5 Kitchen Cures For Insomnia
If you're a woman of a certain age and you often find yourself staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night, you're not alone. The years leading up to menopause and the period that immediately follows are the times that women are most likely to report problems sleeping, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Many different conditions that are common in this stage of life — including hot flashes, obstructive sleep apnea, and mood disorders such as depression or anxiety — can cause sleep problems.
Lack of sleep is more than just a nuisance. "We now understand that high-quality sleep is absolutely vital to good health," says Dr. JoAnn E. Manson, the Michael and Lee Bell Professor of Women's Health at Harvard Medical School. This means that seeking care should be a priority if you are experiencing problems.
And men, the health problems from insomnia aren’t exclusive to women. A recent study published in the journal SLEEP found that men with chronic insomnia who slept for less than six hours were four times more likely to die during the 14-year follow-up period (odds ratio = 4.33) than men without insomnia who slept for six hours or more. These findings further emphasize the importance of diagnosis and treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders. “The primary finding of our study is that insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is associated with significant mortality in men,” said principal investigator Alexandros N. Vgontzas, MD, professor of psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Penn State College of Medicine
𝗦𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵
Experts recommend at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night for most people, although some may need more or less than average. People who regularly get fewer than six hours of sleep are at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cognitive decline, and death from any cause. A lack of restful sleep also makes it more likely that a person will gain weight and have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, says Dr. Manson. "It's also been recently discovered that sleep is essential for avoiding or reducing the risk of cognitive decline," she says.
When it’s late at night and you can’t get to sleep, what do you do? Many of us head for the kitchen, open the cupboard, and try to remember what Grandma would have advised us to do. Thankfully, grandmothers everywhere have passed down recipes for drinks that can help us settle into slumber. Note the ingredients so you can have them on hand the next time you’re trolling the pantry at midnight.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗲: 𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗷𝘂𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗲𝗿
Tart cherry juice is loaded with an amino acid that helps the brain’s pineal gland produce melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. You don’t need a lot of it, just a half to a cup will do. As an option, add one or two drops of vanilla extract for a sweeter flavor and a little extra boost in relaxation benefits.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗲: 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗮
Herbal teas like chamomile are not really “tea” because they don’t come from the leaves of the tea plant, so they have no caffeine. Chamomile tea comes from a plant with small daisy-like flowers. This herbal tea has many healing properties and is famous for its reputation as a sleep aid. Its sedative effect comes from a flavonoid called apigenin that helps create a calming response in the brain so that we feel sleepy.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗲: 𝗩𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗺𝗲
If you are using ready-made tea bags, you can put a few different flavors in your cup or teapot. If you’re using loose tea, you can mix the flavors dry and put the blend in an infuser. You also might add one or any combination of the following ingredients to your chamomile or mix them up to make your own unique sleep brew.
✔️Lavender is another flower that has been used for centuries to induce drowsiness. It pairs beautifully with chamomile.
✔️Turmeric, also known as curcumin, is well known to help ease inflammation. Turmeric root is delicious with chamomile tea. Simply add a few thin slices to your cup for extra sleep benefits.
✔️Lemon balm reduces stress and helps to relieve both indigestion and anxiety.
✔️Valerian is a muscle relaxant and a strong sleep aid. Valerian root on its own, however, tastes kind of earthy and is not enjoyable to drink. Blending it with chamomile or any of these other ingredients makes it a lot more palatable.
✔️Ginger root is great for digestion and has antiviral and antibiotic properties. If you can’t sleep because you have an upset stomach or a cold, adding a few slices of ginger to your tea can be soothing.
✔️Cinnamon is high in cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for many of the spice’s health benefits. Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar levels and fight infections. Stir your tea with a cinnamon stick to get the small amount you need, while not overpowering the other flavors.
✔️Rose helps calm and bring bliss to the mind. Rose tea can be made from rose hips, rose petals, or both.
✔️Honey contributes to the release of melatonin in the brain and gives a natural sweetness to the tea. Honey also supplies the liver with glycogen storage, giving it fuel to recover during rest so it doesn’t have to produce stress hormones. This way the body can rejuvenate more easily, helping us sleep more soundly.
✔️Himalayan salt contains minerals, such as magnesium, essential for relaxation, and stress reduction. You just need a little bit – a pinch will do.
✔️Coconut oil is a healthful fat that helps in the production of sleep hormones. Half a teaspoon melts easily in the hot water of tea and helps herbs to assimilate into the body more quickly.
✔️Milk or plant-based kinds of milk are rich in an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan helps boost melatonin.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗲: 𝗕𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗮 𝘁𝗲𝗮
Banana peels are rich in potassium and magnesium, but can you imagine eating one? Making tea from a whole banana is a remarkable way to get all the benefits of these nutrients deliciously. Drinking banana tea helps the blood vessels, as well as the muscles, relax and helps you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer. After drinking the tea, try eating the banana, peel and all – it’s surprisingly yummy.
1) Simply boil water in a pot.
2) Cut off the ends of one banana and place it in the water.
3) Boil the banana for 10 minutes or so, until the peel is soft.
4) Pour the water through a strainer into a mug and serve with a cinnamon stick, if you want to make it look a bit fancy.
𝗥𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗲: 𝗪𝗮𝗿𝗺 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗸
Warm milk has a long tradition as a sleep remedy – and for good reason. Plant-based milk, such as almond or cashew, works the same way because it’s high in protein. When heated, the milk helps raise internal body temperature, which can calm and relax us. The calcium in milk has a soothing effect on the nervous system. Plus, there’s the positive psychological effect it brings, maybe because milk was comfort food for us when we were babies.
As a variation, dunk a bag of chamomile tea in your mug of warm milk or sprinkle in a pinch of nutmeg. Nutmeg is a powerful spice and acts as a sedative so be careful not to overdo it – 1/8 of a teaspoon is plenty. Saffron has mild sedative properties and is delicious with milk. Simply steep two strands of saffron in a cup of warm milk.
Sip warm milk slowly while winding down for the night, preferably curled up on a cozy sofa with a soft blanket wrapped around you. Cheers to a wonderful night’s sleep!
𝗪𝗮𝗿𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴: 𝗔𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗵𝗼𝗹 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗿𝘀 𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽
One drink to avoid is alcohol. While it’s true that alcohol makes you relax, it disrupts your normal sleep cycle and causes you to wake up in the middle of the night. Instead, opt for some of the beverages with natural ingredients listed here to help you get the deep sleep you need. It’s best to have these drinks 30 minutes to one hour before bedtime so you avoid waking up to go to the bathroom.
𝗥𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿: 𝗔 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀 = 𝗮 𝗴𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗻𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁’𝘀 𝘀𝗹𝗲𝗲𝗽
There’s no special potion that can help you sleep if your mattress is in bad shape. The mattress is the foundation of a good night’s rest. If you’ve had yours for longer than five to seven years, evaluate the mattress for lumps and bumps and signs of wear. It’s probably time to get a new one.
𝗟𝗢𝗢𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗔𝗡 𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗬 𝗦𝗟𝗘𝗘𝗣 𝗔𝗜𝗗 𝗧𝗛𝗔𝗧’𝗦 𝗔𝗟𝗦𝗢 𝗥𝗘𝗠𝗔𝗥𝗞𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗬 𝗛𝗘𝗔𝗟𝗧𝗛𝗬?
When Trust Organix created More Than Greens, admittedly, a good night’s sleep was not on our to-do list. Turns out that we created a formula that can be stress-relieving and relaxing when taken before bed.
More Than Greens contains 16 superfoods, a multivitamin, and probiotics but four of the superfoods we added (discussed above) are particularly good and soothing for your mind. Turmeric, Lemon Balm, Ginger, and Cinnamon are ALL in More Than Greens!
To boost the sleep-enhancing abilities of More Than Greens even more, mix one scoop with milk or chamomile tea and add honey for a delicious and stress-relieving nighttime sleep aid that’s incredibly nutritious too.
Visit TrustOrganix.com to learn more about More Than Greens and our other custom formulations designed to boost health, improve cardiovascular and brain function, and naturally improve cholesterol and blood pressure.
Reference: The Better Sleep Council. By Lissa Coffey
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