Sweet Dreams, Courtesy of Dark Chocolate

Here’s a sweet piece of news: New research suggests that eating plenty of dark chocolate might make it easier to get a good night’s sleep.

Sweet Dreams, Courtesy of Dark ChocolateThe key is magnesium, an essential mineral that controls a number of functions in the body, from supporting a healthy immune system to converting food into fuel. Now a group of researchers from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and the University of Cambridge in England have discovered that magnesium also plays a role in regulating the body’s internal clock, according to an April 14 article in Edinburgh Evening News.

According to the study published in Nature, magnesium helps control how cells keep their own form of time in the day-and-night cycle. Experiments found that levels of the mineral in cells rose and fell in a daily cycle. In addition to maintaining circadian rhythm, this rise and fall also had an impact on metabolism.

And if eating dark chocolate isn’t your style, magnesium also is found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas and dried fruit.

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