Sleep for Mom

05/19/2010 8:45 AM

12/10/2010 11:23 AM

It might be the "end of the school year, start of the summer" change. It might be the fact that I have been, literally, running from meeting, to baseball game, to party, to bed every night. Whatever the reason, I am not sleeping very well. At a time when I need true rest the most, it is elusive.

In my overtired state, then, I was thrilled to stumble across a new list of "Sleep Better Foods." And the list does NOT include Thankgiving Turkey. Most ideas sound doable and realistic. Every mom that I know could use as much peaceful sleep as possible, so maybe one or two of these will strike your fancy.

Here are my favorites:

1. Red Bell Peppers: These babies are full of Vitamin C, which is proven to block your brain's release of Cortisol. Cortisol is the chemical that shoots around in your system when you're stressed. Less cortisol means a more relaxed mom, ready to fall asleep and stay there.

2. Sesame Seeds: Yum! As it turns out, sesame seeds are one of the best natural sources of tryptophan, the amino acid that makes you sleepy. (Yes, this is the amino acid in turkey, too...but the protein in turkey often offsets the sleepy feeling.) Grab a handful before bedtime.

3. Unsweetened Cherry Juice: Now, this is one I have to try. The suggestion is four ounces, an hour before bedtime. It contains serotonin-inducing carbohydrates which help you relax. This drink sounds especially attractive as the summer days and nights heat up. I am imagining that a shot of cold cherry juice could be a perfect way to end the day.

The list also includes one glass of wine, giving credibility to the term "nightcap." Of course, this one is no surprise. However, the sleep benefits end at one glass. Two or more may actually have the opposite effect, so watch out!

I'll start my "research study of one" this week and hope to be more rested soon!

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