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You are feeling awfully sluggish at work, waiting for your lunch break. However, instead of getting a second wind after eating, you are even more tired. Why is that? Some foods actually leave you feeling more fatigued and less energized whether they are healthy not. In the case of work, you might want to avoid these food items.  

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Pasta

Do you ever notice after eating a big bowl of pasta you are craving a nap? Although carbohydrates initially give you a burst of energy, it is immediately followed by a plunge in levels of essential hormones. The spike in blood sugar paired with the almost instant drop leads to fatigue according to Dr. Pamela Peeke, M.D. Muffins, pastries, and white bread are also culprits as they have a high amount of flour and sugar.

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Bananas

Potassium is a mineral that helps improve nerve function and heart health. However, bananas are not only rich in potassium, but they are also loaded with magnesium. Not only is magnesium an essential mineral the body needs, but it can also work as a sleep aid. In fact, Mark Hyman, M.D., the founder of UltraWellness Center claims magnesium is also known as the relaxation mineral.

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Red Meat

Even though red meat has iron, which gives you a boost of energy, it also has high levels of fat. This will make you feel weighed down according to Dr. Peeke because fat is difficult for your body to break down. In turn, other nutrients have to undergo an elaborate process, which means your body is using more energy for digestion.

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Turkey

Not only is turkey loaded with carbohydrates, but it also is packed with the pre-cursor to serotonin – tryptophan. Tryptophan induces relaxation and supports sleep. After eating a big plate of turkey on Thanksgiving along with bread rolls, pumpkin pies, and cranberries, you are definitely going to need a nap.

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Almonds

Rich in magnesium, almonds can help you achieve quality sleep. They are also known as a headache remedy for the same reason. The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine published a study that discovered when your magnesium levels are lower than normal then it is harder to stay asleep at night. Try chewing some almonds in the evening, and you might get a full eight hours of rest.

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Cheese and Crackers

Another vitamin or mineral that affects your sleep cycle is calcium. After all, most babies doze off to a warm bottle of milk, right? The truth is any dairy products can actually help you sleep better thanks to the calcium. Therefore, milk, yogurt, and cheese alike might make you drowsy; the calcium helps your brain use the tryptophan found in certain foods like dairy products. Tryptophans help produce and manufacture more melatonin, which is a sleep-triggering component everyone has in their bodies.

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Lettuce

Did you know lettuce contains lactucarium, which affects your brain with sedative properties? Although eating a salad might do the trick, you can also try to brew lettuce in an effort to make a relaxing, bedtime drink. Stealth Health explains how you can simmer four large lettuce leaves in a cup of water for about 15 minutes before removing the mixture from the heat. All you have to do is toss in a couple of springs of mint for taste and sip on the beverage before bed.

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Pretzels

Like several other food items on this list, pretzels can make you sleepy. Like white rice and corn chips, pretzels have a high glycemic index. After consuming these salty treats, your blood sugar and insulin levels spike, which actually shortens the time it takes you to doze off at night. That is because the increases in insulin and blood sugar levels help tryptophan enter the brain. Typically, you should want your levels to rise steadily to avoid insulin resistance and mood swings.

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Fish

Not all types of fish will make you feel tired, but those that are rich in vitamin B6 might help. Tuna, halibut, and salmon are all excellent sources of the vitamin, which your body uses to make not only melatonin but also serotonin. These fish are healthy for several other reasons, too, including omega-3 fatty acids, but they can also make you sleepy. Did you know that raw garlic and pistachio nuts also contain high amounts of vitamin B6? Try those if you do not prefer fish.

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Rice

Eating rice, especially white rice, can help you fall asleep at night thanks to its high glycemic index. Jasmine rice can also help you get a little shut-eye. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that revealed people who ate meals with jasmine rice as opposed to other kinds of rice fell asleep faster.

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Cherry Juice

According to researchers at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Rochester, drinking a glass of cherry juice before bed may help you fall asleep faster. If the cherries are particularly tart, it can work even better because they naturally boost your levels of melatonin. In the studies conducted, it helped improve symptoms of insomnia compared to a placebo beverage for some individuals.

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Cereal

Although chomping on some crunchy cereal is a breakfast favorite, eating it can actually make you tired. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is not only the carbohydrates from the grain that make you sleepy. The combination of calcium from the milk is a sure way to catch some zzz's. If you need to jumpstart your day, maybe you should skip the cereal and other breakfast items loaded with carbohydrates.

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Tea

Both chamomile tea and passionfruit tea can help you rest easy at night. Research suggests that when you drink chamomile tea, your body experiences an increase of glycine; this chemical is known to relax your muscles and nerves like a mild sedative might. Likewise, an Australian study discovered that drinking one cup of passionfruit tea about an hour before hitting the sack can help you sleep more soundly thanks to its abundance of Harman alkaloids. These chemicals also make your nervous system relaxed and tired.

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Honey

Remember how tryptophan enters your brain easier when your insulin and blood sugar levels are slightly raised? Well, honey is a natural sugar that does just that according to Dr. Oz nutritionist Lindsey Duncan. You can try a spoonful just before bed if you want to get a better night's sleep. Hummus and chickpeas can have the same effect.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.