Are Chocolate and Wine the Secret to a Great Sleep?

Kick insomnia to the curb with these late-night ideas.

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Foods For Better Sleep

Make the most of your evening snack by munching on foods that will help you get a great night’s sleep. We’ve gathered the tastiest snacks and drinks that will help you drift off to dreamland, pronto.

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Nuts + Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, walnuts and almonds contain tryptophan, the amino acid that helps our brains produce two hormones that are the workhorses of good sleep: serotonin (which promotes slumber) and melatonin (which helps control the sleep/wake cycle). Eat them separately or pair them up for a knockout punch.

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Herbal, caffeine-free tea can help your body relax and act as a signal for bedtime. Look for lavender and camomile varieties or valerian root, which promotes drowsiness and can contribute to longer sleep.

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Indulge in a square of dark chocolate every night – really! Not only does chocolate contain tryptophan but it’s also an amazing source of magnesium, a key mineral that contributes to sleep by helping muscles relax.

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Cherry Juice

Drink a couple of glasses of tart cherry juice (which contains melatonin) before bed and you might extend your slumber by more than half an hour. Research published in the European Journal of Nutrition reveals that when adults have two glasses of tart cherry juice a day, they sleep 39 minutes longer, on average.

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A whole-grain, carbohydrate-rich snack like popcorn may get you to dreamland faster. It’s due to the carbs in the corn, which increase serotonin in your brain, says Lois Ferguson, a registered dietitian and author of Eating for Energy & Ecstasy.

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Wine time equals sleepy time. Yes! Some red grapes, including Nebbiolo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, have naturally occurring melatonin in their skins. Keep your imbibing to one glass at dinner for best results.

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