May 30, 2020
Two nutritionists share signs and symptoms of a lack of sleep and explore new reasons and solutions to answer the question so many people have.
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Melanie: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley and I am a registered and licensed dietitian for many, many years. I've been helping clients learn how to cook and eat real food so they can feel better. I really appreciate the power of nutrition, especially when a client tells me, "I didn't know that getting sugar and processed foods out of my diet would help my pain." Other clients have told me when they cut out sugar and wine, they sleep better and don't wake up several times a night. It's the best. I personally understand the benefits of eating real food cause I've had my own health challenges, because to be perfectly honest, I did not always eat the best. Sadly, my past included drinking lots, lots of diet Dr Pepper and eating a lot of cake. You could ask my kids, but not anymore because my health is just too precious to me. And joining us this morning as our co-host is Teresa Wagner, who's also a registered and licensed dietitian. She's not only busy conducting nutrition appointments with clients on the phone or through zoom video meetings. She is also busy at home with three young, beautiful children. I think about your three adorable children and wonder: how are you doing with the zooming from home?
Teresa: It's going actually pretty well. I think that because I have kids at home, it isn't affecting me in the same way that maybe people are, who are in different situations are because we're just busy all the time. We're not busy running around as much, which has been very nice. But we're busy just conducting our day to day activities. I do love that I have both parts. I have the work outside of home so I can escape a little.
Melanie: You're not lonely is what you're saying.
Teresa: Nope, not lonely! And you know I'm joking when I say escape, because I love my kids, but I think as all parents know, parenting is a really difficult job and it's busy and sometimes going to work is a little bit less work perhaps. And, and I think especially for me, because I love my job, so, but because I do have a busy life, I understand why our topic today is so important. If you are a parent like me, most likely the majority of you went through a few years of not getting sufficient sleep. From having three kids ages 11 and under, I've had many nights consisting of one or two or maybe all three kids needing something in the middle of the night. Have you ever experienced mommy brain? I'm sure you Mel remember what that's like. I don't think that's a memory we forget.
Melanie: I think I, going through that time you almost like chop off half your brain and it's all, it's all for your kids. Your heart is in your children.
Teresa: And I wonder how long, I mean do we use that excuse? Oh mom brain, right? Maybe that's a forever excuse.
Melanie: Oh, you'll find another one later.
Teresa: I'm sure. Well, I'm sure that other people have also experienced are other mothers and probably even some fathers too. But we know that 80% of new mothers experience forgetfulness and memory issues. Sleep deprived new moms tend to forget things and may often feel scatterbrained. Having a busy life with my work and with raising a family, I understand why our topic today is so important. We will be discussing signs and symptoms of a lack of sleep and we're going to explore some new reasons and some new solutions to answer the question, many of you have: WHY CAN'T I SLEEP? As I was researching for this podcast, I found a book on my bookshelf called *Retaining the Mind: How the Foods We Eat Affect Our Brain* by Dr. William E. Walsh. For over 46 years, Dr. Walsh had a private allergy clinic in Saint Paul, Minnesota where he helped patients overcome their allergies. I was most interested in his discussion about irritating and persistent symptoms of sleep disturbance when patients ate a meal containing MSG. He explained that after eating a meal with MSG, some people were not able to sleep for 48 hours.
Melanie: Can you imagine?
Teresa: No. Dr. Wallace went on to write that. For some people who are sensitive to MSG, even a slight amount of MSG could affect their sleep. They would have symptoms of waking up after about four hours of sleep and then not be able to get back to sleep. Dr. Walsh found for many of his patients that not only [did they] experience sleep problems after consuming a meal with MSG, but they also had memory loss and even speech issues.
Teresa: He also wrote that he believes that MSG is a major cause of constipation and diarrhea, so it's not just their sleep, it's overall all kinds of symptoms. In addition, Dr. Walsh found several patients experienced cluster headaches after eating a meal with MSG. And I think that one, a lot of people recognize headaches associated with MSG.
Melanie: Yes, mmm hmmmm.
Teresa: So what is MSG? It stands for monosodium glutamate, which is a flavor enhancer that tricks our brain into thinking that foods tastes good. And then it also tricks us into wanting to eat more, even when we're full. It's commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, canned soups, fast foods, and processed foods. And I think Mel, we were talking before the show about a TEDx talk that we had both watched with Dr. Katherine Reed, who's a biochemist and a mother of five children. And she talks about the negative effects of glutamate in the diet, monosodium glutamate being one of them. But what she said is that there are over 50 ways MSG or free glutamate can be labeled in our food. So really if we're eating processed foods, we're probably getting MSG or something very similar.
Melanie: Because I think our listeners would feel like, wow, I hear that information and it just feels hopeless. So what's the solution to that?
Teresa: Just eat real food.
Melanie: Real food, no MSG. Right? The fact that MSG affected the quality of sleep for many of his patients is very interesting. Being a recovering insomniac myself, I find his works and his books just fascinating. This doctor has worked with hundreds of clients during his 40 years of practice and at Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we also have many clients who wake up after a few hours of sleep and then toss and turn the remainder of the night. It's so frustrating. When you know you have a big day the next day and you can't get back to sleep. I know someone is going, yes, that's me. That's listening.
Teresa: Yes, cause it's so frustrating, but it's also so common.
Melanie: So common! MSG might be one of the culprits, but actually there are many reasons for poor sleep quality. If you are a listener who wakes up during the night and can't get back to sleep, take a look at the foods that you're eating when this occurs. What did you eat the day before? Do they contain MSG or could they have, I mean we can't really look when we eat out or have takeout at this place.
Teresa: What we talked about, it could possibly be in a different form. Maybe the food says it's MSG free, but it could have other forms of glutamate that could be stimulating your brain in a way that keeps you up at night.
Melanie: Yes. If so, you want to take those foods out of your diet and maybe you're going to sleep through the night. Teresa, it looks like we both found some great research about today's sleep topic. I went to some research from Dr. Michael Bruce, who's considered the sleep doctor. You may have even seen him on the Dr Oz show on TV. Dr. Michael Bruce is a clinical psychologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, so he knows a lot about sleep and sleep problems. He said if you fall asleep almost immediately when your head hits the pillow, you are sleep deprived.
Teresa: That's interesting.
Melanie: Yeah. It should take you 15 to 20 minutes to fall asleep and if you need an alarm to get you up, you're not getting enough sleep. Dr. Bruce said that about 75% of U.S. adults have some type of sleep problem. Roughly a third of people in the U.S. suffer from a form of insomnia. More importantly, he said, if you are sleep deprived, your reaction time and muscle memory are reduced. Dr. Bruce also said, everyone has a circadian rhythm, which means we all go through five 80 to a hundred minutes cycles of sleep each night. Or at least we should.
Teresa: Yeah, that's the goal, right?
Melanie: That's the goal. That averages to about 450 minutes or seven and a half hours. Well, when I'm working with a client, I always encourage them to get at least seven and a half hours of sleep as well. So it's nice to know we're talking the same talk and I'm finding a combination. Some clients are sleeping longer now that they're home, but I'm finding also sleep disruption
Teresa: Yeah. There's so much sleep disruption. And when it said the one third of clients or one third of people have some sort of insomnia, if you're sitting in a group of three right now, that would be one of the three people that are in the group with you.
Teresa: It really it's so common and there's so common either between the ability to fall asleep or the ability to maintain your sleep.
Melanie: Yeah. And maintaining your sleep because it can be so frustrating if you think, Ooh, I feel great. Good nights. Sleep.
Teresa: Yeah, getting a good night's sleep is really difficult.
Melanie: Getting a good night's sleep is critical.
Teresa: You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Our show today is all about sleep and sleep problems. Be sure to stick around for the breaks because you won't want to miss the sleep solutions we will be sharing to help you get seven and a half hours of sleep most nights. One of the first recommendations for better sleep is to eat a balanced snack before bed, avoid sugar and wine, and replace those types of snacks with a handful of nuts or a nut butter and some a small apple. Or perhaps some berries and some cream.
Melanie: Yeah, excellent idea and that includes not just wine but all alcohol. We'll be right back.
Melanie: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we're sharing some health risks of inadequate sleep and some sleep solutions. Another sleep solution I often recommend is to supplement with 400 to 600 milligrams of magnesium glycinate at bedtime. Magnesium helps to relax all of your muscles so you can fall asleep as well. So it's nice to know we're talking the same talk. Teresa, when we left, we were talking about sleep solutions and the books that we love. So I know that you had something you wanted to add.
Teresa: Yes. Whenever I want to know more about sleep, my favorite go to book... favorite, favorite go to book. Maybe one of my favorite nonfiction books of all time.
Teresa: I love this book.. it's *Why We Sleep* by Dr Matthew Walker.
Teresa: He's a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California Berkeley. Dr. Walker said sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, wellness, and longevity. Many of my clients tell me that to relax after a long day, they sit down and they have one or two glasses of wine or cocktails before bed thinking it will relax them so they can sleep. And it IS relaxing and it may help you FALL asleep. But in reality a glass of wine or a cocktail can affect your circadian rhythm.
Teresa: It can interfere with the quality of your sleep or it can lead to lighter, more restless sleep, which we like to call surface sleeping. You're not getting into that deeper sleep. Dr. Walker said alcohol is one of the most active suppressors of REM sleep generation, so basically it blocks our ability to get into the REM cycle. We often hear the term REM sleep, but what actually goes on during REM sleep? Dr. Walker describes REM sleep as a time of integration. It is a time when our brain interconnects all past experiences, building an evermore accurate model of how the world works. So it puts together our past memories with our more current memories or the new memories that we made and the new things that we've learned. The REM, or rapid eye movement stage of sleep, is also when dreams occur. Many people dream for about two hours most nights. Even babies dream! Some babies spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage. I know some of you are thinking are dreaming and REM sleep really that important? Researchers know when rats are deprived of sleep, they die sooner. Again, what happens during REM sleep? Well, during REM sleep, your brain activity increases, your pulse quickens, you have dreams. So back to that effect that that glass of wine or two or a couple of cocktails have on REM sleep: a review of 27 studies on alcohol found that the total time spent in the REM sleep cycle was decreased. Depending on the amount of alcohol consumed, alcohol can also contribute to sleep apnea, snoring, and more trips to the bathroom, all of which interfere with the body's circadian rhythm. If you are having any problems sleeping, especially if you wake frequently through the night, many of the sleep experts advise avoiding alcohol for several hours before bedtime. That's all alcohol several hours before you go to bed.
Melanie: It's so important too for our sleep right now, to be to feel rested, to be able to manage anxiety. Teresa, I love that book too. By Dr. Matthew Walker in his book, *Why We Sleep?*, I found this question to be very interesting. When did life start sleeping?
Melanie: Dr. Matthew Walker wrote, without exception, every animal species studied to date sleeps. I think our listeners may find information really interesting right now. I'm hearing a lot of sleep disruption. So here's what's interesting: Insects sleep. Fleas, bees, cockroaches and scorpions sleep. Fish, frogs, turtles sleep. Birds, parrots, kangaroos, polar bears, and even worms. Sleep. Elephants only need four hours of sleep while lions need 15 hours of sleep. So this is fun to share with your kids.
Teresa: Yeah, it's really interesting and you would think because elephants are so big, that they would require more than four hours of sleep.
Melanie: It's amazing. I've loved that. Dolphins and whales sleep with half of the brain at a time. One half the brain is always stays awake to maintain life necessary movement in their aquatic environment. I thought that'd be interesting for you to share with your kids.
Teresa: Yeah, I'm sure they'll love that.
Melanie: Dr. Matthew Walker also wrote that all living species need to sleep. Some need as little as four hours like the elephant and others may need up to four times that amount. Most humans need at least seven and a half hours of sleep, and may need nine to 10 hours most nights. I'm thinking teenagers. I also like looking at research about any topic that we're discussing on Dishing Up Nutrition. I mean, we're both nutrition nerds, right?
Melanie: And I found a number of interesting facts that I want to share. 40% of people ages 40 to 59 get less than recommended seven and a half hours of sleep. Another interesting fact from the National Center of Biotechnology that I find quite alarming is over a hundred thousand deaths may be attributed to medical errors due to the lack of sleep.
Melanie: Another interesting fact about the National Center of Biotechnology that is rather unsettling is 20% more crashes and accidents are associated with sleepiness from people nodding off of the wheel.
Teresa: That's so scary because you could just be driving down the road doing everything right, somebody else falls asleep behind the wheel and it can have tragic...
Melanie: It's a silent killer. So we want to be up on our sleep. Those are just a few statistics too about the risks of being sleep deprived. There's so many more. As a dietitian, I want my clients and listeners to be aware of some of the health risks because sometimes they think, well, that's just who I am. This is just how I've always been. But over 40% of adults are currently considered obese and Dr. Matthew Walker stated in his book *Why We Sleep* that from the evidence gathered over the past three decades, the epidemic of insufficient sleep is very likely a key contribution to the epidemic of obesity.
Teresa: As a parent of three young children, I found this observation interesting: three-year-olds who sleep only 10 and a half hours or less have a 45% increase risk of being obese by the age of seven then the kids that are getting 12 hours of sleep or more a night.
Melanie: It's so important to take care of children because our bodies are growing so rapidly. In our Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program, many of our participants lose about a pound a week, but there are some participants who follow the eating plan perfectly, we both had these clients, but they may not lose very much weight. And in addition to charting their food and water consumption, I have started asking our participants to record the number of hours that they're sleeping each night. At Nutritional Weight & Wellness, we know if you lack sleep, you will be hungry all of the time and you'll be craving those processed carbs and sugar.
Teresa: Right? Because if we're not getting energy from our sleep, we're looking for it from other sources and food is a great place to get energy. You get that burst of energy when you have some sugar only to crash a little bit later.
Melanie: Yeah, and we release a hormone that makes us crave carbs and sugar when we are sleep deprived.
Teresa: Right. And those things were so great in history, right? Those were mechanisms that that helped with survival, but now, they really kind of work against us, especially in this land of plenty that we live in, where whatever you desire, you really can have as far as food is concerned. If you're craving Mexican food, if you're craving Italian, if you want something sweet, if you want something salty, if you want something savory...
Melanie: We can have whatever we want. I also find that with a shut-in, if we're not exercising and we're not moving our bodies as much as we normally do, your sleep is also disrupted. I sleep so much better if I get my tail down to the basement and work out or go for a walk when the weather's nice. I sleep a lot better and if I keep my nutrition on point that insomnia doesn't come back to me.
Melanie: So it's pretty critical for us right now.
Teresa: Yes, it is critical right now. Absolutely. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight & Wellness. Here's a great solution I recommend to clients who have difficulty falling asleep. I suggest taking a sublingual melatonin, so melatonin that you put on your tongue, before you go to bed. Many people need about three milligrams, but others need up to 10 to 12. Contrary to what you may have heard, melatonin is a very safe and effective sleep aid.
Melanie: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are having sleep problems, I recommend reducing and eliminating caffeine. Wow. This was so personal for me. For some caffeine sensitive people, even a half a cup of coffee in the morning, and I'm talking early, it could be 5:30-6 in the morning, may keep you awake at night. How sensitive are you to caffeine? How will you ever know until you eliminate all coffee and/or other caffeine to see if your sleep is better? I'm thinking even chocolate has some caffeine. And if you're someone who loves a little chocolate before bed, that's caffeine.
Teresa: Yeah. It's hidden in some places. And I think sometimes too that we think that because something is decaf, that it's NO caffeine and that's just not true.
Melanie: Yeah! I can't have a decaf. I had to decaffeinate because I'm that person that had one cup of coffee at 6:00 AM and it would disrupt my sleep and a weak link, but I could not even have a decaf after 2:00 PM. I can't even have a decaf. There's enough caffeine in there, Teresa, that will keep me awake. I'm allergic to chocolate. So that's not an issue.
Teresa: But don't you think it's almost the worst thing that you can tell somebody who's struggling with insomnia that you should give up your caffeine?
Melanie: Oh, they look at you like I have it. It's like they have a lot of reasons not to.
Teresa: Well, it's just survival.
Melanie: It is. You're trying to get through your day, but in the long run...
Melanie: I weaned like a little silly scared person. Like I went from my one cup to three fourths of a cup and then I did that for a week and then I went down to a half a cup and then I went down to a quarter cup and then I went down to two tablespoons and finally I was like, oh, for goodness sakes, give it up.
Teresa: Is it even worth it at that point?
Melanie: I sleep so much better, Teresa!
Teresa: Oh my goodness. Well, I mean we have to do what we have to do in order to make it work. Right?
Melanie: It's well worth the sleep.
Teresa: Yes, it is worth the sleep. It's just hard when you don't know that it's going to be the fix, it's really hard to think of giving up the things that you love. But if you were like, you can guarantee it, it's a little bit easier. Unfortunately we just don't believe that that could work for us. We all think that we're special. That's not going to work for me. And we are special, but sometimes those things are work for everybody.
Melanie: I really I thought I would miss that energy bump, but I really, really... I don't miss it. And I love coffee. I have great decaf and I'm all right.
Teresa: Yeah, yup. Well, getting back to... getting off a coffee maybe and back to some of our discussion about lack of sleep, here's a fairly unknown fact of about lack of sleep. A lack of sleep even affects fertility. Men who routinely sleep less than six hours a night have a 20% lower sperm count than those who sleep seven and a half to eight hours a night.
Teresa: Lack of sleep also affects women's fertility. Routinely sleeping less than six hours a night results in a 20% drop in the follicle stimulating hormone, which is critical for female reproduction. It's absolutely necessary for conception.
Melanie: I thought sharing how a lack of sleep affects your immune system will be of interest to our listeners right now, especially, of course, with the COVID-19 pandemic that we're under. The Mayo Clinic said that lack of sleep could affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover. If you do get sick, you want to be sure that you've got that sleep banked... that you've have been getting good sleep because you will recover faster. The bottom line is infection fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep. So how important is sleep for your viral immunity? Well, in a 2002 study, healthy adults were separated into two groups. One group slept four hours for six nights. The other group slept seven and a half to eight hours for six nights. After the six nights, everyone was given a flu shot. Then researchers looked at how effective each group developed antibodies based upon the blood samples they took of each individual. The people who slept at least seven and a half hours each night had a strong response reflecting a healthy immune function. The group who slept four hours per night produced less than 50% of the immune reaction than the well rested group.
Teresa: That's really interesting information, especially considering that they're working so hard on finding a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus, so that we should know that if we're going to be going in to get a vaccine that you need to be well rested in order to have the proper immune response to it.
Teresa: Based on the results of this study, the researchers concluded it doesn't require many nights of a lack of sleep before the body is rendered immunologically weak. They went on to say the issue of cancer becomes more relevant because your natural killer cells are reduced when you lack. A lack of sleep is less than seven and a half hours most nights. Another study found that just one night of getting only four hours of sleep sweeps away 70% of the natural killer cells.
Melanie: 70%. Holy buckets. A study about nighttime shift workers who often sleep fewer hours than day shift workers determined that nighttime shift workers have an increased risk of developing different types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Here's one last research study we will share with you today: a large European study with 25,000 test subjects found that sleeping six hours or less was associated with a 40% increased risk of developing cancer. Lack of sleep not only affects your immunity... immunity to viruses, but to cancer too.
Teresa: Yeah, that's really good information.
Melanie: We've got to take care of our total health.
Teresa: We do, and I think sometimes you know with sleep too it's just having the discipline to get your body to go to bed. I definitely notice that I have a sleep window that if I miss it I have a hard time falling asleep.
Melanie: Stay up too late.
Teresa: If I stay up too late. Yup I can't, I don't know what it is. You'd think the later you stay up, the easier it would be to fall asleep because you're getting progressively more tired, but if I miss that sleep window, man, I have a hard time.
Melanie: We have to have routine. We're creatures of routine and I usually tell my clients aim for eight hours. If you have to get up and use the bathroom or anything like that, aim for eight.
Teresa: Yup. Give yourself the sleep opportunity. If you need eight hours of sleep, going to bed at ten and your alarm going off at six, that's not necessarily the sleep opportunity, cause you need the time to fall asleep and maybe to plan for waking up to go to the bathroom. And if you have kids, you might have to plan a little bit for what could happen during the night. Really having the discipline to get yourself to go to bed and giving yourself plenty of sleep opportunity for that eight hours of sleep. And if you happen to wake up before your alarm, well you get bonus time at the front end of the day.
Melanie: And I'm just a nicer woman.
Melanie: There's that bonus.
Teresa: There is that bonus for you and for the world. Right?
Melanie: And for the world.
Teresa: Melanie and I cannot overemphasize how important it is to get seven and a half to nine hours of sleep most nights. So we are going to share some other interesting facts. Do you realize that sleep can dictate how much food you eat? We were talking about that before where cravings kick in or we have hormones that are released that encourage us to eat more. It can also dictate how fast or slow your metabolism runs.
Melanie: No one wants to slow metabolism.
Teresa: That's right. And it just makes sense if we are tired our body is probably also tired. So that slowing down of the processes of the body and it can also dictate if the number of on the scale will go up or if it will go down.
Melanie: Sleep can also dictate how well you fight off infections, which we were talking about. How well you cope with stress...
Teresa: We need that now.
Melanie: We need that now. How quickly you learn new information, so if you're in a new job or you're trying to learn how to work from home.
Teresa: If you're learning how to zoom!
Melanie: If you're learning how to zoom or Skype. That could be helpful if you've had enough sleep and your patience is there too. And how well you can remember the information you did learn. How much inflammation or pain you have. It really is a total win-win. Getting enough sleep is critical overall. And don't forget, we want our immune systems on point right now.
Teresa: Absolutely. It's so critical right now.
Melanie: Really, always.
Teresa: Always, but right now I think it's just in the forefront of our mind. Lack of sleep, which is less than seven and a half hours of sleep per night can lead to confusion, memory loss, brain fog, low immunity, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression. I was just going to say, so knowing all these things, why do we have such a hard time getting ourselves to go to bed?
Melanie: I know! It's just where I think sometimes, young mothers, we can both attest to this. I remember when my children were young, I liked that time in the evening when it was just me and I could be in my own head and thoughts, but I could get things done. When I worked with the veterans at the VA Hospital, many of them had such serious sleep issues, which affected all aspects of their health. I've also worked with nurses and other shift workers who experienced health problems because of their lack of sleep. So it affects how you are able to function in your daily life and how it affects your health and it affects your career.
Teresa: Yes, it absolutely does affect your career. I mean, just think of all the things that you listed as far as memory, confusion, being able to learn new things... all of those things that are required to have a good job. You certainly don't want to be walking around wherever you work and be the person that's known to be forgetful or who can't learn new things. Like, oh no, we have to teach this person how to do this and, once we go through it, do we gonna have to re-teach them how to do it? And it's not as if there's a problem in helping people learn new skills, but if it's related to sleep and it's something that you can affect or control.
Melanie: And now when we're all shut in, we're cocooning, and a lot of us are in there with our spouses and children, we want our children to be behaving well. And not clamoring for junk food. Or not clamoring for carbs and sugar, which we know will lower the immune system in their little bodies. So having your children get enough sleep, this is a perfect time to sort of start these good habits when you have a little more control in the household.
Teresa: Right. And we want their memory to be good for school and things right now. Well you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. For those of you who have a lot of brain chatter or tend to be worry worts, I have the sleep solution for you. I suggest taking a supplement called 5-HTP at bedtime. 5-HTP helps to support serotonin production which is considered our calming and relaxing neurotransmitter. I usually suggest starting with 50 milligrams, then slowly increasing to 200 milligrams. Many people find that they have very restful sleep when they take 5-HTP. The supplements we have mentioned today that can help you with your sleep are available to order online at weightandwellness.com or you may call our office at (651) 699-3438 to place your order and we will have it shipped to you.
Melanie: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As you have just heard, we have many solutions for sleep problems. We understand it's certainly a very stressful time for many and getting adequate sleep is the key to stress management. Currently we are offering $75 off an initial consultation. It's a screaming deal. Right Teresa?
Teresa: Yeah, it's a great deal.
Melanie: During this time of social distancing and staying at home, we want you to be able to access some help for your sleep problems.
Melanie: When we were talking earlier I was thinking about how important it is for us to have food. To have the food that we need on hand. One of the things I was thinking is we had a great podcast that we talked with Marianne and she talked about the food to have on hand and she gave such great ideas.
Teresa: Yes! Actually in both those podcasts, because those were the bonus podcasts, you're talking about right?
Melanie: Yes the bonus podcasts and Marianne was great!
Teresa: And you were on that one too, I believe. And she did have the best suggestions for pantry staples to have on hand. Shelf stable, basically things that you can have for quite a long time, so if you are stocking up right now or if you're limiting your grocery store runs. Yeah, it was so good.
Melanie: It was really good. So I want to direct our listeners to that podcast, if you're running out of ideas, getting bored, need some help, you don't want to be shopping constantly. Listen to that podcast.
Teresa: Yeah, it came out last Thursday, right?
Melanie: It did.
Teresa: And it was called, it was an Ask the Nutritionist, wasn't it? Yeah, I think so. So yeah, it was very good. I'm not all the way through it quite yet, but I did hear that part and I was writing down some, some ideas to add to my grocery list too. Well, in the past it was considered a badge of honor if you could go a long time without sleeping or if you could survive on four to five hours of sleep a night, right? Because if you had to sleep more, you were lazy. But now those people are starting to understand health risks of getting such an inadequate amount of sleep. Here are a couple of very interesting pieces of information to consider. Past president Ronald Reagan slept only about four hours a night and died from Alzheimer's disease. Prime minister Margaret Thatcher also prided herself on only needing a few hours of sleep per night and she also died of Alzheimer's disease. Lack of sleep affects all aspects of our health and that also includes our memory.
Melanie: Yeah, there are many, many steps to overcoming a sleep problem. The dietitians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight & Wellness help many clients with sleep problems and insomnia, which can oftentimes be a very complex problem. We help people with poor sleep habits and nutritional deficiencies to overcome their own individual sleep problems. Right now, may be the perfect time to address your sleep issue. Give us a call at (651) 699-3438 and let's start working on helping you to get more sleep. Our hope is that at least one of the facts that we have shared with you today will help you realize the importance of sleep.
Teresa: Yes, it is just so important and one of the important things that we didn't really talk about today is how important it is to balance out your blood sugar in order to get a good night's sleep.
Teresa: And I think sometimes when I say that to people, they look at me and they're like, well I'm not diabetic.
Melanie: What does that mean?
Teresa: Yeah, why do I need to worry about my blood sugar balance? My body's working just fine. But we all have blood sugar and our blood sugars will vary depending on the foods that we're eating. If we eat a really high sugar or high carbohydrate meal or snack, our blood sugars will go up. And then what happens is our body releases insulin to bring it back down into the normal range.
Melanie: And what time of day does that happen? We do that at night.
Teresa: Right. So what I tell people is if your blood sugar has been a roller coaster all day, where we're having high carbohydrate meals and snacks and it goes really high and then we have that corresponding insulin release that brings it back down into normal. But oftentimes it brings it lower, right? It's like it overcompensates almost that we have that low blood sugar. We're hungry. And then at night, if so all day if our blood sugar has been that rollercoaster, well that's probably what's going happen all night as well. And when your blood sugar dips low, when you're sleeping, adrenaline is released in order to stimulate the liver to convert our stored sugar into sugar in our bloodstream. And that of course, if you have adrenaline in your bloodstream, well you wake up.
Melanie: You wake up and says you're hungry. Your body’s trying to survive.
Teresa: Or sometimes you don't even feel hungry. You wake up and you just sit there and you're like, I'm awake. I don't know why I'm awake. Why am I awake? It's you've got, you've got this adrenaline in your bloodstream. Adrenaline and melatonin work opposite of one another. So if one is up, the other is down. So you don't even have the melatonin or the appropriate amount of melatonin in your system in order for you to sleep.
Melanie: The great solution is have a snack at bedtime.
Teresa: Yeah. Uh huh.
Melanie: So about within an hour of bedtime if you have, my favorite is because I can't have dairy: whipping cream and berries is one that we recommend to clients who can have dairy. But I will take full fat canned coconut milk, which is easy pantry staple. I put the whole can into the blender and blenderize so you emulsify the cream in the liquid and I love to add real vanilla extract. Sometimes I will add instead I will do vanilla AND orange extract and it tastes like a dreamsickle.
Melanie: And then I will drizzle that over berries. Sometimes I've done it over apples. I love it. You can do it over frozen peaches and about a quarter cup over that and that will keep your blood sugar... that fat acts like an anchor for that blood sugar through the night.
Teresa: Yeah so it doesn't dip low.
Melanie: It doesn't dip low and it's just delicious.
Teresa: It sounds delicious. I've never done that.
Melanie: It's super good. The other thing I'll do is almond extract. And I'll use a little stevia or monk fruit sometimes for a little sweetness. You can crumble up some pecans or walnuts in there, put it over your favorite fruit. About a half a cup of fruit and you've got a delicious snack. I've served that. It's company good. People are like, this is so healthy and delusion.
Teresa: So you said that you put the whole can in the blender?
Melanie: Well I do open it.
Teresa: Oh, I hope so!
Melanie: But when you open full fat, canned coconut milk, if you have not done that before, get the full fat. You're going to have the cream at the top and the liquid at the bottom. So you've got to emulsify that.
Teresa: Right, so then when you put it in the blender and you only use a quarter cup, does it keep really well in the refrigerator or do you have to re-blend it?
Melanie: Well, the magic is, is once you've blended it and you put it in the refrigerator, if you've got a good one... I like the organic ones they have at Target and at Costco. Those are typically where I get it. They will not separate once they are refrigerated and they get kind of thick and whippy.
Teresa: Oh good.
Melanie: It's so good.
Teresa: So they work one time and then you have snacks for four nights.
Melanie: And it'll last about, I will say seven, six to seven days in the refrigerator. And you can also freeze it in ice cube trays if you think you're not gonna use it and then pop it into a smoothie as a good, healthy fat.
Teresa: Oh yeah and I bet that almond would be great. That almonds extract in a smoothie. That sounds good. I might be making that tonight.
Melanie: That'll be great. And your kids will love it.
Teresa: Yeah. Right. And then, and that's another important thing for kids too. If you're having kids that are waking up throughout the night, giving them a bedtime snack that has some fat with it is a really good idea. Our goal at Nutritional Weight & Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a safe and healthy day.