Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Greatest Mothers Day Gift of All SLEEP

According to reports 64% of moms don’t get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation released a survey indicating many moms suffer from insomnia meaning they can’t fall asleep easy nor stay asleep throughout the night. Not getting enough sleep can cause problems at work and in their marriage. Many moms don’t know they have insomnia because they just think their sleeplessness is a part of their life. The greatest mother’s day gift of all….sleep and here are a few ways you can let mom catch up on some much needed rest.

The day of:

Breakfast in Bed or Made. Plan a menu in advance and get everything ready the night before to eliminate making noise in the morning.

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Keep the Kids Quiet and Dressed. Remind the children that this is mom’s special day and she gets to sleep in. Find quiet toys to play until mom wakes up. Lay out the children’s clothes the night before so they can get ready without commotion.

Get the Kids Involved. Have each child prepare something for mom. For younger children have them make a homemade mother’s day card. The older children can help prepare her breakfast or pick up the house. Mom will appreciate anything done that is on her daily to-do-list.

The night before:

The greatest way for mom to have a good night sleep is to ensure that she can fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. If you are getting her a gift, new comfortable, non-restrictive pajamas or a lavender scented candle are a couple of related sleep gifts. Draw her bath and add essential oils of Geranium and Roman chamomile that will help her to unwind before sleep. Chamomile calms nerves and stomach while it induces sleep. The aromas of these plants have effects, which make her feel sleepy. Note: if mom has sensitive skin some oils can cause dermatitis. To use essential oils during bath, prepare a tub full of warm water. Then, pour about 8 drops of the essential oil into the water to create a steaming effect. Avoid exceeding the recommended dosage of essential oil to use so you won't irritate your skin in the process.

Can't afford a day at the spa? I am sure she wouldn't say no to a nice back massage right before bedtime to help her relax especially if you use sleep-inducing oils. If you want more ideas on which types of essential oils are recommended to use in aromatherapy, for bath or even massage that will help mom get a better night’s sleep, here are a few:

• Lavender Oil
• Valerian Oil
• Passion Flower Oil
• Linden Blossom Oil
• Violet Leaf Oil
• California Poppy Oil
• Mandarin Oil
• Catnip oil
• Amyris Oil

Also Dr. Oz’s solution for those moms that have trouble falling asleep can be through natural sleep inducing foods. Make sure mom eliminates refined sugar and hot/spicy foods for dinner as many can cause indigestion or trigger insulin surges that interfere with hormones that affect sleep. It is also important that she eats at least 3 hours before bedtime to make sure her body and brain are not focused on digestion and on sleeping instead. If you want to make a basket of goodies for mom or prepare a snack the night before, here are some foods that will help her sleep:

Bananas are full of potassium and magnesium which help you to relax your muscles for a peaceful night’s sleep. Bananas also help to lower your blood pressure. See more on Magnesium and Sleep.

Popcorn with Parmesan Cheese provides a delicious combination of carbohydrates and dairy. Dairy products are known for their tryptophan content, an amino acid that causes people to become sleepy. The carbohydrates help you to absorb the tryptophan better. Dr. Oz has the following light, homemade popcorn recipe:


Makes 4 servings; 61 calories per serving, 10 percent from fat
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
Flavored cooking spray (butter, olive oil or garlic)
Garlic salt or cinnamon


Place popcorn in a 2 and 1/2-quart microwave-safe container; cover and cook at high power 4 to 5 minutes, or until popcorn is popped but not scorched. If the microwave oven does not have a rotating turntable, use oven mitts to grasp and shake the covered container after 3 minutes of cooking. Immediately pour the popcorn onto a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. To further flavor the popcorn, immediately sprinkle on your favorite seasoning blend such as garlic salt or cinnamon.

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A salad topped with chia seeds; they also contain tryptophan. In fact they have twice the tryptophan as turkey and you only need 2 ounces of chia seeds to help you to fall asleep. You can actually eat chia seeds of chia pet fame!

Wheat germ on yogurt or cereal will provide a boost of vitamin B6 which is known to alleviate stress and anxiety. Just one teaspoon of wheat germ for a restful night’s sleep

Valerian tea with honey before bedtime has been a practice for centuries. The natural compounds in valerian have been used as a sedative to help reduce the time you need to all asleep. Honey has glucose which helps relax the neurotransmitter, orexin which is linked to alertness. See more about how honey works as a natural sleep aid: Need Sleep, Got Milk.

Tart cherry juice is rich in melatonin, a hormone that regulates and resets your sleep/wake cycle. Drink an 8 ounce glass in the morning and another one two hours before bed time. To get the full benefit of this juice it is advised to drink it at the same time every day. More about Tart Cherry Juice is Heart Smart and Sleep Savvy

A turkey burger with spinach on a whole wheat bun is the perfect meal for restful sleep. You can thank the tryptophan in turkey for that. Tryptophan not only affects melatonin, but it also creates serotonin, which helps to stabilize sleep. The iron in spinach is also known to help relieve the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome.

Cheese and 100% whole grain crackers are your best bedtime-snack bet. The whole grains help produce serotonin. Cheese, like other dairy products, contains tryptophan. Together, they make for a winning combination.

The content provided in The Greatest Mothers Day Gift of All SLEEP is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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