Naidoo touts eggs as an excellent addition to the dinnertime menu. Why? They’re naturally chock-full of melatonin, a hormone produced naturally by the body that’s essential for sleep. “People find when they have melatonin-rich foods, it actually helps with sleep,” Naidoo says. According to research, the hormone can help you fall asleep faster and longer, and it might even enhance REM sleep. Eggs also contain L-ornithine, an amino acid that has been shown to help improve sleep quality. Needless to say, eggs shouldn’t be confined to a breakfast staple—in fact, they make a pretty good bedtime snack, if you can tolerate them.
Here’s where the omelet itself comes into play: Veggies like asparagus and broccoli are also rich in melatonin, as well as walnuts and flaxseeds. When you add them to your plate, “You’re starting to prime your body toward getting back melatonin,” Naidoo explains. Walnuts, in particular, are also high in magnesium, which plays a role in supporting restorative, deep sleep by maintaining healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation and a good night’s rest.*