Sleeping is a crucial part of our lives. Without it, we become tired and irritable and function at a pace even the idlest of sloths could surpass.
But what if what we ate had a bearing on how well we slept? After all, we're constantly told that caffeine and carbs disrupt our sleeping patterns, so what about the foods that have the opposite effect?
Well, you're in luck, as there are ten such foods that studies have shown have the potential to enhance a person's sleep.
A recent study in Britain found that having higher levels of DHA (the omega-3 acid in fatty fish) can boost your chances of insomnia.
Taking one daily capsule is an adequate substitute for those that don't like fish.
Another food rich in protein, eggs also gives you the sleep-enhancing goodness of vitamin D and choline, both of which are key determinants in how well you sleep.
But make sure you buy free-range eggs. Battery eggs should have no place in today's supermarkets.
3. Popcorn with coconut oil
If you drizzle a moderate amount of coconut oil onto your popcorn it can actually serve as a delicious bedtime snack.
Better still, the lauric acid contained in the coconut oil will help you sleep like a baby.
4 Whole grains
In a study by the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, consuming foods which are rich in magnesium, like barley and bulgur can help aid a person's sleep.
This was determined after the study found that those with a lack of it in their body took longer to get to sleep.
Most foods rich in calcium can bring on sleep, and the calcium found in most cheeses helps release a sleep-inducing melatonin.
If you ever wanted another excuse to gorge on cheese, this is certainly the best one.
Believe it or not, lettuce has the same sleep aiding properties as opium!
Like the drug, lettuce contains lactucarium, which has an array of sedative properties that directly affect the brain.
7. Kiwi fruits
A Taiwanese study found that eating a couple of kiwi fruits before bedtime significantly improved participants' sleep.
According to the study, a kiwi's natural ingredients contains sleeping aids like potassium, calcium, folate, and magnesium.
8. Low-fat cottage cheese
Foods high in protein and low in fat are always good for your figure, but few know of the benefits they have on sleep.
Low-fat cottage cheese, for example, is full of calcium, which manages your body's making of melatonin.
Another protein-fuelled and sleep enhancing food is tuna.
High in vitamin D, it allows for a significantly higher production of melatonin and serotonin to reach the brain.
10. Shrimp and lobster
If you want an excuse to splash out on an expensive lobster dish, then surely the welfare of your sleep is a good enough reason?
Both lobster and shrimp contain tryptophan , an amino acid found in many proteins that can cause sleepiness.