April 24, 2012

Sweet Dreams Baby

Do you want to live longer and healthier?  Of course...don't we all? But, I go through periods where I CANNOT SLEEP!!!

As the day turns into night,...keep your worries out of sight,
No matter how hard the world may seem....
You still deserve the sweetest dream!!!

I need advice on developing a strategy to get enough sleep. Insomnia -- or even just getting less than 6 hours of good sleep a night -- increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and viral infections, but snoozing 6½ to 7½ hours can actually make your heart and mind younger.

 Fortunately, food may hold the solution to getting the ZZZs you need. A couple of hours before bedtime, curl up with one of the following sleepy-time snacks that get your brain to release sleep-friendly chemicals.

Almonds: A handful contains muscle-relaxing magnesium and sleep-inducing tryptophan, which increases the brain's level of feel-good serotonin.

Bananas: Beneath the peel is a trifecta of soothers: serotonin, magnesium, and melatonin, your body's natural sleep regular. I usually slice a banana in thin slices and top with a little sugar and milk..just like Mother did!

Skim milk: Mom was right -- a warm glassful will help you sleep better. The milk's tryptophan has a sedating effect. Plus, it's calcium that helps your brain use that tryptophan. This is a very relaxing little night cap and just lovely with a few drops of vanilla extract and nutmeg or cinnamon sprinkled on top.

Oatmeal: Oats are rich in sleep-regulating melatonin. If you drizzle just a little honey on top, it tells your brain to turn off orexin, a neuropeptide linked to alertness.

Whole-wheat bread: A slice of toast dotted with banana slices releases insulin, which helps tryptophan get to your brain. There it changes into serotonin and whispers, "Sweet dreams."

Walnuts, like almonds, contain sleepy-time tryptophan.

Miss Rita makes the most scrumptious apple oatmeal!

Apple-Banana Oatmeal Recipe
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup chopped unpeeled tart apple
1/4 cup sliced firm banana
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 to 1/3 cup oat bran
¼ cup chopped walnuts
Brown sugar

In a saucepan, combine milk, orange juice concentrate, apple, banana, raisins, salt if desired and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Stir in oats and oat bran. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with brown sugar and toasted walnuts.

Oatmeal Bread
1 cup boiling water
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Melted butter
Additional oats

In a large bowl, combine boiling water and oats; let stand until warm (110°-115°). In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; add to oat mixture. Add honey, butter, salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down. Shape into a loaf; place in a greased 8-in. x 4-in. loaf pan. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with oats. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. This makes one loaf.

Mr. Sandman....Bring Me a Dream.......

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