Problem: Nervous Exhaustion and Sleeplessness
Solution: Scottish Oatmeal
A favorite breakfast food, oatmeal is really a cereal grain made from the herb Avena sativa. Avena is known in traditional herbal medicine as a calming plant that is nutritious for a frazzled nervous system. We often recommend regular intake of oatmeal to help our patients’ bodies cope with long-term stressors more effectively.
Oats contain melatonin and complex carbohydrates that can help more tryptophan get into the brain to help you sleep. It also contains vitamin B6, a vitamin which is a co-factor that helps more serotonin get produced in the brain as well.
While you might think of oatmeal only as a breakfast food, it also is a smart choice for a bedtime snack. The Scottish recommend a bowl of oatmeal in the evening to get you feeling nice and sleepy.
Problem: Hormonal Issues With Sleep Problems
Dark green leafy vegetables have more nutrients than we will probably ever completely understand. While dandelion is not traditionally known as a sleep-inducing food, we have found using the liver-cleansing properties of dandelion to be a valuable aid in helping sleep.
A healthy liver will balance blood sugar. Blood sugar fluctuations and drops are a major factor in insomnia and waking at night. Hormonal issues, especially in perimenopause and post-menopause can also stop a woman from obtaining a good night’s sleep. In Chinese medicine, foods like dandelion can help balance the liver and nourish the yin, which ultimately strengthens the function of the blood, fluids and hormonal balance.
We like our dandelion as part of a good dinner. We often steam or blanch the dandelion first, then sauté with garlic and organic extra virgin olive oil.
There are many causes of poor sleep and regular sleep problems can hurt our overall health. Medications can help us get to sleep, but carry a high risk. Long-term healthy solutions include balancing blood sugar, creating healthy sleep rituals, and can include using foods like pumpkin seed, oatmeal, dandelion, Montmorency cherries and an occasional pulque. Nighty night.
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