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Have you uttered this statement recently, or has this thought popped in your head on more than one occasion? If so, you are not alone. The CDC has declared insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. That’s a pretty sobering thought!
Sleep-related problems affect 50 to 70 million Americans of all ages and genders. Are you one of them?
Our current lifestyles and a lack of understanding of the impacts of sleep loss are contributing to our sleep-deprived states. How many times have you heard, or even said: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
If you are sleeping less than 6 hours per night, you are sleep deprived. Chronic sleep deprivation effects:
- Reaction times
- Learning abilities
- Hand-eye coordination
- Accuracy of short-term memory
Americans suffer from over 80 different sleep disorders. 80! And that does not even include the intermittent sleep problems we may experience. Sleep/Wake disorders include:
- Insomnia Disorder
- Hypersomnolence Disorder
- Breathing-related Sleep Disorders
- Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders
- Non-REM Sleep Arousal Disorders
- Nightmare Disorder
- REM Sleep Behavior Disorder
- Restless Leg Syndrome
- Substance/Medication-Induced Sleep Disorder
If you suffer from intermittent sleep problems, the following tips can help improve the quality of your sleep:
- Set regular times for going to bed and waking up. This includes weekends. While it is tempting to “sleep-in” it does disrupt your sleep/wake cycles.
- If you nap during the day, limit your nap to 45 minutes or less.
- Ensure your bed and bedding are comfortable.
- Limit the use of your bed to sleep and sex. This helps train your body to sleep when you are in bed. Eliminate the use of your bed as an office, workroom, movie theatre or TV room.
- Exercise regularly, just not right before bed.
- Beginning 6 hours before bed avoid caffeine. This means all caffeine sources, not just coffee and tea, but soft drinks and chocolate as well!
- At least 4 hours before bed, stop consuming alcoholic beverages, heavy, spicy or sugary foods. If you must eat before bed, a light snack is okay.
- Find a comfortable temperature for your bedroom and ensure the room is well ventilated, quiet, and eliminates as much light as possible.
Can changing your diet affect your sleep?
Yes! You can get better sleep by doing more than just avoiding caffeine and heavy foods at night. Consuming certain foods and beverages could help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
- Choose complex carbohydrates for your bedtime snack. Popcorn, oatmeal, whole-wheat crackers with nut butter are good choices. White bread, refined pasta, and sugary foods may reduce serotonin levels and impair sleep.
- Almonds and walnuts contain melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle. Eating almonds and walnuts can help increase your blood levels of serotonin and help you sleep more soundly.
- Foods that are high in lean protein, like cottage cheese, are also high in the amino acid tryptophan which may increase serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin can contribute to insomnia. If you top your cottage cheese with raspberries, you are adding a good source of melatonin.
- Herbal teas such as chamomile, ginger, and peppermint are calming choices before bed. Just double check to ensure they are caffeine free!
- Fruits that are high in melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. Tart cherry juice or whole tart cherries contain high levels of melatonin. Bananas, pineapple, and oranges are also good sources.
- Fruits and vegetables that are high in anti-oxidants; berries, prunes, raisins, and plums, may help counteract the oxidative stress caused by a sleep disorder.
If you are looking for natural sleep support while you begin implementing diet and lifestyle changes, Native Remedies® can help!
SerenitePlus™ is an all-natural herbal supplement for peaceful, restful nights. SerenitePlus™ contains Valerian Root, Passionflower, 5-HTP and melatonin.
- Valerian has been used for centuries as a nervine and to reduce nervousness or irritability. The tranquilizing effects of valerian are due to the volatile oils found in the plant.
- Passion Flower is highly regarded by herbalists for its support of the nervous system. It is used primarily for insomnia, anxiety and anxious mood.
- 5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is used for sleep disorders. It readily crosses the blood-brain barrier and increases the central nervous systems synthesis of serotonin.
- Melatonin regulates the body’s circadian rhythm or sleep/wake cycle.
Not sure an herbal supplement is right for you? Concerned about interactions with other medications or supplements? Then you may want to try Native Remedies® Homeopathic Triple Complex Sleep Tonic™ to relieve mild tension and sleeplessness.
Triple Complex Sleep Tonic™ contains three highly effective biochemic tissue salts: Calc sulph, Mag Phos and Calc Phos.
- Calc sulph is an essential constituent of hemoglobin which carries oxygen to all parts of the body. It is found in the liver where it helps with the removal of waste products and has a purifying and cleansing influence through the system.
- Mag Phos is used in conjunction with the nervous system. It is indicated for muscle twitching, cramps, and sharp twinges of pain.
- Calc Phos promotes healthy cellular activity and is prized as a restorative.
Other sleep support supplements can be found at NativeRemedies.com.
BY MARY ELLEN KOSANKE
https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/ https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/ten-commandments-of-healthy-sleep/ https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/food-and-drink-promote-good-nights-sleep