Sleep is one of the most important elements when it comes to repairing the body physically and mentally. The body repairs physically between 10 PM – 2 AM and mentally between 2 AM and 6 AM. About 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. A good night’s sleep helps promote cognitive function, overall health and happiness. In addition, children and adults who do not get enough sleep each night are at a higher risk for becoming obese or overweight.
Improper sleep can result from excessive night time levels of histamine, cortisol, glutamate, dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine or serotonin. Serotonin is critical to produce melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal gland that helps your body’s organs to slow down so you can sleep. In addition, lower levels of magnesium deficiency can also lead to poor sleep.
Here are 3 main ways to have a good night sleep:
1. Falling asleep:
Do you lie in bed unable to fall asleep? Thinking about the day or your long do-to list? I like to call it wired and tired.
In order to fall asleep you need to make sure you are not going to bed stressed…. here are some things to do to help your body calm down and fall asleep.
- Decrease screen time before bed. Eliminate the blue light at least 1 hour before bedtime. (TV, phone, computer, Ipad, etc)
- Also, try not to have any of these things in the bedroom with you since their EMF (Electronic Frequencies can disturb sleep as well).
- You can also try these blue light glasses that can decrease the interference too… https://amzn.to/2lpw0ls*
- Eliminate caffeine after 3:00 pm since this can also interfere with sleeping by stimulating the body.
- Try going to bed between 9- 10 PM since that is the time regenerative sleep happens and when your adrenals are being repaired (between 10:00-2:00am). Any later and you may get a 2nd wind which will then make it harder to fall asleep.
- Meditation. Did you know that the pituitary gland releases many feel good hormones during meditation including oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin and endorphins? This can definitely help get you into the sleep mode.
- Try the Relaxing Breath or 4-7-8 technique Dr. Weil suggests.
- Another helpful tactic is to tense and relax each body part (start with your head) and work your way down to your toes.
- Of course prayer works wonders too!
- Make a list of everything you have to do before you go to bed so that it’s not on your mind.
- TRY TEAS… Doing tulsi sleepy time tea is another great way. It is an andaptogenic herb that helps to calm the body. https://amzn.to/2k4EzC0*
2. Staying asleep:
If you are waking up soon after falling asleep you might be experiencing a hypnotic jerk. Your brain is trying to interpret the rush or feeling of falling into sleep too quickly and causes your body to jerk asleep. It is harmless, but annoying.
If you wake at certain times in the middle of the night it could be a specific system that needs some support according to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). For instance, if you wake at 2:00am your liver is having trouble. This TCM body clock can help.
Trying Phosphatidyl Serine can help keep your cortisol levels low and can help keep you in a deeper state of REM sleep.
3. Waking up refreshed:
You should wake every day refreshed and ready to attack the day. You definitely shouldn’t have to rely on coffee or caffeine to get you going the next day! Hormones may be part of the problem. We can run a hormone panel to determine your hormone levels and see if your morning cortisol is as high as it should be and what kind of pattern it is creating throughout the day.
Also, know that the time of the year and even the alignment of the planets can affect sleep. Sounds strange, but it is something to consider because it affects our northern and southern planetary pols which then affects everything on the planet! During a full moon sleeping hours are reduced by about 20 minutes and deep sleep by 30%!
Hopefully these tips will help with your sleep.
In health and happiness,