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Sleeping Beauty… Or Not.

31

January 26, 2012 by Katie

Good morning everyone! So yesterday’s breakfast was so delicious that despite throwing it together quickly in a big ugly bowl, I had to share it with you:

 

Okay, so I realize it basically looks like poo. But it was soooo good! I had bought some canned butternut squash for a recipe, and decided to try it out in my oatmeal. It was much sweeter than canned pumpkin, so this bowl of oats was to die for!

Butternut Squash Protein Oatmeal

Ingredients

1/3 cup water

1/3 cup flax milk (or any kind)

1/3 cup oats

1/3 cup canned butternut squash

cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 scoop Vanilla Sunwarrior Protein Powder

Directions

Normally I’d use the stovetop, but today I used the microwave because I was in a hurry. It’s about the same either way. Mix water, milk and oats and cook (or microwave). Then when they are almost done (still some liquid left) add in the butternut squash, cinnamon and vanilla. Let that heat for a few seconds and then toss in the protein powder. If the protein powder soaks up too much liquid, feel free to add more water or milk. After adding the protein powder, I threw it back in the microwave for 25 seconds because I like my oatmeal HOT!

Then I added some PB2 mixed with water and stevia on top.

It was heaven!

 

Recently, I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping. I literally wake up almost every hour and then by about 5am I’m just laying there waiting for my alarm to go off at 6. Not fun. So when I saw that Huffington Post had an entire section about sleep, I thought I would check it out!

photo 5

My friend Maddie’s cat, LT (short for LaTarian Milton, you tube sensation) sure knows how to sleep…

The first article I came across was titled Lack of Sleep Might Make You Feel Hungrier. The article describes a study they conducted with some men who slept and others who did not. The scientists found that “sleep loss resulted in what scientists call ‘hedonic stimulus process’ – they had a heightened desire to eat, independent of their blood glucose levels.”

I’d always heard that lack of sleep makes you hungrier, and I’ve experienced it! When I’m really tired I tend to grab sugary and carb-filled foods in an attempt to boost my energy and I also tend to snack more. Take home lesson: try and get plenty of good sleep!

 

The next article was definitely news to me: Protein Might Ward Off Afternoon Snooze. I knew protein was good for keeping you full (and building muscle!) but I had no idea it could keep up your energy (I guess I just didn’t think about it… but it seems obvious now…).

The article states that a recent study in mice found that protein, rather than sugar, provides “the perk” to afternoon sleepiness. They found that there are cells in the brain that secret a stimulant that makes us energetic and tells us to burn calories. Glucose blocks the functions of these cells but amino acids (protein) stop this glucose action and kept the cells active.

So in other words, grab some protein next time you’re in a slump!

photo (14)

Another interesting article listed 8 ways that winter affects your sleep:

1) Keeping your house too hot

2) Keeping the house too cold (lol what’s the perfect temp then?!?)

3) Lack of light throughout the day

4) Heavier winter meals

5) Lack of exercise

6) Oversleeping on the weekends

7) Dry air

8) Cold and flu seasons

I never thought about it, but a lot of these make sense! Do you think any of these winter factors affect your sleep?

 

Another fun/interesting list is their list of the most sleep-deprived cities in the United States:

1. Detroit, Michigan

2. Birmingham, Alabama

3. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

5. New York. New York

6. Cincinnati, Ohio

7. Louisville, Kentucky

8. Raleigh, North Carolina

9. Columbus, Ohio

10. Boston, Massachusetts

I’m not really sure how they came up with this, and whether something about the city itself affects sleep. Do you live in any of these cities? How’s your sleep? Haha.

photo (13)

Finally, the last article I saw talked about what your sleep position says about you. It was a little off for me since I change from stomach to side with my arms in front of me (haha check them out) but it was fun to read through them! Check it out and see what your sleep position says about you!


31 comments »

  1. Love the sleeping dog photos – too cute!

  2. Maggie says:

    I always have trouble falling and staying asleep! Mostly because I have a million thoughts running through my head. However, I live in Raleigh, so I guess I can blame it on the city now!

  3. i’ve never even thought about putting canned butternut squash in my oatmeal! i’ve added pumpkin plenty of times, but butternut squash sounds amazing! i’m excited to try it out.

    when i was in college, i always had a hard time sleeping. i was always SO stressed! between homework, work, keeping up with my social life, and trying to keep a long distance relationship going, it was really hard. i went through a phase where i could only get a good night of rest with tylenol PM. obviously that wasn’t good, but at least it helped me sleep. i hope you’re able to start sleeping better my dear! i know how annoying that is!

    • Thanks Ashley! And I didn’t think of it either until I was standing there in the kitchen trying to decide what to mix into my oats, and it was practically staring back at me. I though, hey, if pumpkin works… Haha now I might check out the grocery store and try and come up with more ideas!

  4. I had a terrible nights sleep last night but luckily that was a one off, some times I just can’t stop my mind from racing!

  5. I read the same article and learned a lot of things. I live in the #10 city (Boston) and I haven’t been sleeping very well lately. I think a lot of it has to do with stress, but I also think it has something to do with the temperature here. It’s been so up and down this winter (one day it’s 15 degrees, the next it’s 55…literally) and a lot of apartment buildings (including mine) control the heat. So if a room is too hot, the only way you can control it is by opening a window to let cold air in. Not the best for trying to cuddle up under blankets when going to bed.

  6. Jordan says:

    Those animal photos are adorable! I sleep better now than I ever did in high school or college. I am exhausted at 10 and fall right asleep. Maybe it’s because I live in San Francisco, which is not on that list? haha

  7. I’m from the Detroit area and my guess is that it may be correlated with povery/ life stress. Increased stress decreases your ability to sleep and relax?

    Also, I’ve never tried flax milk, how does it taste compared to other milk substitutes like almond milk?

    • I got the unsweetened plain, and it’s just like plain almond milk! It doesn’t really have much of a taste to it at all. I prefer the taste of my unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but the flax milk is perfect for oats and baking and things like that.

  8. SO true–when you don’t sleep enough the hormones get out of whack and you never really feel satisfied (full) –and thus reach for high fat or sugar foods. It is a vicious cycle!! (I have had clients in that situation).

    Winter def makes me sleepier—LESS sunshine!

    good post!

  9. Oh my gosh! I’ve always had trouble sleeping, like my whole life. Last night I didn’t fall asleep until 3:30am and I have to wake up for work at 7:15! Annnnd ironically I’m from Columbus! (I live in VA now… but that doesn’t seem to matter! haha)

  10. Weird Bham is on the list. We’re close by..so maybe that’s why I have some sleepless nights! I’m catching their insomnia! haha..must be it. ;)

  11. chels says:

    If I workout pretty hard during the day and stay on my feet, I sleep like a baby..on the other hand if I am lazy it will take me a while to fall asleep.

  12. My WIAW post was called “Everything I eat looks like…” and I left out the “poo” part but it was implied. Sometimes the tastiest meals are the ugliest. Yours sounds delicious even if it looks less so! Thanks for sharing.

  13. I have to keep the house 67 or below at night otherwise I wake up SO hot. During the day I like it more around 70 though!

  14. In the summer I am a stomach sleeper with my hands above my heaD – although Dr. Stratton yelled at me because he said it’s causing me neck pain. So now I sleep on my left side (it actually aides in digestion too!)

  15. I have the WORST sleep disorder: night terrors. They come in cycles (a night terror-free week for me) and usually end up with me standing/sitting up somewhere randomly in my room or shaking my boyfriend awake mumbling something.

  16. Smore says:

    Butternut squash in oatmeal? Interesting! I have a container of mashed squash in my fridge so I might give this a try today. I hope your sleep gets better! Lack of of a good night’s sleep totally affects my entire day!

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