Those on the look-out for a natural treatment for insomnia may want to focus on their dinner plate, according to research published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. In this study of nearly 6,000 adults, the researchers found that consuming a Mediterranean diet –an eating pattern rich in whole grains, fish, vegetables, olive oil and fresh fruits–reduced insomnia symptoms in women.
The researchers add that the Mediterranean diet was particularly effective against “difficulty maintaining sleep” –a common symptom of insomnia. However, they found no connection between the Mediterranean diet patterns and sleep quality or maintaining sleep.
Get Sleep Fast – Restless Leg Syndrome and a Trio of Great Minerals
I just love the feedback I get with the food articles. A lot of times it’s from folks who have tried the recipes and liked them or have offered their own to make a featured food more interesting.
Today, I thought I’d combine some of the info on three of my favourite minerals with a great bedtime snack recipe to help alleviate a common problem for a growing number of people: Restless Leg Syndrome.
We’ve talked in the past about RLS, but I’ll summarize the problem again briefly. This irritating and sleep-stealing problem occurs when the brain is ready to go to bed but the muscles in the leg are misfiring and still trying to do the day’s work.
It’s like leaving the gate open at the farm after you leave for the day…the critters want to run loose and mayhem ensues.
What causes the gate to be left hanging open? A variety of things are to blame, but the most common (and easily remedied) is a vitamin deficiency.
This little trio of minerals, when lacking, cause the large muscles of the leg to misfire. There are problems all over the body, and with a lot of systems because of this deficiency, but RLS is sometimes the most noticeable.
Some doctors even consider it an announcement of sorts to other looming problems. Most of which can be corrected simultaneously with the right treatment.
Sometimes doctors will prescribe a powerful magnesium supplement, and that may help…but research actually shows that increasing all three minerals is more effective.
Some ‘natural’ remedies focus on herbs and supplements that can be almost as dangerous as the pharmaceuticals they are meant to replace. This is particularly true if you are not sure what, or how much to take. They can interfere with other medications as well.
So honestly, the best way to try and naturally calm those itchy, twitchy legs is to focus on the trifecta of mineral power, which is to increase all three little wonders at once. And the best way to do that is by focusing on diet adjustments to increase more of the hardest working fruits and other foods.
The recipe below offers a way to use bananas that loads up a healthy dose of potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Try this bedtime snack:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole grain flour
1 ½ Table spoon stevia plant sweetener
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, beaten
1 cup skim milk
¼ cup fat free yogurt
2 Table spoon olive oil
¼ tsp almond extract
Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix just until moistened all the way through. Let a few lumps stay in the batter. If you want thinner pancakes, add a little water (1/4 cup at a time) until your batter is your favourite pancake consistency.
On a heated griddle (about 300 degrees), spray the surface with non-stick pan spray, such as olive oil spray. Then pour the batter ¼ cup at a time in round, flat dollops. Once the bubbles pop and disappear and the edges get a little dry, flip them over for just a couple more minutes.
Pull them off when they are a nice light golden colour on both sides.
I like mine with more sliced banana, but if you crush about a ¼ cup of blueberries with a tablespoon of water and a sprinkle of the sweetener, it makes a nice substitute for sugary syrup.
You could also throw on a little yogurt and sprinkle with wheat germ to increase the fiber and acidophilus content as well.
For each serving, which is 2 pancakes (plain), you will get less than 225 calories, about 40 grams of carbs, 300 mg of sodium, and 5 grams of fat. There is very little (if any) saturated fat and since the recipe calls for stevia sweetener instead of sugar, you are not overloading on sugar.
The small amount of carbohydrates will help to naturally get your brain ready for sleep and the whole grain in the flour, plus the fiber in the yogurt, will help get you “moving” in the morning.
I have often been guilty of letting this thought run through my mind when I read some of the commentary related to people asking for help with their snoring issues.
The latest comes from a reader in Alabama who asked me to share her story as not only a caution to others, but also as a reassurance of hope.
Our reader, whom we will call Thea, wrote in to describe the effect that snoring had on her family. She and her husband started out happy enough, with a great marriage, common interests, desire for family, etc.
They had a little house in a suburb outside of Mobile and he had a great job that offered her the chance to live her dream, which was to be a mom in the home for their two children.
After the usual sleep issues that happen to all parents when the kids are small resolved themselves, they sort of got into a good, healthy groove with their sleeping as Thea and her husband were great about keeping a schedule, eating right, getting enough water and all that.
But as time wore on, and as Thea and her husband started to approach 40, they started to gain a little bit of weight, started to show some signs of anxiety (especially as the economy worsened), and started to wander away from their healthy lifestyle.
She blamed the trend on going back to work part time, coupled with the myriad of activities the kids were in along with the travel and time consumption of other daily activities and they started relying heavily on convenience foods and takeout.
She explains that it was about this time that she started snoring and he started the tossing, kicking, and twitching of restless leg syndrome.
Every time she would start sawing logs, he’d wake and nudge her. Every time he would roll over in bed, she’d wake because he’d elbowed her or scratched her on the leg with a toenail.
They were both beginning to suffer the ravages of sleep deprivation, dosing off during the day and getting really snippy with each other and the kids.
So they decided that in order to at least try and get them both some better sleep that they would take turns sleeping in the spare bedroom. Up to this point they hadn’t spent a night apart in 16 years of marriage.
Sleep seemed to be easier to come by with this arrangement, but it was kind of sad for them, she explains. They still loved one another, and still had a good time on vacations, going on dates together or on outings with the kids and still went to church every Saturday evening like clockwork.
She was kind of vague explaining what happened next. “Christian,” she said, “I just don’t know what happened next. It was like someone had been coming in at night and had been stealing parts of our marriage a little bit at a time.”
Before I could even wonder what that meant, she went on to explain it. “We used to be so close, but even after we started sleeping better it seemed like we were a thousand miles away from each other.”
She described that even though on the outside it looked like everything was okay, they both had been harbouring some grouchy sentiment toward one another because they could no longer share a bed.
This took the predictable toll on their sex life, which added even more anxiety. She said, “Two kids, 4 sports, school, church, volunteer activities, work…we never had any opportunities to be alone in a bed together.”
And so the distance progressed, worsened, and stole away more and more of what they had spent 16 years building.
So after about 3 years of this, she discovered he had been having an email relationship with a colleague at work…that wasn’t of a working nature.
To this other woman, he had apparently been lamenting the demise of his physical relationship and seeking solace in this woman’s online companionship.
Once discovered, Thea immediately threatened to file for divorce, but instead got them both into counselling. This turned out to be the changing point of the whole toxic dynamic that had been playing itself out over the past couple of years.
It took a therapist to tell them what they already knew…that they still loved each other and had a lot of wonderful years left in their marriage. They just needed to regularly spend time alone in an intimate setting, which, for most people means a bed.
Even if there wasn’t to be any sex, they knew they had to find a way to sleep together again and start giving each other the critical marital elements of affection, closeness, touch and trust.
But to do this, two very critical issues needed to be corrected- her snoring and his RLS.
So the answer to the question at the beginning is no…snoring doesn’t cause divorce. People cause it. But it can be a catalyst to the unravelling of a relationship if left untreated.
This post is from The Insomnia and Stop Snoring Program offers a revolutionary new approach to help people stop snoring. Snoring is not only disruptive to our partners, but it poses health risks as well, especially for those folks who suffer from sleep apnea.
Christian Goodman, the creator of the program, has discovered that a selection of specific exercises can actually correct the issues that lead to excessive snoring, and help snorers and their bed mates get a better night’s sleep.
The program will allow you to shake your pesky and unhealthy snoring habit using only easy to perform natural exercises. No drugs, surgery, funky contraptions to sleep with, hypnosis or any other invasive techniques. If you can spend 7 minutes per day performing these exercises you can say goodbye to snoring for good.
To find out more about this program, click on How to Get Sleep Fast?
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