Sweet Dreams: Making Sleep Work for You


making sleep work for youSleep disruption plagues many women who attend Green Mountain – whether from age, stress, menopause (hot flashes) or side effects from a medication.

Just as stress is created when we don’t get food predictably (dieting), and then we binge as a result of the fear of real or perceived restriction – so can chaotic and unpredictable sleep create anxiety and stress about sleep, thus disrupting the process.

Not only is it incredibly frustrating to not be able to get a good night’s sleep, but sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and a whole host of other health consequences.

In our class “Making Sleep Work for You,” we discuss ways in enhance sleep by creating a night-time ritual. Let’s think back to how we help babies learn to sleep on their own by introducing a routine. How can you do the same?

  • Try to create a regular bedtime
  • Cocoon in a snuggly bed with comfy sheets and blankets (600 count cotton)
  • Invest in some jammies that fit well and feel good to touch
  • Consider soft music or a story (reading children’s books has worked for some)

You get the idea. Think about what would help you relax into sleep. Often, it is no more complicated than getting to bed a little earlier, so you aren’t hit by a second wind and just keep staying up.

In Jane Brody’s NY Times article Steps for More, and Better, Sleep she suggests some other strategies which you might find helpful (beyond the usual tips to avoid caffeine or alcohol).

  • If leg cramps wake you up, drink about eight ounces of tonic water (diet version) every day. Tonic water contains modest amounts of quinine, which used to be sold over-the-counter to reduce leg cramps.
  • A nightly supplement of melatonin, which the body naturally produces after dark to help you fall asleep quickly, and return to sleep easily if awakened.

Photo by Moyan Brenn

2 responses to “Sweet Dreams: Making Sleep Work for You”

  1. Getting enough proper rest has really improved my energy levels, mood, and relationship with food!

  2. Harriet Krivit says:

    Everything helps. I’m a short and light sleeper. These days I lull myself to sleep with season one of Downton Abby…soundtrack itself is great…but it also sends my dreamy thoughts back into simpler (although the upper class) time.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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