If you are one of the many people who suffer from not getting enough zzz’s, I have good news for you. The solution to a restful night of slumber may just be in your pantry or fridge. While foods like coffee or caffeinated teas can keep us awake at night, there are other foods that contain certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids that can aid sleep and relaxation.
I’ve chosen 3 of the best ingredients – milk, oatmeal, and pumpkin seeds- to help you sleep better and created a recipe that shows you just how easy it is to get these foods into your diet.
Serving: 4 Cook Time: 10 min
- 3 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal or chia seeds (low carb)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons chopped dried goji berries
- 6 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- Bring non-dairy milk, water, honey, and salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Stir in oatmeal or chia, and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Cook, uncovered, stirring often, until oatmeal or chia is tender and mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.
- Divide mixture evenly among 6 bowls; top each with 1 tablespoon goji berries and 1 tablespoon pepitas.
- Serve warm.
Treat yourself to a comforting bowl of warm, creamy oats pudding and enjoy a better night’s sleep. If you continue to have problems sleeping after these steps, I suggest keeping a diary of what you are doing and eating prior to sleeping.
Live to Create.
Sleep. It seems that the older we get, the more sleep we need. Perhaps it’s our body’s way of slowing us down. To rest and repair. You see, sleep is vital to our health and quality of life. When we’re overtired, we tend to be more moody, forgetful and impatient. We crave carbs and we seek out “comfort foods”. But carbs and comfort foods aren’t usually on the menu when you’re trying to lose weight or follow a certain diet protocol.
Did you know that there’s actually a bio-chemical reason that you’re craving these things?
When you stay up too late, the is an impact in your hormones which will, in turn, impact your glucose metabolism. In fact, sleep deprivation elicits your body to release more cortisol which tends to make you feel hungry, even when you’re not. Basically, this stressful state causes your body to seek more energy aka “carb cravings”. And if that’s not bad enough, increased cortisol levels will also cause sleep disturbances creating a cycle of exhaustion and overeating.
Of course, we totally understand that “Life Happens”. And sometimes, you need to stay up late to finish a project or tend to sick babies. What can you do? Rather than start your day with a sugary muffin, aim to give your body high nutrients, protein and fatty foods. For example, scrambled eggs and avocado toast or full fat Greek yogurt with berries would be optimal choices to give you energy without impacting your glucose levels (which may already be imbalanced due to your rough night). It’s also important to note that your leptin and ghrelin levels will be out of whack too. These are the hormones that signal you for food and tell you when you’ve eaten enough. With this in mind, you can stick to your meal portions and trust that your body doesn’t actually need more food. It’s just tired. A study done at Stanford University confirmed that appetite increase proportionally to the amount of sleep deprivation. The less you sleep, the more appetite you will have. And that those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most.
What’s another way to help regulate your hormones? Exercise. I know, you’re tired! But studies show that high cortisol and resting glucose levels will improve with movement.
For more foods to help you sleep, click HERE.
Sleep is important. We all know that, yet we don’t prioritize it. If anything, we view it as a nuisance.
Most researchers agree that you should sleep around 8 hours in a 24-hour period, but do you know why? It’s all based on sleep cycles.
The average sleep cycle ranges from 70 minutes to 120 minutes and we need at least four or five sleep cycles per night, depending on how long each cycle lasts. That just happens to round-up to 6 to 9 hours of total sleep!
Some people feel it’s necessary to nap in the afternoon, while others can find that naps lead to less restful sleeps at night. It’s important to listen to your body and think about how you feel if you take a nap – did you feel energetic or were you just as tired?
If you loved the feeling after napping and it rejuvenated you then napping might be just what your body needs. If lethargy and fogginess is all you feel then you may wish to try putting off naps and focus on getting a longer sleep at night, you’ll thank yourself in the morning.
Fatigue, depression, forgetfulness, increased risk of heart disease and obesity are just a few of the negative issues that arise when you are lacking sleep or have a highly disrupted sleep cycle. Needless to say, sleep is extremely important!
We want to make sure you’re putting yourself first when it comes to sleep, so go ahead and let yourself rest. Let your brain sort your thoughts and do what it needs to do so that you can feel like yourself in the morning, instead of feeling like a zombie.
If you find it difficult to fall asleep try some deep breathing. Focus on lightly tightening your muscles as you breathe in, and then release the tension as you breathe out. Repeat the process until you feel relaxed.
To your success and happiness!
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