Tag: cherry

Healthy Swellness: Tart cherries will help you sleep better

Choose Cherries_frozen cherries

As you may know (I wrote about my poor sleeping habits in an issue of Glow a few months ago), I’m terrible when it comes to getting a good night’s rest. And I’m sad to report that I haven’t yet managed to change my ways for the better since writing that article:

  • I simply am incapable it seems of setting a regular time to go to bed and wake up — once or twice a week, I have to get up around 7 a.m. for a workout; and I just can’t make that my daily wake-up time because that would call for being in bed by about 11:30 or midnight (that’s very early for me — we’re talking about years of going to bed after 1 a.m.).
  • One (minor) improvement (but not really) — I do try to get more actual sleep hours (which, yes, means sleeping later and starting my work day later).

Coincidentally, right after I finished my sleep article for Glow, I got to go to New York to learn from the Cherry Marketing Institute how tart cherries can help me sleep better. I had a consultation with Dr. Carol Ash, Director of Sleep Medicine for Meridian Health in New Jersey who (from a questionnaire) established that my sleep quality is about 43 percent. Yikes.

Looking to improve your sleep habits? Here are some tips from Dr. Ash:

  • “It’s important to really value sleep.” (This one applies to you if you like me will surf the net, watch TV or stay up until all hours working). To do this, I’m trying to remind myself of all the repercussions of my lack of sleep is potentially causing (weight gain, increased risk of cardiac disease and diabetes, lack of alertness, irritability) (and for me and the rest of you runners — rest is a key component of your training!).
  • “Keep notecards on your bedside table.” For those nights your mind is racing with thoughts and you can’t get to sleep, Dr. Ash says it’s helpful to write down those thoughts on the notecards to help you get to sleep.
  • “Get rid of screens in the bedroom, such as TVs, and download F. Lux for your iPad or iPhone.” The light from your television or your iPad is really alerting. If you can’t bear to keep them out of the bedroom (that’s me with my iPad!) then Dr. Ash suggested downloading F. Lux (it’s free), which makes the colour of the display adapt to the time of day (so it’s less bright and alerting at night).
  • “Consistency is key when it comes to your sleep schedule.” Try to get to bed and rise at the same time regularly. For my haphazard schedule, with an approximate 90 minute difference on days I have early meetings or phone calls compared to the days I don’t have anything on my schedule, Dr. Ash asked if I could aim to get that down to about a 30-minute difference, to lessen the effects.
  • “To ensure a.m. alertness ,get exposure to am bright light.” Natural light will have the greatest impact, says Dr. Ash, adding that there are commercial light boxes that can substitute when you find you need to wake up in the dark.  “Thirty minutes of bright light exposure is enough.”
  • “Use melatonin to reset your internal clock when you do have to interrupt your schedule for travel, meetings, and other responsibilities.” Tart cherries are high in melatonin.  Tart cherry juice one or two hours before your preferred bedtime can be helpful to reset your internal clock, says Dr. Ash.

Choose Cherries_tart cherry juice

(Photos courtesy of choosecherries.com)



Leave a Comment January 9, 2014

Travel Swellness: On the way to Wisconsin!

Door County, Wisconsin

Me: “I’m off to Wisconsin!”

Everyone: (After attempting to hide a puzzled look) “Oh…um, what’s in Wisconsin?”

And to be honest, I didn’t know at first (but have dug around a little online) but I’m very excited to find out. Yes, there’s cheese as it’s dairyland, but I understand there’s also cherry pie, and the area I’m going to (Door County) looks very picturesque, does it not? I’ll be enjoying the great outdoors (a good thing as I’m sure there will be several cheese calories to burn off…).

I look forward to sharing my adventures this week with you via Instagram and Twitter and, of course, through my articles once published when I get back!

Oh, and I’ll most definitely need to bring back some Wisconsin cheese curds so that I can do this with them (the photo and recipe is from Simple Comfort Food):

fried-cheese-curds from Simple Comfort Food





1 Comment June 24, 2013

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