Sleeping Issues and a Cooking Class Recipe

May 11, 2009


Can you fall asleep?

I have terrible sleeping problems, so when I was contacted about a new online resource, SleepTonight.com, which provides information about insomnia, I was very interested.  I have been lucky since coming to Cambodia: living here must really agree with me because after months and even years of sleeping poorly (nightmares and waking up frequently throughout the night), I am somehow finding myself able to sleep solidly throughout the night and without nightmares haunting me. It is a wonderful relief.

That being said, my newfound ability to sleep is a total fluke, and I’m not counting on it sticking around when I go back to Canada in a few weeks (the call for guest posts is still open, by the way!). When I used to have recurring nightmares, the best way to stop them from recurring was to figure out what exactly they meant. So I’m interested in this website because it looks at the science behind insomnia. It could be that from researching sleep problems and understanding a little bit more about them, we will be able to get better sleep. It’s worth a shot, anyways.  Anyone else out there have difficulties sleeping? What are some of your remedies?

Mango with Sticky Rice and Caramel Sauce



2 cups sticky rice

4 tbsp palm sugar

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 ripe mangos, sliced into pieces

1/2 tbsp butter

Sesame seeds


1. Steam the sticky rice until well cooked.

2. Cook the coconut milk in a pan until boiling. Add palm sugar and keep stirring; boil about 5 minutes. Add butter and a little bit of water and mix until smooth.


3. Arrange the sliced mango on a plate and place some of the sticky rice in the middle of the plate. Pour some of the caramel sauce on the mango slices and sticky rice, and add shredded coconut and sesame seeds on top of the rice if desired.


Enjoy! Recipe serves four.



  1. I take it you’re outside in the sunlight a bit more in Cambodia? Few people realize that we need daily exposure to natural light, and preferably some sunlight to regulate our circadian rhythms. The natural light is thought to enter the eyes and stimulate the pineal gland, which releases melatonin (to help us sleep properly) and serotonin (to make us feel good). That is why people in cold climates are so prone to depression and poor sleeping habits… they don’t spend enough times outside!

    That dish looks amazing…

  2. SO SORRY you are sleepstruggling.
    Ive always been a lightlight sleeper (translation: Ive always had sleep problems) and it is so frustrating!

    again, thanks for all the cool posts!

  3. Sleep, ah yes, I find that reading before bed helps rather than staring at the computer screen or tv. I also find that I have to hide all the extra lights like the stupid alarm clock! I sleep well mostly though, except when hubby wakes me up from the snore snore!

    Glad you’re getting some good zz’s out there Sagan!

  4. Mmmm! I love mangoes!! And I’m glad your sleep issues are resolving on your trip. You never know – maybe your body just needed a chance to reset and it will stay that way when you return!

  5. Hey Sagan!

    Consider using white noise, like a fan when trying to fall asleep, and Melatonin at as low a dose as possible. I take 1 mg h.s. Hope this will be helpful. I think everyone has sleep problems at times. Take care!

  6. that looks so delicious!! I have trouble sleeping sometimes, my mind doesn’t want to stop thinking! haven’t figured it all out, but sometimes a cup of warm milk helps…

  7. i love love LOVE mangos and these dish looks DELISH! yumyumyum!

  8. My husband has sleeping problems so I know it’s awful when you can’t sleep properly. It also usually improves when he is away, so I hope you will be able to take some of your good zzz’s back to Canada.

    Those mangoes are making me drool. C’mon summer come back!

  9. Hanlie- thanks for that information! Really interesting. There might just be something to that…

    MizFit- am sorry you also have problems! Can’t imagine having a Tornado around the house helps much with that one 😉

    Rupal- when I used to have a dog she woke me up from her snoring too. Hehe.

    Charlotte- one can dream!

    Dr. J- I think you’re right about everyone having these problems at some point. Am reluctant to take ANYTHING, though… I hate the idea of getting dependent on something. Control issues, y’know 🙂

    ttfn300- sounds like we’ve all got a couple problems, sighs. I hope you figure yours out.

    Shannon- oohhh it was 😀

    Spring Girl- interesting that his improves when he’s away too! Maybe there’s more stress in our lives at home than we think?

  10. I am sorry to hear you’re having sleep troubles. You’re not alone! In fact, I write this just after 6am, after another night of frequent interruptions. I wake up constantly throughout the night… it’s torture. Getting to sleep is OK. I have a few “meditations” that I do to help me drift off. But I typically wake up at 3 or so, then every hour after that until I give up on sleep and make a cup of coffee. I will check out that website – I’d love to have better sleep, too. Good luck!

  11. Mango sweet Mango… I have to wait so long until you are in season again….. I love this dish, I could almost say the perfect dessert!

  12. I swear by Melatonin! Like you, though, I really hate to rely on something. I don’t take it every single night – maybe 3-4 nights a week? And I try to go a week without it every few months. But I’ve learned that rested Holly = happy, sane Holly, so until then I’m sold!

  13. My husband has problems with insomnia. He recently saw a sleep specialist for other sleep weirdness he has, and the doctor “prescribed” the book “No More Sleepless Nights” by Peter Hauri. It’s too soon to say if the methods in the book will help my husband, but the sleep doctor was very keen on the book.

    Hope you get some sleep and enjoy the rest of your time in Cambodia!

  14. good luck. Not being able to sleep is horrible. I, fortunately, don’t have that problem but have in the past and it is pure hell. Try chamomile tea. That always helped me:)

  15. I hate when I can’t sleep. I don’t have any solutions for ya, but for me I have to have complete silence. I can’t sleep with music on or the tv or a dog barking. I need quiet!

    And the sticky rice looks yummy!

  16. I wish I could give you advice on sleep, but I regularly sleep really well. the only time I had insomnia (and it got pretty bad) was when I was going through really bad personal problems and got depression and everything. I took pills for a while, but they made me feel like death, so I just rode it until it slowly went away 🙂 As my personal life came back into place, depression receded and insomnia faded.
    Thansk for the great recipe!!! It just looks like you’re learning so much over there!

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