Just to recap from last week’s article I promised you a bunch of sleep tips this week and there are so fn many. To start with I’ll give you a quick, but important one here and then let’s go over the three most important ones I mentioned last week.
Set your circadian rhythm
Blue light keeps you awake. Is that news to you?? Melatonin is called the vampire hormone because it’s only produced in the dark. Go to this web site and download the program to instantly help you sleep better. Gord Downie is about to die! Download this lighting program before you read the rest of this!
It’s all about setting your circadian rhythm and light has a lot to do with that. The blue light from your computer will turn off your melatonin production just like the sun. That’s why you’re supposed to get 15 minutes of sunlight first thing in the morning too. It sets your circadian rhythm.
A sleep mask can be handy for blocking out the sun for when you sleep. There are light sensitive cells on your skin called cryptochromes that will absorb light as well. Some people prefer black out curtains. They’d be the cat’s ass on a timer I think. 10-15 minutes before you have to get up they let the sun shine in. What a great way to wake up in the morning as opposed to the mofo alarm. Here’s something else that can be handy.
The first tip I give my clients for better sleep and quality of life is get the nutrients your body needs. If you have trouble with sleep or even if you don’t, you should be addressing nutrient deficiencies. Just doing this can help with so many issues people have. It’s like taking away water or food; you can’t think or perform very well. You also get hungry when you lack nutrients. You could be stuffing your cake hole with cake only because you're lacking a nutrient your body is constantly telling your brain to eat.
We try to get the nutrients we need with food because the supplement will never be as effective as the actual food source. A supplement should be taken when needed and it’s really important to get a quality supplement or you could be doing more harm than good so please read my article here.
Without having a full panel done all I can do is tell you the top nutrient deficiencies in North America. Number one is vitamin D, number 2 is omega 3’s, number 3 is vit. K2, and the 4th is magnesium, sometimes called the sleep drug because it knocks people out. You need 2-1 or 3-1 calcium to magnesium. I’ll get back to the magnesium in a bit. Number 5 is vitamin B12, number 6 is vitamin E, number 7 is vitamin A, number 8 is iodine, number 9 is calcium, and number 10 is iron.
Let’s recap last week’s tips because they are the most important. First, make sleep a priority. You can’t have the attitude that it is just something that hopefully happens when you go to bed. Second, determine a bedtime based on your wake up time and how long you need to sleep. Third, make a bedtime ritual consisting of activating your relaxation mode.
Ok, back to the magnesium. It’s just not in the soil anymore. If you’re taking a supplement avoid oxides. You only absorb 3-4% of it. Citrates cause disaster pants. Here’s a great tip. There is three times as much magnesium in a banana peel as there is in the fruit itself. Get organic bananas. Wash one off and cut the ends off. Put it in 4 cups of water and boil it for a few minutes then let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Add a little cinnamon, honey, and coconut milk. It’s delicious and for a lot of you it will knock you out.
Magnesium is the 1 mineral deficiency in North America. It's responsible for over 300 biochemical processes. That's 300 things your body can’t do without magnesium. One study used people with sleep issues and low magnesium. 30-40% had better sleep when their magnesium was increased. Epsom salts is a form of topical magnesium, magnesium sulfate.
We talked a little about hormone imbalances last week. Melatonin and cortisol are hormones and when one is high the other is low. A couple other hormones in this whole scheme of things is thyroid hormone and testosterone. When melatonin is high testosterone is low. Maybe just before bed isn’t the best time to take old one eye to the optometrist??
You will produce less melatonin as you age. People around 50-55 or older might consider hormone replacement therapy. This needs careful consideration because the more you take externally the less your body is capable of producing. You will also need the help of a healthcare practitioner.
The brand recommended by “The Sleep Doctor” is Usana. Melatonin isn’t regulated and you might be getting some Jägermeister instead of hormone. The test for melatonin levels is a saliva test. Remember melatonin isn’t a sleep initiator it’s a regulator. Take it about 90 minutes before bed and the dosage is a half to one milligram.
Thyroid problems can cause anxiety at any time or cause insomnia with Grave’s disease. Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks the control mechanism of the thyroid and there is no stop. You just keep pumping thyroid hormone and become hyperthyroid. That’ll ruin your sleep. Magnolia bark helps reduce levels of anxiety.
There can be various things that cause hormone imbalances, but the place in Edmonton to get tested is called True Balance. They will do a full panel and you can see nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, blood cell counts, and even antigens causing autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.
We need to talk about caffeine. You need to avoid this stuff. Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist. Caffeine is very similar in molecular structure as adenosine and binds to receptor sites in the brain blocking adenosine. That’s why you get the caffeine crash when caffeine wears off. Dandy Blend is a non-caffeinated herbal drink that tastes like coffee. Maybe give that a day in court.
Around 35% of people don’t need a supplement to help them sleep better. If you get up at 6 and only sleep 5.5 hours a night, go to bed at midnight. It sounds crazy, but it works. You’ll fall asleep faster and then you’ll get 6 hours of sleep a night. Then go to bed at 11:30. It’s an evidence based technique called sleep restriction. Sleep doctors are taught this technique in their training. Psssst, I’m not a sleep doctor. I’ve used this technique. It works.
Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin. People with depression either can’t sleep or they use sleep as an escape. 5HTP or L-tryptophan can increase serotonin levels. You need to have a health practitioner to help with that. You don’t want to create too much serotonin.
People deficient in potassium have trouble falling asleep. Just another reason to do banana tea. Low Vit. C levels cause people to wake up at night.
Your gut integrity impacts your sleep. The pineal gland was believed to produce your melatonin, but research shows there is 400x more melatonin produced in your gut. The precursor hormone serotonin is also produced in the gut, over 90%. Researchers at Caltech found there are specific bacteria in the gut that communicate with the cells that produce these hormones. Build a proper microbiome by preventing overgrowth of bad bacteria.
Dysbiosis of the gut is created by processed foods and sugar. Also the use of antibiotics destroys your microbiome. Chlorine is a strong antibiotic. Using a reverse osmosis system to filter your water is preferred, but a bottled spring water is fine. Up to 80% of the antibiotics we ingest are from meat. You need antibiotic free and hormone free meat. There is a free from section at superstore, but there is also Real Deal Meats, Acme Meats, Blue Copper Ranch, Down By The River Ranch, and of course organic stores.
Improving the microbiome is complicated, but please read some of my previous articles on it.
It's time to talk about my favourite subject now; exercise. In a study they had people exercise at three different times. Phase 1 was at 7am, phase 2 was 1pm, phase 3 was 7pm. The morning exercisers spent more time in the deepest most anabolic stages of sleep. Up to 75% of them had more efficient sleep cycles and slept longer. They had a 25% decrease in blood pressure in the evening. Their relaxation mode was more active in the evening.
There are too many sleep tips to keep writing. I'll stop there. I need to get to bed now. I hope you liked the article and I hope it helps you sleep. These are the types of issues I deal with daily with my clients in order to accomplish their fitness goals. I believe in a coach like approach and I help guide my clients to do the things they deem relevant for them and they are seeing really great results. For me the reward is the happiness it creates and seeing the new found confidence in people. WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO PERSONALLY SHOW YOU HOW YOU CAN ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS ...FOR FREE?
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