No doubt about it, insomnia sucks. And yes, we all know that alcohol, caffeine and sugar can disturb our precious zzz’s, what about foods that help promote better sleep?
“It’s really important to eat low glycemic foods so you don’t get the insulin spike of energy and then the crash,” explains Tricia Williams, chef and owner of Food Matters, a food delivery service in New York City.
And even though Williams says there isn’t any evidence that a raw food diet can cure insomnia, she does say it’s much cleaner and low glycemic by nature (sorry white pasta- and bread-lovers), so eating this way can certainly help by cause and effect.
Here are six specific foods that Williams says can help you (finally!) get a good night’s sleep:
Can’t sleep? Tired all the time? You’re not alone. Millions of other Americans are right there with you during the wee hours of the night. Unfortunately, as we learned last week, sleeping pills are not a good option for those of us who are sleep deprived. So what is then? Well, you can wait until you reach a certain age according to a new study. More
Is there anything that makes you feel worse than a sleepless night? Getting out of bed the next morning is truly depressing, knowing that your day is probably going to suck. It’s enough to get many of us reaching for sleeping pills at night so we can at least be assured some shut-eye. But, according to a new study, that pill-induced sleep comes at a pretty high risk–a 400% increased rate of death. More
If all you can think about on Friday is your ability to catch up on some much-needed sleep on Saturday, you’re not alone. Americans are sleeping, on average, 20% less than they were a century ago–and insomnia and other sleep disorders disproportionately impact certain groups of people, like women, children, and those suffering from depression. If you’re having a tough time waking up today (or find it hard to hit the sack earlier, even though you know you should), take a look at this infographic from the Canada Drug Center to see who else suffering, and what it means for your health. More
Insomnia doesn’t just feel like some sort of bizarre torture while you’re experiencing it—it can also have long-term health consequences, upping risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease and depression. A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania found people with ‘sleep disturbances’ at least three nights per week were 35% more likely to be obese, 54% more likely to have diabetes, 98% more likely to have heart disease and 80% more likely to have had a heart attack. A 2002 study found people with chronic insomnia were five times more likely to develop anxiety or depression and more than twice as likely to have heart failure. Chronic insomnia is defined as insomnia that lasts for a month or more. But many of us without chronic insomnia still experience bouts of sleeplessness now and then, and I’m curious how people deal with it. More
If you ever spend a night tossing and turning, it may not surprise you that two out of three women have trouble sleeping. And even though studies have shown that the minimum amount is seven hours for us (seven and a half for men), the majority of us don’t get that. Not only will this lack of shut-eye make you–and likely everyone around you–miserable, but a continued lack of sleep can contribute to a variety of health problems, including a 50% increased risk of viral infections, an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, plus mental decline, overeating and accelerated aging. So what to do? We’ve all heard the advice about darkening your room, turning off the TV and drinking warm milk, but here are some other tips you may not have heard: More
Studies reveal that 61% of e-reader owners think bedtime is a perfect time to read an e-book, and among those surveyed, 37% spent read e-books the most while lying in bed. But when it’s time to hit the sheets, current research suggests the bright light from your iPad may cause bouts of insomnia. More
Unless you’re stuck in your teenage years where 12 hours of sleep was the norm, chances are you’re tired. Whether your boss doesn’t seem to acknowledge that the rest of the world has a life after 5pm, your two-year-old (or 12-year-old) refuses to go to bed, or you just can’t make yourself turn off Conan, the next day can be exhausting and draining. And while a sleep-deprived state is not fun for anyone, researchers found women actually get more shut-eye than men–we just complain more about being tired. More
For the last day of our Ultimate Yoga series, we are focusing on an exhausting problem that 70 million American share: insomnia. For many of those troubled sleepers, 42 million prescriptions for sleep aid were filled last year. As sleep disorders become more common in our country, it’s important to understand how holistic treatments, like yoga, can help. In fact, according to one study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, a group of insomniacs dramatically improved both the quality and quantity of slumber through a series of breathing, meditation and asanas over the course of eight weeks. More
According to new research, if your boss doesn’t give you that promotion or your mother-in-law stiffs you on your birthday, you may be able to chalk it up to their sleep deprivation. Not because they are complete and utter jerks whose insomnia has left them in a perpetual bitchy mood (even though that may very well be true), but because they may secretly blame you for all of their woes. More
Good news for insomniacs with a sweet tooth? This brownie will help you sleep. No, not that kind of brownie. I’m talking about Lazy Cakes, the dessert that has been drumming up a public health outrage over the past few weeks (they’re already too hot for Arkansas). Lazy Cakes, and others like it, are packed with melatonin, a neurohormone that’s long been popular as a sleep-aid in its dietary supplement form. Melatonin occurs naturally in the body, but can also be made synthetically. More
In my younger and much unhealthier days, I consumed at least one energy drink per day, along with copious amounts of coffee (energy drink habit is now broken; coffee not so much). Of course, many nights, this left my body awake and restless long after my brain had given up on serious thought for the day. Enter Nyquil. God, I loved Nyquil. Cherry better than green, but I’d take any of it. Often, it gave me terrible, elaborate dreams, but — oh, the peace that came with drifting off into a sleepy Nyquil coma.
These days, though, I try to follow my body’s natural rhythms a little better. When I do occasionally need help falling asleep, I reach for Kava Kava extract. More
Sleep deprived? We thought you’d like this post from Ronnie Koenig at AOL Health.
We all know the benefits of doing cardio — a healthier heart, a smaller waistline and more energy. But did you know that doing an aerobic workout can also promote sleep, particularly for people over 55?
A new study from Northwestern Medicine, funded by the National Institute on Aging, showed that getting regular aerobic exercise was an effective, drug-free prescription for insomnia. The researchers looked at 23 sedentary adults, primarily women over the age of 55 who had difficulty falling asleep and whose lack of sleep interfered with daily tasks. The individuals were split into two groups — exercising and non-exercising. More
What’s the best drink for falling asleep at night? A bottle of red wine, right? Nope, but another red drink might do the trick. Researchers found that adults who drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice every morning and evening … More