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More About Stress + Sleep

ON THIS PAGE: 

What about blue light? / Complex Carbs + Sleep / What about caffeine? Coffee Metabolizers / What about unexpressed emotions? / What about stress + inflammation? / About GABA and GABA-rich foods that can promote healthy sleep

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What about blue light?

Humans have spent the majority of time on Earth in relative darkness. Electricity was discovered in 1800 by Italian inventor Alessandro Volta and then commercialized starting in the late 1800's by inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. Today, modern electronic devices turn our brains into alert machines, which can cause unhealthy and fitful sleep.

Complex Carbs + Sleep

Dr Barnard of the PCRM suggests that diets rich in fiber and low in saturated fat can lead to a more restorative sleep. He explains how complex carbs calm us down and how high-protein foods perk us up. So, it's best to eat our beans earlier in the day and our potatoes later on.

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What about caffeine?

According to the Sleep Foundation, caffeine makes us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production. For many people, moderate caffeine intake (1-2 cups a day) is not yet associated with any recognized health risk. Trying to sleep better? Take a break from caffeine and dream the night away.

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Coffee Metabolizers

Apparently, coffee can be beneficial OR it can be harmful depending on how our bodies process caffeine. If I drink caffeine after 10am (even green tea), I can't sleep at night. Like, at all. Others can drink strong coffee - an addictive liquid gold - lower some health risks, and sleep like a cat. Check out the research on the differences between rapid and slow metabolizers. 

Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.

- William Shakespeare, from Henry VI, English Playwright + Poet (died 1616)

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What about unexpressed emotions?

There's interesting research connecting cancer and other chronic diseases with unexpressed emotions. Toxic, unresolved feelings of resentment and regret can permeate our everyday lives and take over, sometimes without us even noticing. When we "feel the feelings" as one of my favorite mentors taught me, it's as if the tears are cleansing our troubles and allowing us to let it go. Consider finding a safe place to cry, yell, forgive, and move on. 

What about stress + inflammation?

The science is in: inflammation is in the Hall of Fame for a CORE cause of chronic ailments and diseases. When we eat things with eyes, dairy, and processed foods, and when we don't move our bodies, sleep well, drink water, and unplug daily, inflammation increases. When we de-stress and unplug in a myriad of ways, meditate, do yoga, hydrate, and eat an abundance of WPF (especially anti-inflammatory plants), we turn into inflammation-fighting heroes. Let turmeric and ginger help calm down a chaotic day.

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