Do pistachios help you sleep?
Everyone knows that a big glass of milk before bed helps you sleep. But what about pistachios?
These small nuts are packed with nutrients, including protein and various minerals. A recent study suggests that eating pistachios before bed may help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Pistachios have been used as medicine for centuries. But why would eating pistachios help you sleep?
The answer lies in the brain.
Free radicals age you prematurely
It's said that our skin is a window into our inner health.
That may not be true for marathon runners, whose skin belies their inner fitness. For others, naturally healthy-looking skin says something about how we take generally care of our health.
For skin, damage prevention is the number one strategy. We need to prevent damage from the sun and the environment, and damage from poor food choices.
Weight loss and late-night meals ...
In nutrition (and fitness) it's hard to differentiate between fact, myth and personal bias.
And boost your brain health
The choices you make at the grocery store can have an impact on the inflammation in your body. Scientists are still unravelling how food affects our inflammatory processes, but they know a few things.
In simple terms, sugary high-processed foods help release inflammatory messengers that can raise the risk of chronic inflammation. Other foods like fruits and veggies help your body fight against oxidative stress, which can trigger inflammation.
Add walnuts to your shopping list - they fight inflammation and have other desirable side-effects such as helping us sleep better.
Science says they improve our sleep quality!
Ever flipped your pillow to the cool side? I have.
There's a reason we do it, and that's the reason that cooling pillows work. Not that I knew any of this until last week.
Our body lets us sleep best when the ambient temperature is about 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. A fall in body temperature due to circadian rhythms causes drowsiness and increases our propensity to want to go to sleep in the evening.
If we feel hotter, our sleep is disturbed, and we flip the pillow to seek cooling.
It was only one week ago that I discovered that such a thing as a cooling pillow existed. I was surprised, especially since I was not reading advertising but a research report. I had no inkling that such a thing existed (beyond marketing).
The perfect pillow has these three qualities
Something we don't do often enough is to experiment with pillows and pillow positions. Read what experts say about choosing the right pillow.
Use of the wrong type of pillow will lower the quality of our sleep. That's bad for our long-term health.
There's a reason we are programmed to spend a third of our life sleeping. During sleep:
Chronic sleep deprivation impairs our attentiveness, coordination and reaction time. It also increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.
Exercise and healthy food count but there's an unexpected twist
Scientists are increasingly discovering that the changes in the circadian rhythm as we age are associated with reduced longevity.
Normal, healthy aging is associated with a weakening of the circadian system. The first indication of damping of circadian rhythms with advancing age came from studies by Franz Halberg in the 1950s, on mice. We now know that circadian rhythm plays a vital role in health, and prolonged clock disruptions are associated with chronic diseases.
Knowing how to boost strengthen the circadian rhythm may yet turn out to be as important as strengthening our muscles, for longer life.
The risk of obesity increases by 9% for each 1-hour decrease in sleep duration
Good quality sleep often alludes us, and poor sleep leads to various health problems (WebMD) such as heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
Here's what you need to know to optimise your sleep duration and to minimise the risk of sleep-related obesity.
Over nearly two decades, sleep has been increasingly recognised as a potential risk for obesity. For example, many observational studies have shown links between short sleep duration and weight gain.
However, a recent study which sought to validate such prior studies found the evidence to be inconclusive. Despite the findings of the recent survey, there are plausible associations between good health and too little or too much sleep which are essential to know.
Nutritional timing and choice for a good night's sleep
In this time of the pandemic increased stress levels are interfering with the quality of our sleep. Poor sleep often leads to a poor day, and we enter a cycle of stress which is hard to break.
A good diet can go a long way to restoring better sleep and breaking the COVID stress cycle.
Improving your sleep improves your life, try these
In order to continually perform at their best, elite soccer players use strategies to improve their sleep hygiene. We can apply some of these strategies to our own recovery from exercise, and generally to improve the quality of our sleep.
Our sleep quality generally declines as we age. We don’t have the late-night matches, the travelling, nor the intensity of the training of pro players. However chronic insomnia affects 57% of the elderly in the United States, with impairment of quality of life, function, and health.
In fact, some medical researchers call insomnia "a neglected epidemic". It is one of the most common complaints in patients with mental health problems. Furthermore, a recent (2018) study found that older people who took more than 30 minutes to fully fall asleep had lower bone mineral density than those who fell asleep faster.
Improving our sleep quality not only makes our life more healthy and more enjoyable but very likely will mean that we live longer.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter