Over the past few years of working with clients and meeting all sorts of people, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. The vast majority of us are NOT getting enough sleep.
Add in the stress of today’s world and it’s no wonder insomnia is such a problem for so many. And I’m no exception. For years, I’ve struggled with sleep too. Between the kids, competitions, running a business and everything else going on, getting enough quality sleep has often eluded me.
However, because I know from my own research just how important sleep is for your health and well-being…I’ve put a lot of time and effort into finding some tricks that really work.
So without boring you with everything I’ve discovered I’d like to share some of the methods I’ve found to be both easy and effective.
Ready? Let’s dive in…
Starting with what I consider my most important sleep tip. It’s not any sort of special drink or a magic food you eat before bed. In fact, this tip is so important that chances are if you don’t follow it along with the others…you’ll never get the type of sleep you deserve.
I’m talking about eliminating the use of electronic devices, computers, checking email or doing anything related to work or that is stressful in any way right before bed. Ideally, not within 3 hours of going to bed. If you’re like me and you like to do some casual reading before bed using a kindle or similar device, that’s ok. Just stay away from anything that gets you all fired up and try to turn it off at least an hour before your bedtime.
When you get your mind racing before bed, it’s hard to settle down and drift off to sleep. Trust me I know how tempting it is to burn the midnight oil before bed. For years, I used to do a lot of work after the kids went to bed. I’d work late into the night, then find that I had trouble falling to sleep. I’d toss and turn all night, thinking, planning and stressing over my to do list. But then morning would come and my productivity would plummet.
One way I finally got around this was to grab a REAL book, something that was even a little boring to read. For example, instead of reading about things I am super interested in like health, nutrition etc. I started to read books on history or some other topic that I wasn’t particularly interested in. And guess what? It works like a charm. I bet it would work for you too.
Tip number two is a pretty obvious one, yet many people don’t stick to it and that’s limiting caffeine intake after 1pm. See, caffeine takes about six hours to be fully processed and eliminated by your body. So make sure any caffeine you drink whether it's coffee, tea or even an energy drink is reserved for early in the day.
Another tip I’ve found helpful is to eat tart cherries or drink tart cherry juice. Tart cherries contain a natural form of melatonin which can help you feel tired and wind down allowing you to fall asleep faster.
You can find tart cherries in some grocery stores. You can also find tart cherry concentrate in a variety of health and natural food markets. You can add this concentrate to any caffeine free drink like herbal tea to help calm your mind. A spoonful of tart cherry concentrate in a cup of chamomile or sleepytime tea can really help. Plus, tart cherry is also loaded with healthy antioxidants.
My next tip is a bit counterintuitive and that’s to limit your use of melatonin supplements. Why?
Because too much melatonin can actually have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to accomplish. In this case more is NOT better and most melatonin supplements contain way too much. For example, most supplements contain between 3mg and 5mg doses. Yet, the research shows that your body and your brain do much better on 1mg or less.
See, too much melatonin can disrupt your sleep cycle the following day, which makes it harder to wake up in the morning and a lot harder to fall asleep. Experts agree that 1mg seems to be the best dosage. Anything more can be too much.
The next tip is also one you’ve probably heard of… Using nighttime teas, herbal teas, especially formulated for nighttime use can be very calming.
Teas like chamomile, mint, lemongrass or a combination of them can all help you relax and fall asleep. Chamomile also contains powerful phytonutrients that help you fight against toxins and chemicals.
Also remember that you can add a spoonful of the tart cherry concentrate and you'll get even MORE relaxation benefits from your nighttime tea. It’s best to drink these teas one or two hours before bedtime.
If after using all of these tips you still find it difficult to fall asleep, you may want to look into potential hormone issues. Chronic stress can lead to a spike in cortisol and overly tax your adrenal glands. Cortisol has a direct impact on your sleep wake cycle. This can keep you up at night and make you more tired during the day.
If stress is an issue for you (and how isn’t feeling it these days?) you can try things like yoga or meditation, make sure you get plenty of exercise and do things that take your mind off potential stressors.
And if I haven’t convinced you by now of your need to get plenty of sleep each night, here’s one more reason to follow this advice. A lack of sleep can trigger uncontrollable weight gain.
Keeping your hormones in balance isn’t just important for losing weight and accelerating far loss, but it also plays a key role in keeping the weight off.
Lack of sleep can throw all of your body’s hormones out of whack.
So no matter how strictly you diet or how hard you exercise, your struggle to lose weight will continue. And to make matters worse, you’re also more likely to gain that extra weight as belly fat due to cortisol's effect on the thyroid hormones.
The good news is that in addition to using the tips I’ve shared with you in this article to get better more restful sleep, there’s also a natural way to help curb your cortisol levels and rebalance your thyroid hormones.
It’s called THYROZINE and it’s the first and only scientifically formulated thyroid support specifically designed to reverse the effects of thyroid resistance. Thyroid resistance happens when thyroid hormones are unable to get into cells where they are needed resulting in a slowing down of the metabolism and fat accumulation throughout the body.
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