Are you sleeping well?
A good night sleep is as essential to well-being as any other factor – nutrient dense foods, exercise, positive attitude, proper hydration, and stress management. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders each year, and an additional 20 million people experience occasional sleep problems. In February 2016, results of a study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
e body needs deep sleep to repair the systems that keep the body going. Sleep is like having a nightly tune-up, which keeps things running smoothly. Sleep is essential (along with proper nutrition) to keep the hormones balanced, so we are always getting the right signals. It also helps increase the sex drive and decrease stress. Further, the immune system is regulated and balanced when we sleep. Finally, sleep is essential for normal nervous system function – the ability to function both physically and mentally.
Missing out on just 90 minutes of sleep, for one night, can reduce daytime alertness by 32%. If that isn’t bad enough, it increases ghrlen (hormone that makes you hungry). And this tired-hunger does not motivate you to eat steak and healthy fats. This hunger is the cookie monster within all of us that comes out when we are tired: It wants sweets to jack up blood sugar. In addition, our body tries to keep us awake by increasing the stress hormone cortisol, which prohibits us from thinking clearly. The long-term consequences to sleep deprivation is decreased immune function (you get a cold or flu), and development of autoimmune issues, as well as cancer. Lack of sleep will promote weight gain, body-wide inflammation, and high blood pressure, which leads to heart failure and strokes.
What can be done to sleep more soundly?
Develop a sleep-friendly bedtime routine: Turn office all electronic 30-45 minutes before bed. Also, turn down lights and write down your priorities/worries for the next day. Then forget about it! Worrying won’t accomplish anything except a bad night’s sleep. Finally, read, meditate, or pray.
Eat protein (peanut butter, meat, eggs, Ezekiel bread) half hour before bed to regulate blood sugar.
Perform some deep breathing exercises.
Diffuse a relaxing DoTERRA Oil such a lemongrass or lavender. Also consider diffusing Breathe, which opens the respiratory passageways, decreasing snoring in men and women.
Sex will release hormones that promotes relaxation and can help improve sleep.
There are several supplement options in the office that I recommend depending upon age, sex, and type(s) of sleep issues. I commonly recommend Min-Tran from Standard Process to produce a mild, relaxing effect before sleeping. For more difficult cases, the right mix of Mediherb products Valerian complex, Nervagesic, and Kava Forte tends to do the trick. If sleep is a challenge for you, let me know at your next visit. We’ll discuss your specific situation and come up with the best supplement or combination of supplements for you.