Health & Wellness
Sleep is as vital to good health as clean water and nutritious food, yet sometimes a good night's sleep can seem impossible to achieve.
Stress, too much coffee, late-night eating—these and other factors can all make healthy slumber elusive.
To improve your sleep, try these tips for three or four weeks:
Stick to a routine. Try to go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day, including weekends.
Avoid taking sleeping pills. Continued use can actually increase sleeplessness.
Limit naps. If you have sleep problems, don't nap longer than 20 minutes.
Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Keep it quiet and dark, and reserve it for sleep and romance; use other parts of your home for eating, working, and watching TV.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Although it may make you sleepy at first, alcohol can cause light, fragmented sleep.
Increase daytime exercise. Regular physical activity helps reduce stress and increase deep sleep, but avoid strenuous exercise within two hours of your bedtime.
Mini Workouts Add Up
Interested in taking a class about Healthy Eating, Stress Management, or Tai Chi? See what Health Education at Kaiser Permanente has to offer. Many classes are open to non-members.
Featured Recipe by Dr. Preston Maring
Makes Four ServingsClick here for a printer-friendly version of this recipe
Life Changing Loaf of BreadIngredients
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup nuts - we used pecans and almonds
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 T chia seeds
4 T psyllium seed husks (3T if using powder)
1 t fine grain sea salt (add 1/2 t if using coarse salt)
1 T maple syrup
3 T melted coconut oil or ghee
1 1/2 cups water
In standard loaf pan lined with parchment, combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. Whisk maple syrup, oil, & water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients & mix very well until everything is completely soaked & dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it or lift the parchment.
Preheat oven to 350° F / 175° C.
Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, & bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing.Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!