind, thereby promoting restful sleep.
Melatonin, the hormone that controls and regulates sleep and wake cycles, is also found in high quantities in walnuts.
So, if you need something to tackle insomnia or even jet lag, simply chomp on some walnuts before naptime and enjoy that long-awaited sleep.
Cheese is another delicious food that contains calcium, which plays an important role in the secretion of melatonin (the sleep-regulating hormone) in the body.
And as there are so many cheeses to choose from, you can opt for your favourite one to snack on before bedtime.
A portion of jasmine rice could be your remedy for sleeplessness.
That's because the high-glycemic nature of jasmine rice boosts levels of tryptophan in the body.
As mentioned earlier, tryptophan breaks down into serotonin, which induces sleep.
To keep yourself from tossing and turning all night, consume a few teaspoons of hummus just before hitting the sack.
Hummus functions as an effective sleep inducer, as its protein content helps stabilise glucose levels in the blood, thereby helping to ward off headaches and sleep deprivation.
Bananas are packed with magnesium and potassium, both of which help relax muscles and promote sound sleep.
The sugars in honey increase the level of insulin in the body.
Insulin enables tryptophan (also found in honey) to effectively play its part in calming the mind and inducing sleep.
Cherries are rich in melatonin, which regulates sleep cycles.
So, if you suffer from sleeplessness, consuming some cherries an hour or so before bedtime could be just the solution you've been looking for.
Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Pedro Ribeiro Simoes/Creative Commons