I'll do anything to get a good night's sleep, except go to bed early. I'll take (half) a sleeping pill, I'll drink (almost all of) a bottle of wine. And now I will eat almond butter before bed.
A friend told me about the trick, which I mentioned in an article about Tim Ferriss' recent book, The 4-Hour Body. I vowed to do a five-day trial and write this article. Three weeks passed, and in that time, I've eaten three-quarters of a jar of almond butter.
I ask my husband if he wants to try it with me. He picks up the jar. "And eat 200 calories and 14g of fat right before bed? No, thanks!" Hmm, I think, he's got a point. Regardless, I eat it.
- The setting: one-half a sleeping pill, almond butter, 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
- The result: I wake up feeling great. No surprise there.
- The setting: three glasses of wine, almond butter, and 5-6 hours of sleep.
- The result: I wake up feeling pretty great. Huh.
- The setting: no almond butter, 5-6 hours of sleep.
- The result: I wake up tired.
- The setting: two glasses of wine, no almond butter, 7-8 hours of sleep.
- The result: I wake up feeling only OK.
- The setting: two glasses of wine, almond butter, 6 hours of sleep.
- The result: I wake up feeling pretty good.
- The setting: almond butter, six hours of sleep.
- The result: I feel exhausted.
And so on, for three weeks.
Short of making a chart to properly analyse my results, here's the way I'm moving forward:
If I'm going to get less than five hours of sleep, almond butter will almost definitely make me feel better in the morning. In my three-week trial, I probably ate it 7-8 times, and only once did I feel no benefit at all.
If I'm going to bed after drinking more than two glasses of wine (or eating a huge piece of chocolate cake), it will almost definitely minimise any hangover-like symptoms I might suffer by regulating my blood sugar throughout the night.
So yes, I will always keep almond butter in my bathroom with a spoon. And now that I'm thinking about the benefits of a good night's sleep, I might even try to go to bed earlier.