First, let us say, you are not alone! An estimated 60 million other people are staring at their ceilings at 3 am. Some may look into medications to assist in sleep while others will look into some type of homeopathic treatment. To help guide you, it’s important to understand that not getting enough sleep can be caused by daily influences. We will discuss the top 3:
Yes, your PC, laptop, tablet, and phone all have LED screens which emit blue light. Study after study shows blue light reduces the production of melatonin, which your body produces to signal the brain it’s time for bed.
Thankfully, developers of these systems have offered a solution. iPhone and iPad users can turn on Night Shift, which changes the color of your screen to a warmer, red-orange filter. It can even be scheduled to change color after a specific time in the evening.
For your desktop and laptop try Flux, which automatically adjusts based on your time-zone throughout the day. Android users can try Twilight which is similar to Flux and will adjust automatically during the day.
BUT…I LOVE my coffee!!! So do we, but we also love sleep. It’s important to know, a few cups of coffee can affect a 25-year old much differently than a 45-year old. Studies show this is because of our metabolism slows as we age making the amount of caffeine in our system, greater for longer. What was a normal ‘couple of cups’ per day may actually be keeping the 45-year old awake.
Try cutting the amount of coffee or even the strength of coffee you drink per day. You can still have your warm morning ritual, but it won’t be keeping you awake at night.
#3 Anxiety & Stress
New research suggests that sleep deprivation can cause anxiety and likewise, anxiety can cause sleep disruption. Studies also show that some form of sleep disruption is present in nearly all psychiatric disorders.
Plainly put, sleep is important and allows the brain to reboot. Stress and anxiety go hand in hand and learning to reduce your stress will likely reduce anxiety.
So, what else will help you get the most coveted sleep? Here are a few options:
Meditation- Slowing your breathing, training your brain to slow down (or be quiet) goes a long way in this fast-paced world. Thankfully, meditation is taught by Renee Masse, Wellness Coach and Reiki Master. Her contact number is (321)722-2860.
Exercise- A necessary evil. Most people dislike exercise, but sweating and literally burning off catecholamines (hormones like adrenaline that get released into the bloodstream when you’re physically or emotionally stressed) can get you back to a place of blissful slumber. A newly released study from the National Sleep Foundation found that getting 150 minutes per week of exercise significantly improve sleep. Regular exercise basically sweats out the bad stuff, boosts the good stuff and makes you feel better so it’s best to make room for it in your life. Embrace it. Accept it… and let’s get some good sleep in.
Hormones – If your hormone levels are off, it can affect your sleep. Progesterone especially when levels are low, can negatively impact women specifically during peri-menopause and menopause. Seeing a Board Certified Bio-identical Hormone doctor who can run a few laboratory tests to see where your hormones fall is highly suggested. We recommend Michael Lesser, M.D., who is Board Certified in Anti-Aging and Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (321)722-2860.
L-Tryptophan – Is exactly why babies are always milk-drunk after feeding. Milk is full of L-Tryptophan, also why we’re all groggy after Thanksgiving dinner as L-Tryptophan is found in turkey! Some other foods where you’ll find L-Tryptophan: cheese, eggs, tofu, pineapple, bananas, nuts, and seeds.
Melatonin – This hormone helps to regulate the night to day- sleep to wake cycle. Taking Melatonin can help increase the time that you fall asleep.
Relaxation Music – There are lots of choices with relaxation music. Your Amazon Echo will play some for you if you just ask. Apple iTunes has many relaxation offerings as well as Amazon Fire stick, which will play a solid 9 hours of the wonderful sound of light rain and even dim the screen on your TV.
A mix of a few of these listed may help to induce the glorious sleep everyone is after. Dim your gadgets, cut down on the caffeine, yes do exercise, hit the spa for some meditation and relaxation services like massage or a facial, get your hormones checked if you’re over 40, turn on some relaxation music and eat some turkey or maybe a banana.
Let us know how it goes! zzzzzzzzzzzzzz