Proper Shut-Eye

How many of you are a 5x snoozer in the AM? Come on, raise those hands. I almost always snooze it hard unless I put my phone outside my room so I'm forced to get up. It just seems there's never enough sleep! #amiright

According to recent studies, poor sleep health is a common problem with 25 percent of U.S. adults reporting insufficient sleep or rest at least 15 out of every 30 days! Between 50 to 70 million adults in the United States have problems with quality and/or quantity of sleep. The public health burden of chronic sleep loss and sleep disorders, coupled with low awareness of poor sleep health among the general population, health care professionals, and policymakers means we need a shift in thinking. And resting.

Why Is Sleep Health So Very Important?

Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is a critical determinant of health and well-being. It's a basic requirement for health and development. Every living thing needs time to rest.

Adequate sleep is necessary to:

  • Fight off infection

  • Support the metabolism of sugar to prevent diabetes

  • Perform well in school

  • Work effectively and safely

  • Ensure proper digestion and detox

Sleep timing and duration affect a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are critical to the maintenance of individual health. If left untreated, sleep disorders and chronic short sleep are associated with an increased risk of:

  • Heart disease

  • High blood pressure

  • Obesity

  • Diabetes

  • All-cause mortality!!

Sleep health is a particular concern for individuals with chronic disabilities and disorders such as arthritis, kidney disease, pain, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and depression. Among older adults, the cognitive and medical consequences of untreated sleep disorders decrease health-related quality of life, contribute to functional limitations and loss of independence, and are associated with an increased risk of death from any cause.

So what can we do?

Here are a few proven, natural ways to help your environment a sleep-friendly one.

  • Chamomile tea

  • Going to bed at the same time each night, and waking up the same time each day

  • Putting your alarm outside the room

  • Therapeutic-grade lavender oil on your pillow and wrists

  • Deep breathing exercises when you first lay down

  • Turn off all screens 30 minutes before bed (that includes TV!)

  • Make sure all devices are on Night Mode to keep out the blue light that suppresses melatonin levels and keeps you up

What about taking melatonin?

The supplement that people with issues sleeping typically turn to is melatonin, which is not an effective solution for increasing sleep quality. The majority of melatonin supplements on the market are synthetic, and may help you to fall asleep quickly, but often leave you feeling groggy and sluggish the next day. This happens due to the fact that you are not able to properly cycle through REM sleep or deep sleep. I personally use an herbal blend that helps your body produce more of its own melatonin. If you are interested in a scientific explanation video on this subject, check second link below.

Sources and Additional Reading:

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I help busy mamas go from burnout to mental vigor using the gut brain axis.


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