According to new research from Duke University Medical Center, tossing and turning could have big health implications—especially for women. “Women who reported taking a half an hour or more to fall asleep showed a worse risk profile for heart disease than men who had sleep problems,” says Edward C. Suarez, MD, lead author of the study. Suarez says gender differences in the function of serotonin, melatonin, and tryptophan—brain chemicals involved in both mood and cardiovascular health—could explain the findings.
Already tried getting into bed earlier and turning off the tube and computer well before bedtime? Try one of these sleep tips from acupuncturist Ania Grimone, LAc:
Jujube, also known as red date or Chinese date, is a common ingredient in natural sleep aids. Check your local Asian grocer to find the fruit or a tea made with it.
The Heart-7 acupressure point can help you relax deeply. To find it, hold your hand up, palm facing you. Press just on the crease of your wrist, about a half-inch from where the palm begins on the pinkie-finger side. Pressure should be strong enough to elicit a dull ache. Hold for two or three minutes.
Breathe deeply, making your inhale and exhale even. If it helps, put your hand on your belly to feel it rise and fall as you breathe; count to three as you breathe in and count to three as you breathe out.