Soporific Snacks and Energizing Eats

Foods to Ingest to Help You Feel Your Best

More stories from Blake Fowler

Many high-school students struggle to fall asleep at night, haunted by their own procrastination or with juggling numerous AP classes. Countless others stress over staying awake in classes throughout the school day. Both problems can easily be solved by eating foods with nutrients that have been scientifically proven to balance your body’s biological clock.
Art by Clarissa Mullig
Foods That Make You Sleepy
Have a bowl of oatmeal the night before an upcoming exam. Oats contain copious amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which help to stabilize blood sugar. Oats also have a nice balance of protein and carbohydrates, both of which make an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin, a chemical that calms you down and induces sleep. Oatmeal makes an excellent nighttime snack if you want to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Clarissa Mullig
Tart cherries
Tart cherries increase the production of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that naturally makes you feel tired. In fact, tart cherries contain about 13.5 nanograms of melatonin per 1 gram of cherries, a significantly higher amount than that normally found in the body.
Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is a very popular drink and is generally known to make people sleepy. Interestingly, it doesn’t have any direct effect on sleepiness. It is warm, relaxing, and soothes the throat, but studies have shown that placebos have had the exact same effect on sleepiness as the tea. Chamomile tea, however, is very good for you, just so long as it is not overloaded with sugar.
Jasmine rice
Jasmine rice is high on the glycemic index, which means that it gradually releases a lot of glucose into the bloodstream when digested. This glucose increases the production of tryptophan, an amino acid that is an essential component of both serotonin and melatonin, both of which help you get a good night’s sleep.
Have a banana prior to your upcoming soccer game. Bananas are very rich in both potassium and magnesium, both of which are natural muscle relaxants. Bananas are also full of carbohydrates, which release tryptophan when digested. Bananas have also been proven to help regulate cardiovascular health.

Art by Clarissa MulligClarissa Mullig
Foods That Will Energize You
It’s not an accident that eggs are often served for breakfast. Eggs are full of proteins that produce the chemical tyrosine, an amino acid that boosts energy and relieves stress. When paired with carbs, a breakfast of eggs will keep you full for quite a while.
Salmon is overloaded with omega-3 fatty acids needed for energy production and assist muscle and tissue growth. Salmon is also abundant in protein, which keeps you full for longer and energizes your body with amino acids.
Green Tea
Drink a cup of green tea before you recite an oral report. Not only will it improve your focus and allow you to stay awake, it’ll soothe your throat and help you continue talking. Green tea is chock-full of energizing antioxidants that improve your overall health. It is not caffeine free, however; it has only half the amount of caffeine found in the average cup of coffee. Green tea also contains the amino acid theanine that can relieve headaches.
70% dark chocolate
Next time you start drifting off in class, eat a piece of dark chocolate and experience a sublime way to stay awake. It has an immediate effect because of its 70 mg of caffeine per 162 g of chocolate and keeps you awake because it is a top-notch source of magnesium and iron which help you concentrate and convert food into energy.
Almonds can balance out blood sugar levels with their healthy fats and proteins. To get the most out of almonds, they should be eaten raw and unsalted. Almonds are also a great source of magnesium, which transforms glucose into energy.