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Getting adequate sleep offers many benefits such as a stronger immune system and a healthier heart. Here are some tips to help you get a good night's rest.

• Avoid large meals and alcohol late at night. According to the National Institutes of Health, late-night meals can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. The same goes for alcohol.

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• Get to bed early. People who stay up late tend to eat late. Many studies indicate calories from late-night snacking seem to pack more of a punch, and may increase cholesterol levels more so than if that same snack was eaten earlier in the day.

• Drink tart-cherry juice. In several studies, melatonin-rich tart cherry juice has been shown to help with sleep. Tart cherries contain melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness. In a small study, adults with insomnia got some relief when they drank two cups of tart cherry juice daily.

• Eat calcium-rich foods. A calcium deficiency might make it difficult for you to fall asleep, so eating foods rich in the nutrient, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, kale and broccoli, can help.

5. Boost your magnesium intake. Eating more magnesium-packed foods, such as bran from rice, wheat or oats, may improve your sleep. Seeds - such as sesame, sunflower, squash and pumpkin - are also delicious sources of magnesium.

6. Grab a banana. This fruit, along with fortified cereals, chickpeas and most fish (especially salmon, halibut and tuna), contains vitamin B6, which helps the body produce melatonin.


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