"There are two kinds of people: Those who sleep well, and those who do not." At least, that is what people who have trouble sleeping tell themselves. Countless people throughout the world suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine believe some types of food can cure this disease. In this article, we serve up some dishes that will help you get some quality sleep. Try them!
It is difficult in today's incredibly fast-paced world to get quality sleep. In fact, sleep has become a luxury enjoyed by very few people. According to an American medical report, people today are very busy with their careers, families and social functions. As a result, their average nightly sleep has been reduced one and a half hours compared with the previous generation. Meanwhile, insomnia, which can be caused by various factors, has become an illness that threatens people's health. Some data indicates 35 percent of Chinese suffer from insomnia; 17 percent of them report having a serious condition; and 77.3 percent of Chinese report being light sleepers. In Shanghai, for example, more than 40 percent of the residents report suffering from some degree of sleep disorder. Among them, women are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from sleep disorder. Many of those people have tried various soporifics, or sleep medicine, which have affected their health.
Studies indicate good sleep is a source of energy and, even more important, helps strengthen the body's immune system. That makes it easier for a body to fight off viruses. Experts suggest the average person needs between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
Having Difficulty Sleeping?
Three things---normal sleeping times, an adequate amount and quality rest---contribute to good sleep. Generally, there are three types of sleep disorder:
1. Difficulty falling asleep;
2. Having shallow sleep, or waking up easily; and
3. Waking up early or waking up frequently.
Some people do not take sleep disorder seriously, yet it can result in numerous difficulties. Chronic insomnia or sleep disorder can harm the body. It can also lead to poor concentration, poor judgment, poor immunity and various other disorders.
According to practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, sleep disorder is an illness caused by external factors or disorders involving internal organs---such as the heart, liver, gallbladder, stomach and/or kidneys.
Dealing with Sleep Disorder
1. Set a regular time for going to sleep;
2. Don't go to bed until you are ready to go to sleep;
3. Don't think of or plan for the next day just before going to bed;
4. Don't do other things, such as reading or making telephone calls, in bed;
5. Avoid taking stimulants, such as coffee, cola, cigarettes or chocolates in the evening;
6. Avoid drinking alcohol;
7. Avoid medications that can affect sleep;
8. Avoid irregular schedules;
9. Avoid sweet and/or greasy foods before going to bed. If hungry, try some milk, bread or fruit;
10. Create a cozy environment for sleeping;
11. Relax your mind;
12. Try sleep aids, such as earplugs and eyeshades;
13. Do some exercises;
14. Make love before going to sleep; and/or
15. Have a relaxing bath.
Nowadays, many people believe food is better than medicine, and in that spirit we offer some types of food that we believe can help cure sleep disorder.
Tremella and Lotus Seeds 雪耳红莲
Ingredients: 50 grams of tremella, 30 grams of fresh lotus seeds, 10-15 dried dates
Seasoning: 2-3 tablespoons of crystal sugar
1. Remove the hard and yellow parts of the tremella, soften it with warm water and steam it.
2. After cleaning, steam the lotus seeds with a cup of water; soak the dates in hot water till they are soft.
3. Add some water to a pot, put in the steamed tremella, lotus seeds and dates, stew for one hour before adding the crystal sugar and stewing for another 30 minutes.
Longan Tea 桂圆养神茶
Ingredients: 25 grams of dried longan pulp, 25 grams of Chinese yam, 25 grams of Chinese wolfberry and 25 grams of apricots.
Seasoning: 25 grams of honey
1. Stir the honey after adding in water that had been boiled.
2. Clean the longan, Chinese wolfberry and apricots with warm water.
3. Peel the Chinese yam after cleaning, slice it and steam it with all other ingredients over a medium fire for about 90 minutes.
Wheat Fragrant Porridge 麦香粥
Ingredients: 30 grams of wheat, 100 grams of round-grained rice, five dried jujubes.
1. Clean the wheat and cook it after adding water.
2. Remove the wheat but leave the soup, add in the rice and dates then cook them till they are done. Or, pound the wheat to pieces first and then cook it with dates and rice into porridge.
1. 10 grams of wild jujubes' stones. Pestle them into fine powder after adding white sugar. Take it with some warm water before sleeping.
2. 50 grams of fresh lily bulb, mix it with 1-2 spoons of honey. Steam the mixture for 15 minutes. Take it before sleeping.
3. 10 grams of walnut meat, 10 grams of sesame and 60 grams of mulberry leaves. Pestle them into pieces and mix them with some sugar. Take before sleeping.
4. 15 grams of fresh peanut leaves, 30 grams of red beans and a spoon of honey. Simmer them in water. Drink the soup and eat the dregs before sleeping.
5. 15 grams of black soybeans, 15 grams of wheat (shelled) and 30 grams of silk tree blossoms. Decoct them with six bowls of water to one bowl of ingredients. Take before sleeping.
6. 30 grams of round-grained rice and an optional amount of brown sugar. Pound the jujube stones into pieces, wrap them with gauze, put in a pot together with the rice, add 500 milliliters of water, then cook till the rice is done and the soup is thick. Remove the gauze package, add in red sugar, cover again with the lid and leave it for five minutes. Warm up and take it one hour before sleeping.
7. 60 grams each of Gorgon fruit, seeds of job's tears, kidney beans, lotus seeds, Chinese yam, red dates, longans and lilies and 150 grams of rice. Cook the previous herb medicine for 40 minutes, then add in rice, continue to cook all into porridge. Divide the mixture into several parts, add in sugar and take continuously for days.
8. 30 grams of dried day lilies. Cook with water for 30 minutes. Remove the dregs, add crystal sugar and cook for two more minutes. Warm it up and take it one hour before sleeping. Take it for 10 nights.
(Source: Women of China English Monthly)