By Alane Stieglitz, ND, CNC,
Getting the best sleep you can is a must-have for ultimate health. Start with creating a relaxing sleep environment; your bedroom should be a place of sanctuary. Make this space a sleep space only; keep it de-cluttered. Having healthy sleep habits can help you get a good night’s sleep and feel fantastic the next day.
1) One thing that leads to sleep problems and the amount of sleep you get is the television in the bedroom. I keep my television in the living room only, and my kids never had one in their bedrooms. Reducing blue and green light exposure is imperative before sleep, helping you stay asleep and improving deep sleep quality. I have noticed that even keeping my alarm clock light red has helped me get better sleep at night.
2) Hormone balance, especially for women, is crucial for getting the best sleep quality. Hormones and adrenals are tied directly to your circadian rhythms. Back in the pre-menopause years, I noticed that keeping the thermostat at a comfortable temperature meant the world to me regarding if I felt sleepy during the day or not. 69 is perfect for me now. Most women need to keep the thermostat a little on the cool side, which needs to be part of their regular sleeping patterns routine.
Second, I can tell you that I get the best sleep when my hormones are balanced and feel energized the next day. If my hormones are low, my blood pressure tends to go up, and I feel like I suffer from some sleep disorder. Many of my clients tell me that once we start supporting hormone balance, they get the best sleep ever and feel focused and happy the next day.
Unfortunately, blood testing for hormones is often not accurate enough, and we find the actual hormone levels in saliva testing. Saliva tells you what is in the tissues and what is bio available to the body.
3) The thyroid and getting the best sleep ever
I think the #1 thing I discuss with my clients is the thyroid gland and proper thyroid testing. Thyroid disorders are often missed, which causes a whole list of symptoms to include sleep disorders. The thyroid helps regulate our body temperature, so if you are feeling too hot or cold, your thyroid may be off. Plus, if the thyroid is slow, you will not be able to enjoy activities during the day, like a nice hike, which is fun, and then you should feel tired at the end of the day and fall asleep well. If you cannot do activities, you will not feel tired enough to get a good night’s sleep.
Stick to a healthy sleep habits schedule.
4) The Magic sleep number is YOUR number. As a rule of thumb, 8-10 hours of restful sleep with deep sleep occurring around 2 am or 3 am. You will know if you are getting enough sleep by how you feel in the morning. If you are burning the candle at both ends and trying to play catch up on the weekends, you will continue to hit the fatigue wall. Set your schedule and stick to it even on the weekends.
Here are a few more quick tips for a great nights sleep:
1. Sleep cold- your body and brain need to cool down at night.
2. Clean your sheets often- and make your bed, daily.
3. Take a relaxing Epsom salt bath by candlelight.
4. Use a humidifier in drier seasons.
6. Eat protein before bed if you are hungry after dinner, 90 minutes before lights out.
7. Get your cortisol and hormone levels checked
8. Get your thyroid checked.
8. Try to exercise each day to use up your energy levels, so your energy does not prevent you from getting to sleep.
Be patient. These techniques will help align your circadian rhythms again, but it takes consistency over time to reap the benefits. Restless and interrupted sleep; put jelly on the belly.
Need or want more help getting your best sleep ever? Consider a virtual health and wellness appointment so we can help you more.
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Medical disclaimer: Our test kits cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.