06 Oct 3 Remedies To Finally fall into the Sleep You’ve Been Dreaming About
Sleep, Stress and Strategies
Sleep is the one thing we all hope to get in the bedroom, and something that is so much harder to come by these days! Yet our choices can lead to unwanted sleep deprivation. Our bodies require sleep, and when our lives are compounded by the additional stressors we all face, we need it now more than ever.
With so many distractions, how do you prioritize sleep so you get the most out of one third of your life?
Sleep literally makes everything better
I have a few favorite nutrients and supplements that work wonders for me personally and for my clients, as well as some sleep hacks and strategies that really are non-negotiable when it comes to a good night’s sleep, which I share in my Vitality Masterclass on Sleep. But right now, I want to share with you my 3 Remedies for Sleeping Better.
Sleep restores and rejuvenates the body like nothing else. And the more we know and understand how our bodies work, the easier it is to make choices during the day that set us up for a better night’s sleep!
Hormonal Rhythms and Patterns
To thrive we need sleep in every 24 hour cycle–we may take it for granted, but our body doesn’t. So first I’d like to talk about sleep through the hormonal lens. Our endocrine system, or hormonal system literally keeps us in homeostasis. We all operate from a circadian rhythm, which means that like many animals, we get tired and sleep at night when it’s dark, and wake up to the light. We need REM and non-REM sleep.
Our bodies respond to the rhythms of nature, because we have those same rhythms within us. The same hormonal system regulates:
- our reproductive hormones
- body temperature
- sleep patterns
- and everything that makes us human.
That’s why we’re all the same temperature, and are all striving for optimal blood sugar balance. It’s why we have the same blood ph, build bones, exchange nutrients, and respond to stressors appropriately, as humans do.
Our hard working hormonal system is rested, restored, and detoxified at night when we sleep.
That’s why asking someone “How are you sleeping?” is my number one question when clients come to me for support, because it plays such a big role in our overall health. And I’ve heard every kind of answer – and I can tell you, going to bed too late, undiagnosed sleep apnea, screens, binge watching, and being a night owl all add up to impacting your health in a negative way.
Adrenals and Human Growth Hormone
Sleep restores and detoxifies the hormonal system, and supports our homeostasis. When you get a good nights sleep, you literally honor the circadian rhythm.
When I talk about restoration I am talking about resting your adrenals so you have energy the next day in the form of Cortisol. When you get a good night’s sleep, human growth hormone is released, which helps you to burn fat and build muscle.
While you sleep – your immune system goes to work to protect you during the day. In fact it kicks up into full gear at night – that’s why when you’re sick, you usually feel a little worse at night.
Three of my favorite remedies for nourishing sleep
1. Break your fast with protein, fat and fiber!
In the morning when you wake up, your hormone insulin is naturally lower, while your hormone cortisol is higher. To honor those rhythms and set yourself up for blood sugar balance, it’s important to have a breakfast that contains adequate protein, and satiating fats and fiber. This will keep insulin low, and give you the amino acid building blocks from protein for making sleep neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA. Balanced blood sugar throughout the day is one less stress for the body.
2. Have a starch with dinner.
Why do we go low carb, low starch for breakfast, and higher carb and a starch for dinner? Because starches help to calm the nervous system. And this is what we want in the evening because this supports sleep. And all those good proteins you ate earlier are now broken down into amino acids, and catch a ride on the glucose insulin bus to make the sleep neurotransmitters. Enjoy a balanced meal, and fill one quarter of your plate with something like beans, roasted root veggies, or winter squash.
3. Turn electronics off early.
The blue light from screens blocks the bodies ability to make melatonin, which is an essential nutrient for sleep. Melatonin is also an antioxidant to the brain and breasts, so we owe it to ourselves to go old school. Turn the lights down, read a book, listen to music, and support your sleep at least an hour before you lay down.
And before you buy blue light blocking glasses, consider that our electronics are also stimulating our brains and making it harder to get to sleep and more likely to experience insomnia. Proponents of sleep training suggest not only turning off electronics early but not using them in bed as it keeps us from the important patterns of associating our beds with going to sleep.
If you still want to learn more about how to improve and prioritize your sleep, I invite you to join my Vitality masterclass – Daytime Choices for Nighttime Rest. Sleep Well, Rejuvenate, and Restore! In this class, I’ll share some of my favorite supplements that have helped me and many of my clients to have a better night sleep.
It worked for me
When my dad died in 2014 I started waking up for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night, every night, with massive anxiety. I’ll share with you what I did to restore my sleep patterns so that my body was able to get back into rhythm and get a good night’s sleep. Let’s face it, good sleep is due to our incredible, amazing physiology that supports us all day and all night long.