This week I was not traveling because I have some big news to share with you next week.
Not traveling means I got a chance to catch up on a few journal articles and podcasts (both listening and being a guest) and sometime during the week, I realized it’s almost Valentine’s Day!
What is one of the first things we think about when we think of Valentine’s day?
In my house, it’s Chocolate of course!
Amazingly, 58 million pounds of chocolate will be purchased during the week of Valentine’s day, if you do the math a Hershey’s Kiss is roughly 4.5g. If there are 454 grams in a pound (or about 100 “kisses”), this would equal 5.8 billion kisses, that’s almost enough to give every person on the planet a Hershey’s Kiss!
That my friend is a lot of love and chocolate.
The big question everyone asks is, “will a belly full of chocolate have an effect on my sleep?”
The ANSWER: Probably NOT. Information supplied by the Hershey company shows that caffeine content differs depending upon the type and amount of ingredients in the chocolate. Many people have no idea that dark chocolate appears to have a greater caffeine content than milk chocolate. Here are a few of my favorites, that will taste great without keeping you awake:
- Chocolate kisses (milk) ….9 pieces…11.2mg caffeine
- Chocolate kisses (dark)….9 pieces…24.8 mg caffeine
- Reese’s peanut butter cups (2) ……..5.3mg caffeine
- Reese’s pieces…..40 (Pieces)…………….0mg caffeine
- Chocolate Syrup (milk)……..2 Tbsp…..5.4mg caffeine
- Chocolate Syrup (dark)……..2 Tbsp…..8.0 mg caffeine
- Goodnight Kisses Hot Cocoa..1 packet…4.8mg caffeine
If you stick to only a few pieces (<10) from a caffeine perspective, you will be in good shape.
But don’t be fooled by caffeine alone, the sugar in chocolate can affect your sleep too. Remember my recent blog post on Sleep and Sugar?
Why do we even give Chocolate to our friends, partners, lovers, and spouses for Valentine’s Day, here is a little history:
According to Smithsonian Magazine:
It turns out that chocolate really has a history as a love food. Passion for chocolate is rooted in Mesoamerican history. It was a highly-prized luxury item among Mayan and Aztec upper class elites, who were known to savor a drink that combined roasted cacao beans with cornmeal, vanilla, honey, and chilies. Cacao beans were as valuable a commodity as gold and were even used to pay taxes levied by Aztec rulers.
Fast forward to the 1840s when Richard Cadbury (of Cadbury Egg fame), developed the first “eating chocolates” vs the drinking kind and put them in beautiful boxes where women would store their love letters.
By 1907 Milton Hershey made “kisses” and the world was hooked.
One of the most interesting aspects of chocolate is its reported aphrodisiac qualities (making those who eat it feel a little more romantic).
Is Chocolate an aphrodisiac? Well, I’ll let you do decide ;).
Here’s what I can I tell you about sleep and romance.
- Relationships and Sleep-A University of Arizona Study looked at the effect of poor sleep on relationships and found a vicious cycle! Conflict during the day leads to poor sleep at night, which lead to more conflict during the day. Previously scientists thought that poor sleep had an impact on mood and relationships, but the newest research shows this to be a two-way street! While this study was with 29 co-sleepers without children, I would imagine that these results might be even worse for parents!
- Another study suggests that poor sleep may contribute to a lack of appreciation between romantic partners. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley conducted a multi-part study to examine how sleep may affect people’s feelings of gratitude, and the ability to value and appreciate romantic partners. The study was presented recently at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The third section of the study looked specifically at how sleep affects the dynamic of gratitude and appreciation between couples. Their results showed that people tended to feel less appreciated by their partners if either they or their partner slept poorly. The last finding is particularly interesting. A lack of sleep by one person in the relationship resulted in a greater likelihood of diminished feelings of appreciation by both partners. This suggests just how deeply sleep can influence the emotional dynamic of a relationship.
- Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School examined the impact of sleep on the sexual behavior of 171 women. These results suggest both a day-to-day and cumulative relationship between sleep and sexual behavior in women. Not getting enough sleep can put a damper on sexual desire and sexual function in women.
The research is pretty clear, start all your romantic days (and every day) with a good night of sleep!
So, what should you consider giving your Valentine this year?
For a sleep-friendly chocolate snack, try NightFood
For a unique Valentine’s gift, give Heart Shaped Whoopie Pies.
- Give the gift of good sleep:
My favorite pillow
Give someone you love a Sleep Course
Consider a sleep supplement
- Give the gift of a massage
A relaxing massage before bed, will help with both falling asleep and staying asleep. Massaging the neck and back can be particularly relaxing, but in many cases, a simple foot massage can be relaxing as well.
Valentine’s Day is a day of fun and romance, sleep well and connect deeply with those you love this week, no gift is as good as your sincere attention and a good night of sleep.
Here are a few recent articles and programs I’ve been on recently that you may enjoy.
Sunday Express (UK) – Three Foods To Eat Before Bed To Help You Get A Good Night’s Sleep