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Sleep Through the Snoring…

It is 1AM and I just started watching a movie. Am I a night owl? No, but I’m marred to someone who snores. Snoring is bad for everyone, not just the spouse. The person snoring isn’t really getting quality rest either, though they are doing a good imitation. Dr. Oz says, “the spouse of someone who snores can lose up to 5 years off of their life”. Why? When you frequently get less sleep than your body needs, it will accelerate the aging process and put you at higher risk of high blood pressure, cancer, memory loss and possibly, the early stages of diabetes. Aw, thanks hubby!

I reacted the wrong way to my husband’s snoring (I later apologized for hitting him with a pillow). I had stormed off to the couch, turned on the lights and put in a movie. Bright light at night will decrease how much melatonin your body produces. If you produce less melatonin, you sleep less.

Here are my top 2 tips for sleeping well:

  1. Turn down the lights at least an hour before bed. Bright light will stop your production of melatonin (your body’s natural sleeping aide). If you do get up in the night, keep the lights low. You might also want to stop using a night light.
  1. Skip the glass of warm milk, it doesn’t work. Protein makes your body (and mind) more active, making sleep more difficult. In addition, I’m not getting any younger, I need my sleep, and I don’t want to get up to go to the bathroom during the night. A good snack before bed is a carbohydrate-based snack. For example: A handful of whole grain crackers or ½ cup of non-sweetened cereal (without milk).

Here is a recipe from Cooking Light that I make for dinner if I want to sleep well. Carbohydrates (rice) will make you feel a bit sleepy, and the lack of animal protein in this recipe, will calm your system. 

Brown Rice and Sautéed Vegetables:

This filling, Asian-inspired dish is designed for leftovers and improvisation based on the odds and ends in your refrigerator. You can substitute other crunchy vegetables such as parsnips and fennel for the carrot and bell pepper.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup vegetables and 3/4 cup rice)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 4 cups torn spinach
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups hot cooked long-grain brown rice

Preparation:

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and basil and sauté 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and carrot and sauté 4 minutes. Add spinach, mushrooms, salt, and garlic and sauté 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Stir in soy sauce and black pepper. Remove from heat and serve over rice.

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