Millions of Americans use medications, sleep aids, and natural supplements to help them sleep. Sleep issues are an increasing issue today. Sleep therapies can also include lifestyle changes, bedroom renovations, replacing mattresses, adding white- or zen-noise, minimizing electronic screen time, introducing red lights at night, and adjusting the temperature thermostats. But now studies are showing that there are some snacks that can empower sounder sleep to those craving rest.
The fact that dietary changes are helping insomniacs and others satisfy their slumber requirements introduces health benefits to LATE-NIGHT SNACKING. So what are the coveted snacks to satisfy our sweet slumber cravings?
- Warm Milk has long been taught by young mothers as a sleep inducer for their children – but it also works to comfort and relax any age-group.
- Kiwis actually may work better than warm milk. According to the journal, Advances in Nutrition, eating 2 kiwis one hour before bedtime helped insomniacs fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- Tart Cherry juice seems to provide more than our daily vitamin C requirement! Drinking 1 cup of tart cherry juice in the morning and at night quelled insomnia and reduced night waking with insomniacs & adults in general.
Kiwis and Cherries have antioxidants that help protect against cell damage and chronic inflammation. Kiwis have serotonin, while cherries have melatonin – and both improve sleep. Whether you believe in dietary changes affecting sleep or not, there are few down sides to introducing these snack ideas when sleep becomes a challenge – so indulge when needed.
On the other hand, natural supplements don’t necessarily seem to improve sleep quality of speed by a large margin, yet do have long-term risks. Some common supplements, melatonin and valerian, for sleep may actually contribute to the side effects of dizziness, nausea, vivid dreaming, and sleepiness. Melatonin can also alter the effectiveness of other medications (blood pressure, diabetes, etc). Note that supplements are not regulated well by the FDA administration so the quality and purity can’t be verified. This author recommends looking for the “USP Verified” mark when purchasing these products.
Why is it so important to get your 7 hours of rest each night? Research shows people getting fewer than this are TWICE as likely to have a stroke or heart attack, AND 4.2 times as likely to catch a cold that those getting their healthy 7. However, when you find you are not able to get your healthy 7 hours, try indulging in a nap which can relieve some blood pressure issues associated with insomnia, and help to recover your immunity.
What is the best sleep position? According to The Journal of Neuroscience, sleeping on your side is best for a detox while you sleep. Detoxification helps your brain eliminate chemicals built up over time and reduces your risks of Alzheimer’s. Side sleeping is also best to minimize snoring and an backaches.