Happy Healthy Families Asks: Do You Have Insomnia?

Sometimes it seems as though I limp my way to bed at night I am so tired from my day with the kid-lets, only to discover that I can't fall asleep. I toss, I turn, I count sheep or whatever image I drag up from the recesses of my tired brain, and still...find myself dealing with insomnia.

Seriously, the hubby can be snoring, the kids all dreaming respectively of Justin Bieber, Toy Story 3 and Dinosaurs ....and me, well I will be staring at the ceiling wide awake.

I don't know if I am over-tired on nights like these, or have too much on my mommy-brain to turn off, or simply am stressed about life in general. All I know is that the following morning I will be functioning at a level where certain kiddos can definitely take advantage of me, and worse yet, I will drink too much coffee in an effort to stay awake and thus create a likely similar scenario that night when I go to bed.

I found some interesting tips online to naturally deal with insomnia, and being the nice person I am, decided I would share them here with you!

  • First....as common sense might dictate-- drink  your last cup of coffee by 11:00 am. No surprises with this tip except the reason why. The liver takes up to 12 hours to fully break down the caffeine from coffee. So the earlier you stop drinking coffee or drinks with high caffeine in them, the better.

  • Second tip is to eat more nuts, especially almonds. The reason? Because almonds have lots of calcium and magnesium, which relax muscles, soothe nerves and increase the time spent in restorative sleep, according to James F. Balch, M.D., coauthor of Prescription for Natural Cures. Eat the nuts at least six hours before bed-time for best results. And try to eat about 1 oz. of almonds daily.

  • Third tip is to not go to bed dehydrated. Stress hormones can be triggered by dehydration ( like we don't deal with enough stress already??) So we need to go to bed hydrated. But we also want to not see the bathroom during the night...Am I right? So the best thing to do to stay hydrated yet still avoid those unwanted wake-up calls is to drink 75% of the fluids before 4 pm.

  • And the last tip I have to share is to eat a snack that helps you feel sleepy before bed. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that eating buttered jasmine rice before bed is sure to help you fall asleep faster if you have insomnia. Ths rice increases your body's production of serotonin and cytokinins, which are hormones that calm nerves and bring on sleep. 

  • Other snacks that make for good night snacks are oatmeal cookies and milk, whole-grain buttered toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal.

Now you can go get a good night's sleep.....or think of a way to thank-me for sharing these helpful tips with you. Just saying.