Goodbye Insomnia- Hello Quality Sleep!

 


Getting quality sleep goes a LONG way in achieving optimal health and healing.

When it comes right down to it, getting  good sleep is right up there with eating a healthy diet if you are working on tweaking your health.
Lack of sleep is causing obesity, depression, sickness, and accelerated aging. If you are not sleeping well, it’s important to put some practical tips in place to ensure a better night’s sleep and avoid insomnia.  We  function better when we are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night, this helps us mentally, emotionally, and physically the next day 🙂

Let’s face it, we live in a fast paced world and it’s not easy, I get it.
Sometimes we stay up way to late and then get up early or simply get very broken sleep if any at all.
When this goes on and on, it’s time to be addressed before our body and mind start to have negative ramifications.

 

Why Is Sleep Important?

Over time, sleep deprivation has some real ugly effects on our health.  It has a cumulative effect so to speak. This is not something you want to let go.  I have heard some talk as if they were super hero status because of how long they can go without much sleep or any sleep at all.  This is unwise to say the least.

When you are not getting quality sleep, this increases the body’s stress load.  When the body continues with this “stress load” it leads to inflammation, hormone imbalances, and a poor functioning immune system.

Our body has a sleep/wake cycle called “circadian rhythm”. It’s basically a 24 hr. internal clock that is constantly running in your brain.  When this sleep/wake cycle gets disrupted it can cause you to feel out of sorts and you tend to lose your focus. When this cycle CONTINUES to be disrupted day in and day out it starts to affect many body processes such as cell regeneration, hormone production, brain activity, cardiovascular health, obesity, mood disorders, and other biological activities, Recently, researchers studying chronobiology were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. They discovered the master genes that dictate your body’s circadian rhythm.

 

How Does Lack Of Sleep Impact Health?

When you sleep, your brain sends signals to your body to release hormones and compounds that help lower our risk for health conditions, memory retention, managing hunger levels, maintaining our immune system, etc…   When you lack sleep, this greatly hinders your body from releasing these vitally important compounds and hormones, thus begins the cascade of health problems. There is one study in particular that reveals how lack of sleep increases risk of premature death.  See this study here.

Immune System – As you sleep, your body’s immune system releases cytokines, these compounds are used to protect your immune system, they help fight infection and reduce inflammation.  As you would guess, lack of sleep increases risk for chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc…

Weight Gain – Just two of the many hormones that sleep has an affect on are leptin and ghrelin, these control hunger and fullness. Leptin sends signals to your brain that you have had enough to eat. When sleep deprived, your brain lowers leptin levels and raises ghrelin an appetite stimulant.The flux of these two hormones could be responsible for night time “snacking” or eating to much at night leading to weight gain.  To make matters worse your get up and go now feels like it got up and went, so……forget about feeling like exercising. Lack of sleep also causes your body to release higher amounts of insulin after you finish eating.  Insulin helps keep your blood sugar level in check.  When you have higher insulin levels  it promotes fat storage and your risk for type 2 diabetes goes up.  🙁  Cortisol levels are also another hormone that get out of check from improper sleep. See here. Elevated cortisol levels lead to belly fat and a whole host of problems. Not getting the sleep you need is a stressor to the body and ongoing stress raises cortisol levels. See here for study.

Cardio Health – Sleep affects blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation levels.  These all work in tandem to keep your heart and blood vessels healthy and strong. Lack of sleep has a negative effect on heart health.  Check out this study on how insomnia has a connection to heart events.

Endocrine Health – Hormone production depends on your sleep.  Just for testosterone production alone you need at least 3 hours of sound sleep. Human growth hormone that is needed to repair cells and tissues and build muscle mass is hindered by little sleep. Poor sleep leads to increase in cortisol production. When cortisol levels remain high you set yourself up for health disasters.  High cortisol levels also increase “belly fat”.

 

Ways To Get Quality Sleep

  1.  Shut those devices off! That’s right, power them down at least a couple of hours before you want to go nighty-night 🙂
    TV included.But Why??

    The blue light in these devices drastically slows down melatonin production and in some cases stops it altogether! Melatonin is a hormone that is  predominantly made in the brain by the pineal gland. For melatonin to be made, it needs to be dark!  Even the light from your clock or night light will reduce melatonin production. Why is melatonin so important? It helps optimize sleep duration and sleep efficiency. As we age our melatonin levels drop, many older people complain of getting poor quality sleep.  It is not uncommon to hear younger people now complaining of not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep, is it any wonder?  Younger people are now experiencing age related sleep issues because they can’t get off those devices.  Melatonin has many health promoting benefits as well,
    BUT……….
    that being said don’t just willy nilly go out and buy some melatonin pills and start popping them.
    You should only take melatonin supplements if all else fails and only do so under your doctors supervision.  High levels of melatonin can be just as harmful as low levels and can actually work as a pro oxidant rather than an anti oxidant. Another thing, if you keep relying on melatonin supplements to go to sleep it is possible that your body will simply stop producing it because it’s coming from another source and you don’t want that, it’s best to encourage your body to make its own.  Try to boost your levels naturally by applying the tips in this article. Need a little convincing about how devices will prevent you from sleeping?
    See these studies here, here, and here.  You can also install something that is completely free on all your devices and computers to help reduce the blue light and save your eyesight as well.
    Click here to get it for FREE.

     

  2. Make sure to include good fats and proteins at dinner time and cut the carbs altogether or reduce them, with the exception of honey which I will explain later.Protein foods help provide L-tryptophan needed for melatonin and serotonin production.  Healthy fats like eggs, avacado, nuts, coconut oil, or butter help supply the body with what it needs to make sleep hormones.  It is best to stop eating about 3 hours before bed.  The fats and proteins should hold you well till morning and ensure you get a better sleep.
  3. Avoid caffeine well before bedtime, this includes not only coffee but teas, chocolate, and sodas as well.
  4. Stop drinking fluids at least 2-3 hours before bed to save you from having to break your sleep and using the bathroom.
  5. Keep room temperature between 60- 68, this has been shown to be  good temperature for sleeping.
  6. Make sure your bed is no where near the circuit breaker box in the basement.

    For example you don’t want to place your bed over the power box that is just below you or for that matter no closer than 9 feet from any place you sleep or spend a lot of time.  Usually the meter attached to the outside of your house is very close to where the box is inside, that is also a no no.  These both emit powerfully strong electro- magnetic fields that not only interrupt sleep but also wreak havoc on your health!  I have a tri-field meter I use to measure these fields.  Anything over 1 milligauss is said to be harmful and when I measured where I was sitting on my couch which was just above that breaker box in the basement and the meter was also just on the other side of the wall where our head is, it went GARBONZO and was at least 75-100 milligauss!!!!!!!  Nothing like cooking yourself, YIKES! Good news, you don’t need  a tri field meter, just be careful as to how you place your furniture, make sure to be at least 6-9 feet away from these things. Oh, and keep those plugged in alarm clocks away from your head, not only does the light inhibit your sleep but they generally emit quite a bit of those emfs as well.
  7. Exercising for 30 minutes a day has also proven to enhance sleeping
    at night
    but……don’t do it before bedtime as that will actually keep you awake. 

    Studies show that morning time is best!
  8. Get rid of Wi-Fi!!!!!!
     I like to call it Wi-Fry?!  It is wireless radiation that has a MAJOR impact on your sleep and health!!!!!!!!!  Ok, you can throw tomatoes at me now  🙂  Seriously, wi-fi radiation can inhibit melatonin production. You don’t have to take my word for it, see some studies on the impact of this radiation here, here, here, and here, here, and here. Some even put the router right in their bedroom!  YIKES! I have had many women come to me and say that they believe their hormones are out of balance and that it is affecting their sleep.  They may be very well right but………………………… a lot of our daily life style habits are counter productive to having hormone balance. Just the wi-fi alone in my opinion, after looking at the research, is a major attack on our hormones and endocrine system. Some will go on hormone balancing protocols and not remove some of the culprits from their homes and life styles and it becomes a never ending cycle. If you have wi-fi, just removing that from your home can have a positive impact on your sleep, hormones, and health right there! Not only is this free, it will save you money too!  Something to seriously consider.  As far as hormones go, if you are implementing a good diet, getting good sleep, and exercising and making healthy life style changes like the ones mentioned here, your hormones will most likely start to balance out.  Give your body what it needs to thrive and you will be amazed at what it can do.
  9. Magnesium oil works wonders as a sleep promoting and stress reducing mineral.
      I put this oil on topically and love the calmness it induces. Check out this study. Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for calming and relaxing you. Magnesium also helps regulate melatonin production as well. This mineral also binds to GABA receptors in the brain. Gaba is a neurotransmitter that quiets the nerves and helps your body and mind prepare for sleep. This is the one I use topically and the magnesium supplement I use internally. More studies on magnesium here, here, and here.

Almost all of the above is free. 🙂  In some cases, you will actually save money! These lifestyle changes will go a long way to enhance your health.

10. Lastly, Raw Honey To The Rescue!!!!!!!

This miracle of a super food has helped even the hardest cases when it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep.  It has been used as a reliable way to ensure a good night’s sleep for countless people 🙂  Honey is amazing. Make sure it is high quality honey that is unfiltered and raw, the real deal, not some little plastic bear filled with fake honey.

So, how on earth does honey work to help you fall asleep?! 

Raw honey has an ideal ratio of fructose to glucose to support the liver. The liver  works around the clock including when you sleep.  Honey also ensures that your liver will get an adequate supply of liver glycogen for your body as it is fasting through the night.  An adult liver can store somewhere between 75-100 grams of glycogen.  The body will use some where about 10 grams of glycogen each hour.  Let’s say that you eat dinner around 5:30 – 6:00 and go to bed around 10:30, by then your body will have utilized up to half of your liver’s supply of glycogen, now you will have less glycogen than what you need to sleep for 8 hours. Here’s where honey comes in  🙂  When you eat honey before bed, you are restocking your liver with the much needed glycogen and it will help you get through the night without your brain triggering an alert to search for fuel which will usually wake you up. Raw honey is feeding your brain while you saw those logs  🙂

The other thing that raw honey does in helping you get some quality sleep and actually staying asleep is that it contributes to the release of melatonin in your brain. Honey will trigger a small spike in your insulin level and insulin causes your brain to release tryptophan.  Tryptophan converts to serotonin which converts to melatonin.  The neat thing is that the melatonin  inhibits the release of insulin so as to help stabilize blood sugars through the night. Melatonin aka the “Wellness Hormone”enhances our immune system and helps to rebuild our tissues when sleeping.  It’s a win-win with melatonin in that as it helps you fall asleep quicker, heal quicker and rejuvenates you for the next day!

Most people start with 1 teaspoon RAW and unfiltered  honey about 30 minutes before bed.  If 1 teaspoon isn’t quite doing it for you, then increase to 2 teaspoons or even 1 tablespoon.  Give this at least 1 week to see if it will make a difference. I am hopeful that it will. You may need to experiment with the dose size and see what works for you. this method works best when you consume a low carb dinner, concentrate on healthy protein foods and good fats and vegetables.

**What About Sleep Aids?

If you have tried all of the above and you still are not getting the quality sleep that you need each night it may be time to consider a  sleep aid.  Ideally, the goal is to make life style changes like the ones I mentioned above and not  become codependent on supplements to fall asleep. I do realize that sometimes we need a little help to get back on track, TEMPORARILY.  I will mention a supplement that will help facilitate sleep but as always you need to work with your family physician to make sure the supplement is right for YOU.  When trying to find a sleep aid, do so under your doctor’s supervision and I don’t recommend staying on one for the long term.  To many people want to pop a pill instead of making life style changes which is the optimal way to get better sleep. However, if you need to take a sleep aid, I would take an all natural over the counter sleep aid supplement any day over a pharmaceutical one that is most likely not without harmful side effects.  That being said, even with a natural  sleep aid supplement, check with your physician first. Another thing I would do is to take a half dose and see if that will do the job, it’s better to use the smallest dose that is still effective.

**Essential Oils For Good Sleep

There are some oils that work very well at promoting a good night’s sleep.  They can be diffused or rubbed with a little coconut oil on the bottom of your feet. An essential oil blend  that works well is this one here.  One that can be used for children is here. These are very effective.  To see why we use this brand, see here. In the article you will also see a code you can use that will give you a discount on these sleep aid oils. There are ooooodles and oooodles of awesome testimonies using these sleep aid oils, read them when you go to the website and see for yourself  🙂 Oh, and if you have pets, be careful, what’s safe for you to breathe may not be for them.  If you are not sure, ask the company where you buy the oils, if they are a quality company they will have professional aromatherapists on board to answer those questions.  🙂

Want Better health? Make Sleep A Priority.

Better sleep can happen, you just have to make some changes.  You will notice more energy, better immunity, and better moods 🙂  You will start to have a better handle on life.  Please drop us a line and tell us what changes you implemented to get those zzzzz’s  🙂

 

 

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All the information on wellnesstwins.com is intended to help readers learn more about health and nutrition.  It is our strong recommendation that you consult with your physician before making any health changes and continue under your physicians  guidance and supervision .  We are not doctors.  No information on this website should replace your physicians care.  No information on this website is to be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any sickness.  Any statements about possible health benefits by foods or supplements mentioned on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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