MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Getting the recommended six to eight hours of sleep each night can be a challenge.

But if you do, you’re likely to be slimmer, healthier and less stressed. That’s according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Here are a few tips for sleeping better the natural way, without taking any drugs or supplements.

If you want to get to sleep, simply wear yourself out. Research suggests that early evening exercise three times a week between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. contributes to sound sleep. Be careful, though: If you exercise within two to three hours of bedtime, that will rev you up instead of letting you wind down.

Here’s, an idea that takes advantage of your body’s natural inclination to prepare itself for sleep when daylight begins to ebb: Dine by candle light. Dim the lights, turn off the computer and the television. Flashing lights and sound stimulate you when you need to dial down.

Finally, here’s something you can eat before bed that will actually help you fall asleep: Bananas. Some experts call bananas a “sleeping pill in a peel” because they are loaded with the amino acid tryptophan, which helps you feel sleepy.

Other foods that set this process in motion are dairy products, peanut butter, tofu and turkey.

One last tip we’ll leave you with: Be careful of sleeping in on weekends. You can create a form of jet lag, which will contribute to fatigue during the week.


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