Things That Matter

17 Tips On What To Eat To Have Better Sleep

You slip into your PJs, pull down the covers, and get ready to curl yourself into bed for a good night of sleep. No matter how hard you try, you end up tossing, turning, counting sheep, and having a hard time getting the fulfilling night of sleep that you know you need. There are a lot of things that can interrupt your sleep-wake cycle and interfere with getting rest. As much as 27 percent of the population has a hard time sleeping, and there are a lot of factors that can be involved. What you may not know is there are certain foods you can eat to have better sleep. 

1. Have a Cup of Warm Milk

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Milk contains two elements that have an effect on how well you rest: tryptophan and melatonin. There is also some soothing effect of sipping on a slightly warmed cup of leches before bed just like you may have done as a child. 

2. Eat Cottage Cheese & Fruit

 

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Low levels of serotonin in the brain can contribute to insomnia, scientifically speaking. Cottage cheese is rich in an amino acid well known to boost serotonin levels called tryptophan. Slice up your favorite berries or fruits and enjoy a late-night snack of fruit and cottage cheese to help you get more rest. 

3. Snack On Nuts Before Bed

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Nuts are known for being all kinds of healthy, with some pretty astounding health benefits, but this natural crunchy food may also encourage better sleep. Grab a handful of walnuts, almonds, or even peanuts as an evening snack. These crunchy treats are known for producing melatonin, a valuable bodily hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. 

4. Enjoy Sliced Kiwi Fruit

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Fruit is almost always a safe bet for a late-night snack because it helps keep you feeling fulfilled through the night with its natural sugar, but certain fruits like kiwi are even greater for helping you sleep. Having two kiwis before bed can improve your amount of sleep by a full hour over a 30-day period. 

5. Sip Chamomile Tea

 

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Warm tea is naturally a relaxing, soothing beverage to sip at bedtime. Pick up chamomile tea, which is known for its relaxing properties, and brew a cup at bedtime to help you unwind, destress, and relax. 

6. Eat a Handful of Whole Tart Cherries

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Tart cherries are naturally rich in antioxidants, but they can also help with the production of melatonin. Grab a handful of tart cherries in the evening after a meal if they are available. If no fresh cherries are available, try a small glass of chilled tart cherry juice. 

7. Have Some Popcorn

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Popcorn is naturally filling because it is full of fiber and simple carbohydrates, which means it will curb hunger pains through the night. However, these very same components can help your body absorb tryptophan so you sleep more peacefully. 

8. Munch On a Cup of Rice

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Rice helps raise your glycemic index, so it will naturally help lull you to sleep a little faster than usual. White rice, brown rice, and just about any rice will have the same effect, but jasmine rice is known to be the best for encouraging rest. 

9. Eat a Banana

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Bananas are a good treat to incorporate into your daily diet because they have so many healthy advantages, but having one at bedtime is also a good idea. Loaded with tryptophan and magnesium, bananas can help you fall asleep faster and sleep better when you do fall asleep.  

10. Treat Yourself to Oatmeal

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Warm and easy to eat, oatmeal is usually thought of as a breakfast food, but there’s no rule against having a small treat of warm oatmeal near bedtime. Oats are a known source of melatonin and give you a healthy dose of simple carbs, which can make you feel drowsy. 

11. Crunch On Some Leafy Green Lettuce

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Lettuce contains lactucarium, which reacts in the brain a little like a low dose of opium. Therefore, having a salad close to bedtime that is mostly leafy green or red lettuces can actually have a sedative effect and help you get to sleep faster.  

12.  Munch On a Few Pretzels

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Pretzels are salty, fulfilling, and a good way to soothe the munchies at bedtime. Made with simple ingredients, pretzels are also a safe snack in moderation. Beyond all that, pretzels also give you a quick glycemic boost, which helps tryptophan enter the bloodstream where it can seep into the brain and help you fall asleep faster. 

13. Have Some Tuna

 

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Fatty fish like salmon and tuna, even from a can, is rich in vitamin B6. To produce the right levels of melatonin and serotonin, your body needs this vitamin B6. If you need a little help getting to sleep at night, try munching on some canned or fresh tuna.

Read: 17 Latino Foods That Taste Great, But You Should Avoid Eating Too Often

14.  Enjoy a Bowl of Lentil Soup

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Rich in magnesium, a good bowl of lentils can definitely help you sleep better when you head off to bed. Lentils are most often served in soups, and a hearty bowl of lentil soup in the evening may be one of the best meals you can have to help you rest easy. 

15. Eat Some Hummus

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The primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, and chickpeas are naturally a good source of tryptophan, folate, and vitamin B-6. The combination of these three important components helps regulate sleep patterns so you sleep better through the night.

16. Grab a Spoonful of Peanut Butter

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Rich in tryptophan and really filling, peanut butter has been a long-prized bedtime snack for good reason. Slather some creamy or crunchy peanut butter on whole wheat toast or crackers and enjoy guilt-free before bed to sleep well. 

17. Eat Some Fresh Pineapple

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Melatonin goes on a natural decline as you get older, which can really mess with your ability to sleep through the night. Pineapple is a natural melatonin booster. Studies have shown that melatonin levels are boosted by 266 percent after eating pineapples.

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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