Can’t sleep? The bad news is that, according to new studies, insomnia increases our mortality risk threefold. The good news is that other new studies suggest enticing non-drug cures.
A National Institutes of Health-supported study found that literally cooling the brain’s frontal cortex ― lowering its metabolism by inducing “cerebral hypothermia” with a soft, water-filled plastic “cooling cap” ― helps insomniacs drift off nearly as quickly, then sleep as long, as non-insomniacs.
A Japanese study affirms the power of high-amplitude “delta” brainwaves ― which can be induced via peptides (amino-acid bonds used in drugs) and brain-entrainment audio sessions ― to deepen sleep. And a tasty new British study proclaims a sleep-boosting superfruit: tart cherries, packed with the “sleep hormone,” melatonin.
Cherries are cheery, but Dr. Rubin Naiman ― author of The Yoga of Sleep ― says nature’s richest melatonin source is purslane, the sour, plump weed that was Gandhi’s favorite food.
“We become melatonin-suppressed as we age and through excessive exposure to bright light,” says Naiman, sleep specialist at A …