Do You Suffer From Sleep Deprivation?
If you answered yes, rest assured you are not alone. Not sleeping well once in awhile is not a serious problem, but when it happens night after night, it will adversely affect your mood and your health.
On average a person needs eight hours of sleep, you might need a little more or a little less, but you need this sleep every night just as you need water and oxygen every day, otherwise you build up sleep debt.
It’s not just about the quantity of sleep it’s also about the quality of sleep. You need several hours of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. This is where you dream.
You also need deep sleep, this is the time when your body releases growth hormones to stimulate tissue to repair and regenerate. Lack of sleep affects your mood and your performance.
Unfortunately, there is a large percentage of the population that are sleep deprived. There are many factors that can contribute to sleep debt. These include but are not limited to: anxiety, stress, dehydration, lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and the over use of stimulants like caffeine.
If you are having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping soundly, it’s important to take a look at your lifestyle. Sometimes food intolerances, the most common being: dairy, wheat, gluten, corn, chocolate (caffeine) could be a cause of sleep deprivation.
AVOID SLEEPING PILLS
Sleeping pills are designed to help you sleep better unfortunately this is not the case. Sleeping pills suppresses the most important sleep- the REM sleep- which is crucial for growth development, and repair of the brain. This lowers the quality of sleep you end up getting, making you feel worse in the morning like a “hangover” feeling.
They are also addictive, your body builds up a tolerance to them and over time you will be taking more and more pills for less and less sleep.
MAKE YOUR ROOM DARK
When it’s time to sleep, you should not be able to see your hand in front of your face. If you must use an alarm clock, turn it away from you. If darkening the room doesn’t work try taking 5-HTP one hour before bedtime. 5-THP is a precursor to serotonin, which will increase production of Melatonin when you turn out the lights and make your room as dark as possible.
Exercise is a fabulous way to relieve anxiety, stress and relax the body. Just make sure not to exercise to close to bedtime, although a walk after dinner is a great way to digest, clear the mind and help you sleep better.
Proper hydration calms the brain and promotes better sleep. Not drinking enough water can make you feel tense and anxious. If you wake up during the night for a bathroom run, drink less water in the evening and more during the day. You may also need to strengthen your kidney’s in which case you could try KB-C.
HERBS THAT HELP FOR A BETTER SLEEP
Stress can be a big factor in sleep debt. Try taking Stress Formula along with Vitamin B-Complex and Vitamin C during the day to help your nerves. Many people are magnesium deficient, so adding magnesium supplement to your program may also be helpful.
If you have a hard time relaxing at night try taking some nervine herbs. A good one is HVP which contains three sleep inducing herbs: Hops, Valerian and Passion Flower. Try taking 2-4 capsules one hour before bedtime.
If you don’t have trouble falling asleep but wake up easily through the night (probably between 1-4) and you may or may not have a hard time falling asleep again then this can be a sign of Adrenal Exhaustion from long time stress. Taking Adrenal Support along with 3000 mg of Vitamin C and 250-1000 Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) will help.
If you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about your problems and can’t get back to sleep this could also be a sign of low blood sugar levels. What’s happening is your blood sugar is dropping too low causing your adrenal glands to fire off stress hormone (Adrenaline and cortisol) to bring the blood sugar up. Avoid sugar, white flour products and caffeine. HY-C is a good one to help with low blood sugar along with Adrenal Support. Also helpful is to eat a small protein-rich snack at bedtime such as a few raw almonds, a tablespoon of almond butter or cottage cheese.
I hope these suggestions are helpful and get you the much needed rest you deserve.