Insomniacs | snack on tryptophan-rich food and carbohydrate

Food for Sleep

Will a cup of warm milk at bedtime entice the Sandman your way?

Research suggests there’s a link between food and sleep, say the authors of a comprehensive review of the effects of diet on sleep length and quality, and milk is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid important to sleep.

1001 Sleepless Nights

Before I decided to take the bull by the horns and actually do something about my insomnia, I was convinced there was little TO do. I believed my fate was sealed from birth: on top of being short and stubborn, I was destined to be on shaky terms with the night. I could curse the gods, or I could settle down and make the best of it.

Insomnia is more likely to develop if another family member has it

Insomnia: A Family Affair

Is a insomnia a heritable trait? Family and twin studies—and my own experience—suggest that vulnerability to insomnia is indeed passed on genetically.

insomnia leading to sleep loss ups your chances of obesity

Sleep Problems and Weight Gain

I get a serious case of the munchies when I’m feeling sleep-deprived. A few short nights is all it takes to propel me to the places where the good stuff is. I break into the chocolate, corn chips, cheese, and salted nuts with the zeal of a wild pig rooting for truffles, and I eat and eat.

The insomnia experienced by Mao may have been a circadian rhythm disorder

Most Famous Insomniacs: A Contender from the East

Every list of famous insomniacs is full of artists and actors, as well as historical giants such as Napoleon, Churchill, and Lincoln. Every person on the list is of European descent.

But research on insomnia is now coming out of the East, suggesting that insomnia is a phenomenon in Asian cultures too.

Coffee and Sleep: Are They Compatible?

I came of age when drinking caffeinated beverages was frowned on for people like me. Sleep experts exhorted people with insomnia to “stay away” from caffeine; a story in Working Woman stated that “the stimulant effect of coffee may last as long as 20 hours.”

Warnings like these made me feel guilty about indulging my java jones. Were my two cups of coffee, one at wake-up time and the other later in the morning, keeping me awake at night?

melatonin taken early in the evening more effective than if taken at bedtime

Melatonin: It’s All About Timing

Most insomniacs I’ve met dismiss melatonin supplements as useless, and with good reason. If you follow directions and take the melatonin an hour before bedtime, it’s little more than a sugar pill.

But taking a melatonin supplement several hours before bedtime may give you better results.

Sleep is unimportant to some writers, but not to Sancho Panza

Loving and Hating Sleep

Many famous writers have professed a low regard for sleep.

But Sancho Panza, Don Quixote’s loyal companion, held sleep in high esteem.