What you eat before bed doesn’t just affect your overall health — it also affects your sleep. That’s where pumpkin seeds can come in handy, says Triad to Wellness dietitian Tracee Yablon Brenner in an interview with Food Network. “Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium and tryptophan, which is an amino acid that has been helpful in treating insomnia,” she explained. “Your body converts it into serotonin, then melatonin, the relaxing sleep hormone.”
According to Healthline, pumpkin seeds are one of the best natural sources of magnesium, and a mere one-ounce serving contains over a third of your recommended daily intake. Magnesium improves your sleep by helping your body maintain appropriate levels of GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that allows your brain to relax and drift off soundly (via Psychology Today). Healthline reports that about 79 percent of Americans have a magnesium deficiency, so if you’re struggling with sleep, that could be the issue — and a handful of pumpkin seeds before you hit the hay could help.