You wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep??
I woke up at 3:30, hot and uncomfortable, with lots on my mind. I then tossed and turned until I saw the sun coming up. I consult my sleep tracker app: worst sleep since I started tracking. Total time in bed: 6:51, sleep quality: 29%. Usually it’s around 70-80% Nice…
Last week I mentioned how to boost your sleep quality. No matter how you prepare, it’s inevitable that once in a while you just won’t get a good night’s sleep.
Now, one or two nights of bad sleep you can power through, for me, a couple cups of coffee does the trick. If you have more than a couple nights of bad sleep, your stress hormones become elevated, your decision making is impaired, you can become irritable, less effective at work, tired and impatient.
Here are some things you can do to combat these effects:
- A 30 minute nap can reverse the hormonal effects of a poor night’s sleep.
- A handful of goji berries can help reduce the effects of cortisol, a stress hormone.
- A cup of coffee or a couple cups of tea ~200 mg of caffeine can help improve judgment, notoriously impaired with sleep deprivation.
- Supplement with magnesium and tyrosine to balance stress hormones. Foods high in tyrosine include egg whites, seaweed, spirulina and cottage cheese. Foods with high magnesium content include spinach and swiss chard.
- A brisk walk or light exercise will help improve your energy levels. I don’t recommend a vigorous workout, as you won’t perform at your best, and may be more susceptible to injury.
Recipe of the Week
Most delicious (and simple) spaghetti sauce ever. It’s more of a tomato sauce, really. I don’t like a ton of vegetables in my spaghetti sauce like celery and carrots, but I do like onions.
1 can of San Marzano diced tomatoes (24 oz)
1 medium diced onion
4 cloves garlic
Red wine and bay leaf (optional)
A couple tablespoons olive oil
A little canola oil and butter
Some italian spices – thyme, oregano, basil
About a pound of ground beef
About a half pound of spicy italian sausage
Salt and pepper
Heat up a sauce pan to temperature to saute the onions and garlic. When it’s at temperature pour in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, swirl it around, and add the onion and garlic. Season with some salt and pepper. When the onions are translucent pour in the tomatoes and Italian spices and turn the heat to low. I like to blend up the sauce in a blender before I add the meat.
Bring a skillet to temperature. Put a little olive oil in there (I like to put a little butter too for flavor) to coat the pan, and put in the meat. Chop the meat up with a spatula as it browns. Add a little salt and pepper as it cooks. I only brown the meat slightly, leaving quite a bit pink, as I like to cook it all together in the sauce for better flavor.
Add the meat to the sauce and let it simmer for about 45 minutes total. During this time cook the spaghetti. Just before the spaghetti is done, heat up a sauce pan.
When the sauce pan is at the proper temperature, put in a bit of butter. Pour the spaghetti through a colander, then toss it in the buttered sauce pan. Add however much sauce you like and let it fry together for a couple minutes in the sauce pan. Plate the delicious amalgamation, grate some parmesan on top, and you are set. The sauce gets even better the next day.
Make a nice salad to go with the spaghetti and you are set!
– Alex Wiant DC