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Healthy Bedtime Snacks

Earlier this month, Misao Okawa, the world's oldest person celebrated her 116th birthday. One.Hundred. And. Sixteen.

Pretty impressive.

Her secret to a long life? Eating well and sleeping for eight hours a night.

It got us thinking, are certain foods conducive to a good night's sleep?

Photo Credit: Cheap Photos via Compfight cc

While it’s pretty well established that alcohol, caffeine and sugary foods are best avoided close to bedtime (as tempting as that late night tub of cookie dough ice cream sounds), here are five healthy foods to help you sleep well:

Eating a banana in your pyjamas can help relax your muscles thanks to the magnesium and potassium naturally found in the fruit.

Cheese and crackers
Snacks with a combination of protein and carbohydrates like cheese and crackers make the perfect late night snack, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Protein-rich foods contain Tryptophan, an amino acid known to cause drowsiness, whilst the carbs help to make Tryptophan more available to the brain.

A bowl of cereal
Similar to cheese and crackers, cereal (the non-sugary kind) and milk is another example of protein and carbs teaming up to make a super snack fit for bedtime.

Rich in antioxidants, cherries also naturally contain melatonin, a hormone that is reported to regulate sleep. Stick to a single serve to avoid an upset stomach.

If laying awake at night drives you nuts, a small handful of almonds or brazil nuts − high in magnesium − can help with sleep and muscle relaxation.