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This Popular Snack Could Help You Sleep Better

A woman sleeps on a white pillow.
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There’s no shortage of sleep aids on the market, but what if it was as simple as snacking on an already popular food?

Turns out that pistachios could help you sleep! Turns out the tasty nut has the highest concentration of melatonin than any other food, at 6.6 milligrams per ounce, according to Frances Largeman-Roth, registered dietitian and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen.

Typically, melatonin supplements come in dosages of only 1-3 milligrams. But don’t worry—if you’re craving pistachios, they most likely won’t send you straight to bed. This is because our bodies process dietary melatonin differently than melatonin provided by a supplement.

Your body probably won’t absorb the full 6.6 milligrams, nor will you likely feel the same effects as you would if you’d taken the same dose via a supplement. This doesn’t mean pistachios can’t help you get to sleep, though. According to Carleara Weiss, Ph.D., the effect will depend on a few factors.

“The impact of pistachios on our internal melatonin levels varies with how much we eat, the time of the day we eat them, and whether we eat them in combination with anything else,” Weiss said.

To experiment with using the snack for sleep, Largeman-Roth advises eating one serving s (about 1/4 a cup) of pistachios an hour before bed every night for two weeks. Observe your sleeping patterns and note any positive changes.

Even if you don’t notice any changes, you’ll still get the other benefits of pistachios, as they also contain healthy doses of fiber and nutrients, like B6.

Not a fan of pistachios? How about lettuce? We’ll stick with the nuts, thanks.

[Via Well + Good]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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