Sleepless? Sleep more!

It’s 2:30am and you’re lying in bed thinking “oh no, not again!” As it turns out, up to 75% of us experience chronic sleep loss, which is defined as getting less than 6 hrs of sleep at least 2-3 nights per week. This can in turn lead to health problems including but not limited to weight gain, high blood pressure, and a less effective immune system. Not to mention the short term issues like that foul mood that you may end up infecting all your coworkers with!

Solutions?! Here are a few tips and secrets I’ve come across that may help you:

  1. No screen time 30-60 minutes before bed. The computer and TV are too stimulating to the brain which can make it hard to fall asleep.
  2. Journaling! If you’re like me, after a long and/or busy day you lay down and then the mind starts racing. A journal may be the perfect outlet for those thoughts.
  3. Establish a bedtime routine. This may be as simple as washing your face brushing your teeth and kissing the kids goodnight. By creating a routine your body will adapt and start to relax as soon as it can “see” the pattern.

I’m sure each of you has many additional excellent sleep tips, so if you’d like to share those, shoot me an email and I can include your ideas on my website with this week’s post!

Some people advise not eating for at least a couple hrs before bed, but occasionally it’s good to have something with a little carb and a little protein which may help the body produce serotonin, the sleepy hormone. A couple great bedtime snack suggestions include; a small bowl of low-sugar/high-fiber cereal with milk, piece of cheese and a few crackers or cottage cheese and a sliced melon or berries.

Sleeping tip:

I find that it’s helpful to go to bed at approximately the same time every night.

~Catherine “Grandma” Gerber 

Easy Eggplant Dip

Serves 6-8
Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1 inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are brown and soft, tossing once during cooking. Let cool slightly. Place the vegetables in a food processor (you can use a blender if you don’t have a processor. Add the tomato paste and pulse 3-4 times to blend. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve with whole wheat crackers, toasted bread sliced in long rectangles or pita chips!

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Posted in Motivational Mondays.

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