Imagine the feeling of waking after a good night’s sleep. You feel refreshed, energized, and positive. Now, think of a time where you woke up feeling the opposite. Throughout the day you may have had trouble concentrating, became frustrated easier, and had increased food cravings. Does that sound familiar?
While most people recognize that sleep is crucial for maintaining good health, most of us don’t know about the more individualized effects it has on the body, whether you are getting too much or too little. Surely you have felt tired from a night of restless sleep, but were you aware that tossing and turning actually decreases your immunity? Encourages weight gain? Affects your short-term and long-term memory? Surprising, isn’t it?
The quality of your sleep can affect so many things, such as:
- The brain by increasing concentration and memory retention;
- Your mood by decreasing risk and prevalence of depression;
- Your disease risk by lowering chance for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes;
- Your immunity by strengthening immune function and decreasing risk of the common cold or developing other diseases such as cancer;
- Your athletic performance by improving speed, accuracy, and reaction times; and
- The body’s repair mechanism by lowering inflammation and repairing cellular damage which slows down aging.
The most common causes to your sleep and other health problems are:
- External Stress – 70 – 80% of all doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses;
- Detox Stress – The liver detoxes between 1 – 3 AM and the brain also detoxes while asleep;
- Adrenal Glands – The adrenal glands secrete hormones (eg. cortisol) including those which directly affect our
- Pain – Is one the of the most common underlying conditions of chronic insomnia;
- Parasites – Parasites are known to come alive at night time.
Following are some strategies to help improve sleep:
- Get 8 – 9 hours of sleep per night for an adult and between 10 – 12 hours per sleep per night for a child;
- Choose a consistent, early bedtime is the most helpful strategy to combat over-stimulation and trouble falling asleep;
- Find a practitioner (I can help if needed – schedule a free session with me here>>) who can use functional lab testing to identify underlying malfunctions in the body that can cause sleep issues:
- Hormone saliva testing to check your circadian rhythm, hormones and adrenal function;
- Gut stool testing to check for parasites and other gut function markers;
- Metabolic Assessment test to check for detoxification of the liver and also digestion and oxidative stress.
- The most common supplements – An effective first solution would be vitamins and other supplements such as:
- Natural melatonin supplement – this is my fave brand>>;
- L-Tryptophan – this is my fave brand that contains melatonin and L-Tryptophan>>;
- Valerian Root – this is my fave brand>>;
- St. Johns Wort – this is my fave brand>>;
- Chamomile – this is my fave brand>>.
- Remember to always consult your doctor before starting any type of supplement!
- Adopt sleep hygiene habits that promote real rest and recovery, such as:
- A warm epsom salt bath (also promotes detoxification);
- Essential oils (see below for some relaxing sleep blends);
- Meditation and relaxation techniques (the calm AP is great for kids or check out Amazon Music for many options);
- No technology or blue light at least one hour before bed (or you can get a pair of blue light blocking glasses);
- High protein snack several hours before bed;
- Avoid before bed snacks especially grains and sugar;
- Keep the room cool – Mimic body temp drop, set thermostat to <68.
The benefits of a good night sleep are much more valuable than ANYTHING keeping you away from it. Put you and your family first and set up a relaxing nightly routine catered to falling and staying to sleep.
I guarantee it will be life changing!
Essential oils are a very concentrated version of the natural oils found in plants, and they provide a host of health benefits. Try some of these essential oil blends either topically with a carrier oil, in a diffuser necklace or in a diffuser to help you prep your body for the perfect night’s sleep!
4 drops Lavender
3 drops Bergamot
2 drops Patchouli
2 drops Ylang Ylang
3 drops Sandalwood
3 drops vetiver
3 drops Lavender
2 drops Chamomile
Following are some of my favorite essential oils and calming drops for kids:
NB: And as always, I am not a medical doctor and the above post is based on my experience. No information on this site should be relied upon to make a medical diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure any disease or medical condition.