Can’t sleep?

‘Sleep that knits up the revell’d  sleeve of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s  feast.’

No-one understood the importance of sleep better than Shakespeare, who wrote these words in his play,  Macbeth. Insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns are one the most common reasons why people in their Golden years seek medical help. These problems cause high levels of stress and anxiety and can exacerbate pain, discomfort and other symptoms of a wide range of health problems.

As sleep descends, the activity hormones are switched off, making way for the growth and repair hormones to get to work. This is when your body sets about its nightly maintenance work, utilising the nutrients from your food. In other words, sleep is the prime example of the interaction between food, mind and body.

Can't sleep
Can't sleep

What to avoid

Hunger is the first factor in sleep deprivation. A rumbling stomach will surely wake you up. Youcan lie there tossing and turning or you can mount a midnight raid on the fridge. If you’re really hungry, then low blood sugar will add to your insomnia even more, ensuring that your brain doesn’t  produce sufficient of the sleep-inducing hormones.

On the other hand, going to bed after an enormous meal, lots of wine and several cups of black coffee will guarantee a night of little more than fitful dozing.

Caffeine in any form, and for some people, even in tiny amounts, can drive away sleep for nights on end.

What to eat

Lots of foods help promote good sleep, especially those containing the sleep-inducing hormone, serotonin. Bananas, pineapple, walnuts, figs and tomatoes are common examples. Starchy foods contain the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, which is why malted-milk drinks help encourage better sleep. It seems to work especially well for people who drop of easily, but wake in the small hours. If that describes you, then try a malted-milk drink half an hour before bed time.

The Ancient Romans used wild lettuce as an aid to sleep, and herbalists still use it today. Modern varieties of lettuce are all relatives of the wild plant, so a few lettuce leaves in a sandwich-the bread supplies tryptophan, too-makes a really good bedtime snack.

Honey has long been a favourite folk remedy for insomnia. Take it mixed with a little warm milk, a cup of chamomile tea or hot water with lemon.

Other herbal teas which help you sleep are lemon balm (Melissa), crushed fennel seeds-especially when sleeplessness is caused by indigestion or wind-lemon verbena or lime blossom.

Lavender is another wonderful sleep-inducer. You can use the flowers in cakes and biscuits, sprinkle the essential oil on your pillow or, half an hour before bedtime, put a few drops into a fragrancer in the bedroom.

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Comments 29 comments

Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 6 years ago from Piece of land! Author

You are welcome Gigi2. :-)


Gigi2 profile image

Gigi2 6 years ago from UK

Hi, great hub, am going to try everything, I hardly ever sleep properly! Thanks for following, much appreciated.


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 6 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Yes you should. Thank you. :-)


sybleschitoskey profile image

sybleschitoskey 6 years ago

Love lavender and will give it a try. Interesting history on lettuce. Thanks for the info.


princess-sisi profile image

princess-sisi 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Don't forget to visit me!


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 6 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Hi Princess-sisi. Thank you happy new year to you too. Appreciate it


princess-sisi profile image

princess-sisi 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Hello Cleanclover, Happy New Years hope al is well. Thanks for this hub i think alot of people will enjoy it especially the ones that can't sleep.


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 6 years ago from Piece of land! Author

its a pleasure deborah


Deborah Sexton 6 years ago

Great hub..thank you


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Thank you bro. Let me know if my hub was helpful Thanx again


Oldskool903 profile image

Oldskool903 7 years ago

Great Post bro, i'm going to use this information to go to bed tonight

Ill tell you if it works tomorrow

Im going to eat one banana, tomatoes, and lettuce before I got to sleep. tell you how it works


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Thank you cristina327. I am glad you liked it


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 7 years ago from Manila

Thank you for sharing this great wealth of information. Great hub indeed, very helpful.


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Thank you Ehern yes age plays havoc on your system. The only thing you can do is eat nutritious food regularly, exercise, stay relaxed, calm and collected and then have 8-9 hours of sleep daily. In the end we have to happy and enjoy everything, even old age. Thanx again ehern


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Thank you Cheeky girl.Some good tips to add in to hub i feel. Bathing before going to bed does actually induce sleep. Also shutting the eyes and and relaxing will induce. it. Thanx again.


ehern33 profile image

ehern33 7 years ago

Good points, I always sleep better when I go to bed with a semi-full belly.. Not stuffed but satisfied.. When younger I couldn't fall asleep unless I had a cup of coffee. Now if I do I won't sleep.. Age, plays havoc on your system.. LOL


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 7 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

I love a snack before bed time but I wait for an hour before I hit the pillows. Lavender works for me, scented candles are nice and relaxing. I keep a popourri beside my bed, on my bedside locker. A nice bath soaking in radox for 30 minutes is a sweet way to spoil your self after a long hard day at the office. Also just sleeping early and getting the minimum number of hours of shut-eye all help. great Hub! Thanks for becomming a fan! Appreciate it! : )


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Thank you Money Glitch. Yes a snack before bedtime is good.

Sure you can fastfreta. Thanx for stopping by

Thank you Kiwi gal i am glad you tried and tested it for me.


kiwi gal profile image

kiwi gal 7 years ago

Thanks, this lavender worked great. Best nights sleep in a very long time.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

Very good hub, even though I don't have trouble sleeping, I can pass these tips on to others.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

Interesting, I didn't know about the low blood sugar! I have learned to eat a low calorie snack about an hour before retiring for bed. It keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night craving food. :)


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

thank you kiwi gal appreciate it.


kiwi gal profile image

kiwi gal 7 years ago

Have problems sleeping so have raided the lavender bush, plucked the flowers off. Will put them inside the pillow hopefully as your hub suggested will get a good sleep.

Will let you know how this goes. Thanks, informative hub.


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Thank you Ashley, your body adjusts according the need of the sleep.

Thank you Nell Rose, well if the book i am reading is very interesting then i can't sleep till its finished. :-) So it has to be a dull,boring book


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

I always find reading a book helps, but don't choose a really good one, or it will keep you awake longer! Nell


CiscoPixie profile image

CiscoPixie 7 years ago from I'm in a world of my own, but aren't we all?

good hub. I have weird sleeping patterns.. one night i'm awake and then for days i sleep and vice versa. thanks for the advice.


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 7 years ago from Piece of land! Author

Thank you shamelaboush and poetlorraine


poetlorraine 7 years ago

intereating hub.... sleep is sooooo important


shamelabboush profile image

shamelabboush 7 years ago

You're correct, I cant sleep when I'm hungry, and I cant sleep when I eat too much.. Good tips there pal.

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