Tag Archive | sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping?

I am always amazed at the benefits we receive from our food. For example, on a recent discussion with my daughter-in-law, she told me she read that tart cherries were good for helping you sleep. Since I experience irregular sleep patterns and insomnia, I thought I’d give it a whirl. It certainly could not hurt me.

I purchased the tart cherry juice and poured a regular-sized juice glass three quarters full. I’m guessing it was about three ounces. I slept through the night and felt refreshed the next morning. Hmmm. Could this be working or was it merely a coincidence? I planned to continue the experiment.

I tried it the next night. I awoke to a strange noise, but I returned to a deep sleep shortly after dismissing the sound as harmless. I then slept deeply until morning. This pattern continued for about a week. Then about the eighth night, I climbed into bed and realized I had not had my cherry night cap. Too tired to go back downstairs, I decided it was probably ok to skip it this once. Ironically, I was awake almost every hour and had really weird dreams. Was there a connection?

I Googled tart cherry juice and discovered there really is a connection between the cherry juice and sleep. Evidently, you can receive extra Melatonin from cherries. It is Melatonin that helps you not only get to sleep, but stay asleep and wake refreshed the next morning. It seems to work for me. What an easy remedy? And it all came from food.

Do you need to wait up to change your clock?

This Sunday, March 11, Daylight Savings Time (DST) goes into effect at 2 AM. Even in the days when I thought “later was better,” I was never a proponent of waiting until that hour to change the clocks. As long as you started Sunday activities at the right time, it really did not seem to matter.

But some have a different opinion about the impact of the time change on the body. An article from Mail Onlne discusses a study out of the University of Alabama where scientists have discovered that the abrupt change to a person’s daily schedule increases the risk of heart attack. They noted that threat is greatest on Monday morning when you force your body to get up to go to work an hour earlier than its previous normal.  Though they haven’t proved a definitive cause and effect correlation between DST and heart attack, you may consider their suggestions helpful as preventative measures. 

  1. Get up 30 minutes earlier on Saturday and Sunday – think of it as (bed) spring training.
  2. Eat a nutritious breakfast – can’t go wrong on this one any time of the year.
  3. Go outdoors early in the day and soak in those rays of sunshine – this is a good way to boost your consumption of vitamin D as well.
  4. Exercise in the mornings over the weekend – this will help you to go to sleep when retiring earlier on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

While scientists debate the issue, you may want to err on the side of caution by sleeping in on Monday morning. I doubt your boss will buy it, but after all, your health is important. 

Bottom line:  Before you go to bed on Saturday night, move your clocks ahead an hour (spring forward).  Otherwise, you’ll be late for everything until November 4 when they change back to standard time.