REGIONAL: With nearly one-third of Americans suffering from sleep disturbances, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now is the time to rethink your bedtime routine and consider more natural ways to get a good night’ rest.
However, implementing those changes doesn’t have to mean overhauling the way you live. Consider these simple tips that can help you sleep better and longer:
Set a comfortable temperature. Making changes in your life to achieve better sleep is a fine plan, but it may not make much difference if you aren’t comfortable in your own bed. Be sure to maximize comfort for a full night of sleep by finding a temperature that works for you, but in general, the National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedroom temperature between 60-67 degrees F.
Tweak your diet. Making simple changes to what you eat and drink can be a positive health-conscious decision, including helping you get better sleep. For example, Montmorency tart cherries, which are available year-round, are one of the few natural food sources of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. New research from the American Journal of Therapeutics shows that insomniacs who drank U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherry juice for two weeks extended sleep time by 84 minutes.
Consuming two 8-ounce glasses of Montmorency tart cherry juice as part of your daily diet, once in the morning and once at night, can help enhance your sleep time and efficiency. It can also be added to your favorite morning smoothie or a soothing nighttime beverage, such as this Tart Cherry Moon Milk. For additional information and recipes, visit ChooseCherries.com.
Try bedtime yoga. Rather than scrolling on your smartphone or staring at the TV, consider a different routine before heading to bed. Implementing a brief yoga session is one way to clear your mind each night prior to getting quality shut-eye.
While missing out on quality sleep can negatively impact your health, simple changes to your lifestyle and diet can play a role in improving the quality and duration of sleep.
Tart Cherry Moon Milk
Recipe courtesy of Amanda Paa of Heartbeet Kitchen
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
6 ounces almond milk
4 ounces Montmorency tart cherry juice
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda (Indian ginseng)
dried culinary rose petals
In small pot, heat almond milk and tart cherry juice over medium heat.
Remove from heat and whisk in honey and ashwaganda. Top with rose petals and drink warm.
Note: For a more frothy beverage, blend mixture in blender before topping with rose petals.
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