Sunday, March 15, 2015

These Bedtime Snacks Help You Sleep!

There was an article in my hometown newspaper today that just goes perfectly with my previous blog about sleep!
And right up my alley too!
Bedtime snacks!
I always have to have one before bed!

I'm not makin' this stuff up!
This is according to the National Sleep Foundation:
Changes in sleep patterns are a part of the aging process.
Many people experience difficulty falling asleep and then staying asleep as we get older.
Here's the good news.
There are certain snack foods that may help to improve quality of sleep!
AARP notes that the following are a handful of snack foods that promote better sleep.

•  Almonds:
Magnesium is a mineral with muscle relaxing properties, and almonds contain enough magnesium to help you get a better night's sleep.
A small amount of almonds before bedtimes may be enough to make falling and staying asleep easier.

•  Bananas
Much like almonds, bananas provide a substantial amount of magnesium.  
Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which many people relate to that sleepy feeling after that Thanksgiving turkey dinner!
A banana shortly before bed might be just what you need to fall and stay asleep.

 •  Cheese and crackers
Cheese and crackers contain tryptophan and some carbohydrates which can induce a better night's sleep and help you fall asleep sooner.

•  Cherries
Cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin.
AARP notes that people who drank tart cherry juice on a regular basis fell asleep more quickly and slept longer and better than participants who did not.

•  Walnuts

Walnuts, like cherries contain melatonin which contributes to better sleep.

•  Peanut butter

Another snacking item loaded with tryptophan.
Spread some on a some carbohydrate like a piece of toast and sleep better!!

•  Hummus

The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are loaded with tryptophan, folate and vitamin B6.  Folate has proven especially helpful to older men and women who need help regulating sleep patterns while B6 helps the body regulate it's clock!

So there you have it!
Many men and women experience difficulty sleeping as they age.  But the right foods may just help combat such problems and help men and women get a more adequate night's sleep.

I'm all for that.
What about you!!


Friday, March 6, 2015

The Healing Power of Sleep

There has been more and more studies on the importance of good quality sleep lately.
They are finding out just how very important it is!
About 3 months ago I got an app for my iPhone called Sleep Cycle alarm clock.
It is quite fascinating what goes on when you're sleeping.
Your mind is quite active and the right quality of sleep is doing really good things for your body.
Here is the link and believe me it's worth the 99 cents!!!

I also found an excellent book about sleep by Mary O'Brien, MD
You can get it on Amazon.

As I get older, I seem to be having more trouble sleeping or staying asleep.
So I've done quite a bit of reading about the importance of sleep.
They have discovered that you definitely need at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
There are plenty of people that don't get that and say they are just fine on 5 hours.
Not enough sleep has long term effects.

There are some bad effects of sleep deprivation.  Even just not getting the correct amount of sleep over a period of time.
These are some of the negative effects that can happen:
Heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, headaches, depression, memory problems, cognitive disfunction, moodiness, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, and of course cold and flu.
Amazing right!!
When you are sleeping, the brain is actually quite active.
It is healing itself!   
The human growth hormone and melatonin which play a big role in tissue recovery and immunity are produced during sleep.
By the way, light from your TV or phone etc, used at bedtime can stop that production of melatonin and give you a restless night's sleep.
Every living thing sleeps in some way.  (Even earthworms!!!!!)
Sleep is necessary for life.
Developing a sleep routine is very important for a good quality night's sleep.
There is a whole lot of information online about sleep.
Also information about dreaming.
Here are just a couple.

Information about dreaming:

TV, computers, iPhones etc. emit blue light which tricks the brain into thinking it's daytime.
So . . . . shut off your TV and other electronic devices and go to sleep in a darkened room!

Good night!!