Are you getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night? If so, sleep deprivation may affect your energy level, mood, sex drive, weight, and your health overall.
When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies miss out on important opportunities for rest and repair. Aside from the symptoms described above, insufficient sleep can increase risk factors for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, and memory loss.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep—and that means deep, restorative sleep—don’t despair. Here are some helpful tips:
- Make sure your hormones are balanced. Hormone imbalance is notorious for causing insomnia. If you’re a man, make sure your testosterone levels are healthy. If you’re a woman, make sure your estrogen and progesterone levels are healthy. Both men and women should make sure thyroid levels are optimal.
- If you have adrenal fatigue, ask us about treatment. If you suspect you may have adrenal fatigue, ask us to check your cortisol and pregnenalone levels. Pregnenalone is an easy hormone to supplement, and can help to calm the body in the face of stress.
- Boost growth hormone levels if deficient. Growth hormone dramatically improves sleep quality, particularly deeper REM sleep.
- Supplement melatonin before bed. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating your body’s biological clock. Without healthy levels of melatonin, it can be difficult to fall into a deep sleep. Try Renew Youth’s Melatonin Liposomal Spray for flexible dosing and fast absorption.
- Supplement magnesium. Our high quality Triple Magnesium is a good choice for getting three important chelated forms of magnesium for optimal absorption.
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday, even on the weekends, and avoid napping during the day.
- Avoid exposure to “screens” (TVs, computers, tablets, etc.) before bed. If you absolutely must work on your computer at night, install an application like f.lux (justgetflux.com), so that the color of your computer’s display adapts to the time of day (warm at night, and bright during the day).
- Implement relaxing bedtime rituals (e.g. having a cup of decaffeinated tea, taking a bath or washing your face, reading a book, or listening to quiet music).
- Step outside and make sure you’re exposed to some natural light during the day. This is just one more way to establish a healthy Circadian rhythm.
- Exercise regularly, but don’t engage in vigorous exercise too close to bedtime. Vigorous exercise is best done early in the day, or at least one hour prior to dinner.
- Don’t eat dinner too late, or snack after dinner, and try not to overeat at dinnertime.
- Keep your bedroom dark. Cover windows, remove nightlights, and turn alarm clock screens away from you. If eliminating light in your bedroom isn’t feasible, wear an eye mask.
- Keep your bedroom cool. Between 60 and 70 degrees is ideal.
- Keep your bedroom quiet. If necessary, get a white noise machine to block out outside noise.
- Make sure your bed is comfortable. You spend approximately 1/3 of your life in your bed—invest in a good one.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and sugary foods before bed. If you’re taking any herbal supplements, make sure they aren’t stimulating; and if they are, take them in the morning.
- Avoid stimulating activities prior to bed (e.g. violent TV programs, video games, arguing, etc.)
- Try not to agonize about falling asleep—this will only keep it from happening. Resist the temptation to clock-watch.
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated, but not so much that your sleep is interrupted by the need to go to the bathroom.
- Visualize putting anything that is troubling you into a box. Whenever something new pops into your head, visualize putting it in the box. This simple technique can be very effective if you have racing thoughts or anxiety.
As you’ve heard us say time and time again…no two people are the same, and what works for one person is not necessarily what will work for someone else. Be patient, and experiment until you find what works for you.