Posts Tagged ‘bedtime snack’

I’ll find any excuse to talk about my love for cereal – strange I know but I can’t explain. Cereal just so happens to be my number one comfort food- and hey, not a bad comfort food to have if you ask me. I especially like having a bowl before bedtime. Now I know we’ve all heard the theories out there about why it might be bad to eat before you go to bed but everyone’s different and this works for me so I’m sticking to it.

The reason I think it’s even worth mentioning is that I’ve been practicing a lot of yoga at home and experimenting with different poses and how they affect my level of energy. For example, Surya Namascar (sun salutes) and inversions like headstand/handstand are traditionally considered energizing poses while forward folds and inversions like Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) are considered to be more cooling/”chill out” poses. So if you, like most New Yorkers, have a vigorous practice at 7:30PM or later you may find it more difficult to fall asleep at night. If this is true it might be worth considering an AM practice or a more gentle, candlelight flow at night. In fact, most experts agree that for the best night’s rest it’s ideal to practice in the afternoon- yeah, if only. They claim the afternoon and not the morning because our bodies tend to be almost two degrees cooler in the AM and generally more tight. Anyhow, I thought it worth mentioning and it was on my mind as I just did a set of heating inversions at 10PM tonight. Oops.

Well, if you’re wondering the reason why my go-to bowl of cereal happens to actually work it’s because carbs make your brain release serotonin and the milk itself contains the amino-acid L-tryptophan (think Thanksgiving) and the calcium in the milk helps the brain use and process the tryptophan. And in my case, because cereal is my personal comfort food it works double-time -many psychologists believe that our psychological relationship to comfort food naturally enables us to relax.

I do want to point out however that this bedtime trick should still be done mindfully like all eating- this means planning on having a light dinner earlier in the evening and allowing only a small portion of a healthy, whole grain, high-fiber cereal (Lucky Charms do not count) at bedtime. And please don’t actually eat and lay down. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour and a half.



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