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Feb 02

Hidden benefits of isolation…..improved sleep and diet – February 22 Blog.

I have become aware that I have been sleeping much better than in the past, particularly with regards to not waking up to go to the loo and then finding myself wide awake at the dreaded 2 am and not being able to get back until the early hours.   The first thing I say to clients who are having this problem is ‘ how do you know what time it is’?  and the answer is always the same ‘I look at my phone’.  This is the first thing you need to stop for 3 reasons;

  1. You don’t to know what time its, your alarm will wake you, your partner, your children etc., when its time to get up.  Do not look at the phone to check the time.
  2. Looking at your phone to see the time reinforces your self fulfilling prophecy that you always wake at that time, it will also give you a feeling of ‘I told you so’ and reinforce the belief that this always happens to you.
  3. Looking at your phone has an affect on your production of melatonin, which is responsibility for sleep, the blue light from the mobile screen disrupts hormones and sleep patterns, reaching for your phone tells your brain your awake

Once your body gets the deep sleep it needs, you start going into REM (rapid eye movement) and light sleep. REM is very important for emotion regulation and memory. It’s also the peak of protein synthesis at the cellular level, which keeps many processes in the body working properly.

Deep sleep is the sleep stage that is all about the body. The thinking parts of the brain go quiet. Muscles relax. You’re not dreaming and your body is doing a lot of rebuilding and repairing. Deep sleep typically makes up 10 percent to 25 percent (depending on your age) of your sleep.

Your body recharges while you sleep, repairing and building tissue and muscle. Levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, fall during the evening. Getting a recommended seven to nine hours of sleep a night also boosts immunity.

Even an extra 20 minutes of sleep, which may not seem like a lot, Can may make the difference between insufficient sleep, and enough sleep needed for better functioning. This is especially true for the millions of people out there getting just a little bit less sleep than they need. Also, 20 minutes per night, averaged over a month of recording, equates to about 10 more hours of sleep in 30 days.

“Even small amounts of sleep can add up,” says Michael Grandner, MD, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona in Tucson and a Fitbit sleep consultant.

I am not a vegetarian but I do often opt for vegetarian choices as I enjoy them, so I have been trying a few new recipes, my first was a Tuscan Bean Stew.  I often find when I try a new recipe that I don’t always have exactly the correct ingredients in but making it using  similar alternatives often works, as it did with this one.   The recipe called for 3 ingredients I didn’t have in; celeriac, borlotti beans and pearl barley, I know this seems like it could be 3 crucial ingredients but I decided (based on what I had in) to not use celeriac, to use butter beans in place of borlotti beans and in place of pearl barley I used Arborio which is a type of rice for risotto.

The remaining ingredients (which I did have in) where; olive oil, garlic (I always use lazy garlic), 2 leeks, 2 carrots, rosemary (I used dried), 400g tinned tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato puree, 600 ml vegetable stock and  200g curly kale.  Very simply heat the oil in a deep pan and add the (sliced) vegetables and fry off for 5 mins then add the stock and rice and tomato puree and simmer for 20 mins and serve with crusty bread.

It tasted lovely, easily fed us both and with plenty left over for lunch the next day, why not give it a try………..

Stay safe more next week.

tuscan stew 1

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