And so to sleep
“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”
If all else is failing to help you sleep then cherries could be something to consider adding to your diet. So many people now tell me they struggle to sleep properly, a high amount of those issues are linked to stress, and the inability of the body to move out of flight or flight after a stressful day. Therefore taking the management of your stress levels seriously if it’s a clear impactor on your sleep is a key place to start. Just in passing today I spoke to someone who said that their sleep was always disrupted, on watching them during our meeting, I saw them drink a full mug of coffee. I couldn’t help myself and asked how many mugs of coffee they were drinking, to which I found out it was about 1 an hour. 6-8 cups of coffee a day, if it’s a short working day. If this is you and your sleep is disrupted cutting out the coffee is a good place to start, particularly if you are drinking it later at night. It’s affecting your health even if you think it’s not affecting your sleeping if you are drinking it after 6 pm.
It was reported back in 2012 that 1 in 10 of us were using sleeping tablets, and currently, 1 in 3 elderly patients in the US use them, and that 1/3 of Britons are suffering from insomnia. These statistics are not getting better with our use of technology it’s actually getting worse because 1 in 10 are considered chronic insomniacs. In the Understanding Society study carried out in 2011, it was found that of the 17000 respondents over a third said they had less than 6.5 hours of sleep a night.
Professor Matthew Walker, director of the Centre for Human Sleep Science at the University considers the loss of sleep an epidemic that is causing chronic disease. I’m inclined to agree that it has to be one of the increasing number of factors behind our societies worsening health picture because it affects every aspect of our biology. He even suggests that doctors should go so far as to prescribe sleep to people. He makes a great point in one of his interviews which was how we boast about how we can function on little sleep, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan are prime examples of this. But they both had dementia in later life, something for all you night owls to consider.
Sleeping pills get very bad press, after being hailed as a solution in the 1960’s they were slowly found to have longer-term undesirable side effects. But there are other options and one study indicates Montmorency tart cherry juice could be helpful for sleep deprivation.
The Louisiana State University found that adults around the age of 68 with insomnia could increase their overall sleep time by almost 90 minutes a night.
These type of cherries are a good source of melatonin and it’s this particular age group who are some of the highest users of sleeping pills taking them 3-4 times a week, but a glass of cherry juice could be an answer.
Remember to clean your teeth before bed!