Whether you are an adult trying to figure out budgeting and how to fix the leaking faucet or a college student who has 2 tests and 3 submissions due in a couple of hours or a mom who is trying to keep it together without going crazy, we all need one thing to stay sane. What is it you ask? A good night’s sleep. Preferably 8 hours, uninterrupted. If you are a mom, maybe try in 18 years.
Life of every age group (except preschoolers) in this day and age is stressful. Every individual is overworked and over-scheduled, trying to meet this deadline and get to that class. Despite our days planned and packed down to the minute, a lot of folks have a lot of trouble getting decent shut-eye. Some people may have a different kind of sleep related issue. They do not have any problems falling asleep, but more so staying asleep. Who these people are is beyond me, I honestly try to catch some snooze on my way to the dentist and my dentist is a 6-minute car ride away!
Nonetheless, nature seems to have a solution for every problem and sometimes never the other way around. But we are trying to keep the good vibes going so let’s focus on the first one. So, before you find yourself in a doctor’s office getting a prescription for Valium or a little friend known as ‘sleeping pills’, make sure you give naturally occurring things a try. Other than an over dependence on drugs and pills, it will also save you a few bucks, which can shamelessly be spent on a sugar overdose.
Nature has sleeping pills of its own and they work better than most drugs. You just have to find one that is best suited to your problems. Check out these healthy late-night snacks…
If you are from the group that has trouble staying asleep, then you should go for almonds. The issue of not being able to stay asleep may be due to a lack of magnesium and almonds are rich in this stuff! Also, almonds do wonders for your bones.
You remember how your mom used to push that warm glass of milk before bedtime when we were kids? Turns out milk isn’t the only dairy product that can help you get a good night’s rest. Cheese can do just the same- without the milk after taste! And not just cheese, break out the yoghurt too.
Do you like to get your greens in? Then that salad for dinner can go a long way than just keeping you in good shape. Lettuce has sleep-inducing characteristics. So, if you skipped lettuce in your salad for dinner, then you can always brew a tea. It’s pretty simple and effective; boil a few large lettuce leaves in a cup of water for 15 minutes and add a couple of sprigs of mint. Drink this before bed and you shall sleep like a baby. This phrase has never quite hit home with me, mainly because, I can’t get my baby to sleep… like a baby.
If you have an 8 hour window to catch some shut-eye and want to reduce the time it takes to actually fall asleep, then reach for that bag of pretzels. Yes, you read that right- PRETZELS! An increase in blood sugar and insulin levels cuts down the time it takes to actually fall asleep. Whether you can switch that up with a bucket of chocolate chip ice cream? Yeah, that might be pushing it.
Fish like tuna, halibut and salmon are rich in the vitamin B6 and this is the magical nutrient that helps make sleep inducing hormones, melatonin and serotonin so that you can sleep like a… Koala (Koalas sleep 22 hours a day!)
Living up to clichés, chamomile tea is known widely to have sleep-inducing properties. It also acts as a mild sedative and may help numb the pain from the daily grind. On a serious note, this tea has made it across the centuries, so it’s worth a try, no? If you want to take your chances up a notch, then try adding a spoonful of honey. The sugar from the honey increases insulin levels, making it easier to dose off.
Love breakfast for dinner? Now you have a reason with solid scientific back up to indulge in a bowl of cereal every night. Carbs from the cereal and calcium from the milk are two great sources that can help you score some zzz’s.
Have a knack for mid-Eastern cuisine? Me too. Here’s another reason to not stop snacking on Hummus (the best dip ever?). Chickpeas are rich in tryptophan which make it easier to get some sleep and stay asleep. The one advantage of trying this even if it doesn’t work is that although you may not fall asleep, you get to eat lots of hummus.
Sleep is one of the best things on the planet that rejuvenate our bodies and comes for free. Don’t take it for granted. If you have spare time, stop scrolling on social media and go take a nap!