Sleeping Potion Recipes

Got to get the kids to sleep before Desperate Housewives? Try treats with tryptophan. This amino acid spurs the body to make serotonin, which slows nerve activity and encourages drowsiness. Milk, yogurt, soy, figs, bananas, and, famously, turkey are all sources. Supersize the effect with a carbohydrate — carbs stimulate insulin production, which sweeps away other amino acids, leaving the tryptophan to do its sleepy thing. Tricky? Maybe. Effective? Yes.

Hands-On Time: 3 minutes-90 minutes
Ready In: 3 minutes-90 minutes

Full Moon Cookies: Smoosh a slice or two of banana between 2 small oatmeal raisin cookies, and freeze for at least 1 hour. (Think ice cream sandwich.)

Yogurt Drifts: Spoon a little vanilla or blueberry yogurt into a small paper cup, then sprinkle with wheat germ. Eat, or freeze for 1 to 1 1/2 hours for a frozen-pudding consistency.

Midnight Figs: Purée 1 cup dried figs with 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a food processor. Spread on vanilla wafer cookies.

Sleepy Sunflowers: Put a spoonful of cottage cheese on a round whole wheat cracker. Sprinkle with sunflower or sesame seeds.

Twilight Toast Points: Spread blueberry preserves on whole wheat toast, then cut into bite-size pieces.

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