We’ve written before about the importance of sleep. Sleep rejuvenates your brain, cells, muscles, joints, everything in your body and mind that you need to be the very best you can be.

Here are four things to eat and drink your self to sleep:

Oats

Oats are a great way to start the day AND to end it, says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “Surprisingly, your body requires energy to sleep, as well as to be active. The slow releasing carbohydrates in oats drip-feed your cells with energy throughout the night and can stop your blood sugar from falling too low and waking you up. Oats also help the amino acid, tryptophan, to cross into your brain to help make melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle.”

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are hydrating, soothing and have calming effects on your digestive system. Try drinking a cup of herbal tea one hour prior to going to bed. That one-cup will provide you with the essential hydration you need through the night and it will calm your whole system to help prepare it for sleeping. Drinking herbal teas also help minimize your caffeine intake…try substituting herbal teas for coffee from midday on.

Oily Fish

Salmon and tuna are great sources of vitamin B6, the vitamin instrumental in making the hormones serotonin and melatonin. These hormones relax and prepare you to sleep. Salmon and tuna are also great sources of omega 3 fatty acids (which your body can’t create on its own and are essential), protein and potassium. Each is good for lowering your blood pressure, good for your brain and good for weight control. Try to eat two portions of salmon or tuna a week. Sardines will also help put you to sleep.

Chocolate

I’ve saved the best for last. Chocolate boosts serotonin, again a hormone that relaxes and prepares you to sleep. Just a bite or two will do the trick.