Archive for April, 2010

What You Eat Before Bed Can Kill Your Day Tomorrow

Midnight snack, anyone?  If you want to toss and turn ’til dawn, here are some real keeper-uppers for you.  Amino acids, also critical to life, can deter adults from sleeping. The metabolic pathways that synthesize some of these amino acids are not fully developed in children, perhaps explaining their infinite ability to consume large amounts of things that are bad for them.  Melanie Haiken, senior editor of Caring.com, presents five major no-nos.

1.  Energy drinks. Well, duh.  Not just plain coffee, but the pick-up drinks in bottles and cans are high in caffeine–three to ten times as much of it as an ordinary soft drink. They also contain taurine, the amino acid that boosts alertness and adrenaline. Recent studies have shown that even if you drink a Red Bull early in the day, the combined high dosage of stimulants can keep you from sleeping hours later.

2.  Spicy foods like chili and pizza. The spice is no surprise, but tomato sauce? Too much curry can make you worry.  Digestive anomalies are a common source of sleep problems.  Spicy and acidic foods can cause indigestion, stomach distension, heartburn, acid reflux, and other problems that may make you quite uncomfortable in the middle of the night.

3. Preserved and smoked meats.

Hands off the Slim Jims! Jerky, bacon, sausages, and smoked meats contain tyramine. This amino acid triggers the brain to release norepinephrine, a brain stimulant that can make you wired.

4. Chocolate. This one is downright painful.   Chocolate contains tyrosine, a stimulating amino acid, as well as another forbidden pleasure–caffeine.  Leave the M&Ms for morning.

5. Booze.

You can take away my Godiva, but must you slap the mojito out of my hands, too?  Alas, a drink or two (or a six-pack) may relax you after dinner, but it keeps away the healthy deep sleep.  Alcohol dehydrates you, sends you to the bathroom, and wakes you up.  You can’t even handle a nice Chardonnay–wine is high in tyrosine just like Hershey’s.

Sources: http://www.thebostonchannel.com/health/23288590/detail.html, http://lockportslugline.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/energy-drinks-risk-taking/, http://www.life-styl.com/index.php/health/damage-control-after-tempting-treats, http://blog.hotelclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/cocktails.jpg, http://blakeleyberkshires.co.uk/porktasterbox.aspx

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"No I don't like work. I had rather laze about and think of 
all the fine things that can be done.

I don't like work -- no man does -- but I like what is in 
the work -- the chance to find yourself.  Your own reality -- 
for yourself, not for others -- what no other man can ever know. 
They can only see the mere show, and never can tell 
what it really means."

.......................Marlow, Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

Thanks to Kristin White for the quotation!
graphic: http://www.5minuteangels.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/stress-at-work.gif

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Enough reality, really!

Please forgive my absence.  I have been 1500 miles from home helping my father defeat the Reaper yet again.  Will be back this weekend.

Fortunately, the itinerary does not include Reykjavik.  All the best to those who were vulcanized.

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bright sun looks earthward
forsythia its mirror
a week's spring dazzle

poem:  Sandy Dechert, image: Sonja Keohane

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