I've been having a bit of insomnia lately, which is actually quite unusual for me. I usually fall asleep without much effort at all. Life has been a bit hectic, and that's probably the root of my problem, my brain isn't ready to shut down when bedtime rolls around. In the olden days (pre-vegan), I would usually have a bowl of cereal if I couldn't sleep. I know hot milk is supposed to help... but the cold milk worked for me. Soy milk, well - it isn't doing the trick. I've also been doing all the other things they tell you to do. I'm not consuming caffeine, I'm exercising early in the day, I'm not watching television in bed, I usually go to bed at the same time every night... Last night I was still awake at 2.30 am. Ugh.
So today I spent a few minutes looking for helpful suggestions, and by happy coincidence, Natural News has a column today entitled Healthy Foods That Promote Restful Sleep. If all the usual suggestions fail (they have), the author suggests you should try to ingest some tryptophan as that helps create serotonin which helps you fall asleep. Interestingly, you should combine the tryptophan with a carb-heavy food. This makes sense. Think about the sleepy feeling most people claim to feel after overeating at Thanksgiving. Turkey and mashed potatoes and stuffing. The stuff that sleep is made of, for non-vegans anyway.
So what are these healthy foods? Well (it gets even better), they're things most of us (vegans) have in our cupboards.
- Whole grains, including rice
- Sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Miso (fermented soy beans)
- Raw dairy products (if you can tolerate dairy)
Don't forget you're supposed combine these with a carbohydrate rich food too. (Although I'm not sure you'd need to do that with the rice...) So tonight, I'll be having a snack of multi-grain crackers with peanut butter. Hopefully that will do the trick. But I have to say, I'm a bit skeptical. I often have rice and beans, and don't require a nap afterwards. Well, it's certainly worth a try.
And here's my new vegan slogan... Can't sleep? Count sheep, don't eat them! (So now you're all hoping that my snack tonight helps, or there may be more of this sleep-deprived nonsense to look forward too.)