Thursday, March 22, 2012

Can't sleep? Then CHILL OUT!

(This guy knows what's up.)

Last night for dinner, I decided to use a coupon very close to its expiry date for an Ethiopian restaurant nearby.  In order to use up the entire value, we figured it would be a good idea to order a few beers and some homemade honey wine. Dinner seemed to take a little longer than usual to come out of the kitchen.  Not a problem, so we enjoyed the ambience and imbibed on the delicious spirits available.  Eventually, we began our feast and subsequently filled up sufficiently on quite a few different kinds of awesome vegetarian and meat dishes, but just as quickly, our mild alcohol buzz soon advanced into substantial tipsy-ness.  My dinner partner then decided it'd be a great idea to order a little post-dinner pot of classic Ethiopian coffee--you know, the kind that comes in those cute little cups.

Well, the amount of coffee we ingested didn't seem that bountiful at the time, but we soon realized just how much caffeine the dark and tasty liquid contained.  After just a tiny cup or two, we began to bounce off the walls, and soon realized the time was getting close to 10pm!  We made it home on public transportation, thankfully, but wow, a nighttime caffeine buzz really can intimidate any sluggishness alcohol produces rather hastily.

Later at home, figuring I'd be awake for quite a while, I decided to make a dent in my goal of reading the entire Walking Dead comic book series.  While flipping through the pages wide-eyed in the dark, I remembered something I read about a natural remedy for insomnia a few months back, as I knew I wouldn't be catching any z's for a while.  While it is my fault for inducing this bout of temporary sleeplessness with a powerful stimulant, I didn't want to counter it with an artificial and equally-powerful sleep aid.  

So I Googled what I recall from the study about cooling your head to get to sleep and found the following:

"Scientists from the University of Pittsburgh presented research at this [June of 2011] month's Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, or SLEEP, conference showing that a non-pharmaceutical sleeping cap that cools down the brain was able to get insomniacs to sleep as quickly as, and as long as, healthy sleepers."  

Read more HERE.  Or, another version HERE.

Researchers have found that insomnia sufferers fell asleep quickly and enjoyed a restful night after being fitted with a special cap containing cold water.  They believe that lowering the temperature of the brain slows its activity and so aids rest.  

Now obviously adding caffeine to the mix would sort of add a variable to the study that might distort the findings of researchers, but either way, I added a bag of ice to my forehead, and within the hour, I finally made it to slumberland--synthetic sleep-aid free.

So really, for better health, it seems like everyone just needs to CHILL OUT!


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