Article on the Washington Post ‘Health and Wellness’ page today, “Sleep heavy, wake up lighter.” I read the article closely, hoping for the miracle diet that would cure my tendency to wake at 2:30 every morning, no matter when I went to bed.
Apparently, researchers are now convinced that bad sleeping habits are correlated with weight issues. But correlation is not cause, and perhaps the bad sleeping habits are not the cause of weight issues, as Ms. Huget suggests, but the result. Perhaps, when you are fat you have issues with sleeping soundly. My weight has remained the same, but lately, I find that when I lay on my side (my favorite position), my body falls sideways and almost chokes me. As Gypsy Rose Lee famously said, “I have everything I had 20 years ago, it’s just all 6 inches lower.” In my case, the 6 inches moves sideways when I lay down. I have to get everything “arranged” before I dare fall asleep.
I have covered my mattress and pillows with “mite and bed bug resistant” covers, because I thought my breathing issues were made worse by allergies to mite dust, but perhaps my night time breathing is also affected by loose flabby fat run amuck.
Nevertheless, I read Ms Jennifer Huget’s piece with interest.
Normally, when I wake up in the early hours, I creep downstairs and get a glass of milk. However, Ms Huget suggests drinking a “cocktail” before bedtime so you won’t wake up early. Now this is not a cocktail with alcohol. At least I didn’t think it was until David pointed out that vanilla has a high alcohol content. Heck, if I can pass out from 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, I am a “cheap date.”
For those of you too young to remember, the “cheap date” was the gal who became inebriated after one drink, thus saving her male companion big bucks. My mother warned me about persons of the opposite sex and drinking. “Men and boys like to get you drunk and have their way with you,” she said. I never knew what she meant until I got married (my granddaughters read this blog).
Ms Huget’s suggestions for sleeping soundly (most of which I have learned the hard way) are these:
1/ Pick a sleep schedule and stick to it (With rare exceptions, we go to bed at 9 or 10 and get up between 6 and 7);
2/ Exercise daily (my fingers get lots of exercise on the keyboard);
3/ Keep a worry journal (and leave it behind for grieving relatives, I think not!!)
4/ Limit pre-bedtime activity (what pre-bedtime activity?? Someone has to take the dogs out, empty the dishwasher, and set up the coffee pot. Does brushing your teeth count?);
5/ Don’t consume caffeine after 2 p.m. (you have to be kidding!)
6/ Stop imbibing three hours before lights out (none of that here);
7/ First thing in the morning get 15 minutes of sunlight (I will if it is daylight outside and I remembered to apply my sunscreen).
Here is Ms Huget’s sleep-inducing smoothie:
1 container (6 ounces of low-fat vanilla yogurt)
1/2 ripe banana;
1/2 cup fat-fee milk;
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla;
1/4 graham cracker;
Blend the ingredients except the cracker. Sprinkle the cracker on top and drink before bed.
Calories per serving 249; 45 g carbohydrates; 1.5 g fiber; 13 g protein