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Can't sleep? Let's have some pillow talk...

May 24, 2017

Are you tired of being tired? Just want to get into bed fall asleep fast and sleep solid? We can all relate to that at some time in our lives. Dragging your butt around through the day trying desperately to kick start that engine. Reaching for every coffee, pop, sugar and energy drink you can get your hands on to give you a boost. Then so tired at the end of the day but you just can't relax enough to actually sleep. Gahhhh, stop the madness!!!

Stopping the madness is just what we are going to work on, or at least try and find those triggers of why you aren't sleeping so you can try to flip that switch! Getting 7 to 9 hours as adults is just as important as the food we eat and the exercise we get. This is where healing and regenerating happens! If we don't sleep we can't repair and rebuild. I can't stress enough how crucial sleep is!

 

Reasons of why we can't sleep

  • Stress.

  • Depression.

  • Anxiety

  • Too much caffeine or sugar

  • Underlying medical conditions such as, diabetes, arthritis, adrenal issues etc

  • Breathing problems like sleep apnea

  • Medications often have affects on sleep as well

  • Too warm in the home or sleep in with too many clothes

  • Too cold, the body has to spend too much energy trying to warm up the body to sleep.

  • Heavy meals to close to bedtime, again the body is spending too much energy to digest food making it difficult for your body to calm to sleep.

  • We live in a pick me up world trying to make it through those stressful days so by the end of the day even though we are exhausted we can’t fully relax to fall asleep

  • Magnesium deficiency can lead to sleepless nights. While there are plenty of magnesium-rich foods you can eat naturally, adding a supplement can help jump-start your levels and help you sleep better. In fact, one study in the found that magnesium supplements improved insomnia and sleep efficiency. Opt for 500 milligrams daily.

 

Stress

  • Let’s talk a little more about stress, when we are stressed whether it is life in danger stress or daily life stress our bodies go into flight or fight mode.

  • This means kicking up cortisol levels to raise and over time this starts to wear out the adrenals.

  • Burned out adrenals means a disturbance in the natural rhythm of the sleep-wake cycle and ends up spiking adrenals late at night or even middle of the night which causes insomnia. Cortisol is the result of the flight or fight. So your body wants to run during the middle of the night.

  • Managing stress levels is going to be a major factor in aiding in sleep, not only sleep but high stress, stressed out adrenals and lack of sleep is all a recipe for disease.

  • Yes we hear it all the time stress can kill….guess what, it can! This isn’t old wives tales or doctors trying to scare you. It is cold hard facts.

  • You will always have some stress, which can in small manageable does be good but it really is how you can cope with that stress. So when it gets unmanageable it is too much!

Ways to Fall Asleep Faster and Easier

  • Stop eating 3 hours before bed

  • No caffeine about the same time, or longer if you are sensitive to it.

  • If you have sleep issues, high impact exercising should be in the mornings. Overall exercise will help you sleep.

  • Going for a walk in the evenings although can help

  • Set the stage to wind down and relax. Running doing a million things certainly will not aid in relaxing.

  • The old trick of warm milk or warm almond milk can actually is full of calcium and helps convert to melatonin to help you sleep.

  • Essential oils like lavender, bergamot and Young Living has a blend that works like a charm for me it’s lavender, cedarwood and their peace and calming. I love it!

  • Valerian root it helps calm the nerve cells in the brain, resulting in a calming effect. GABA works by blocking brain signals that cause anxiety and that ongoing trickle effect that can come from it.

  • Taking magnesium - Research from the Biochemistry and Neurophysiology Unit at the University of Geneva’s Department of Psychiatry indicate that higher levels of magnesium actually helped provide better, more consistent sleep since magnesium is a calming nutrient. In addition to the goat’s milk kefir, foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds and even dark chocolate can help since they’re loaded with magnesium.

  • Take a relaxing detox bath with epsom salts and lavender to unwind

  • If you can’t fall asleep after 20 min don’t stress watching the clock. Get up and read a book or journal to help calm the mind and put you in a more sleep ready state.

  • Journaling in general can help relieve stress from the day. Writing things down that are troubling you helps you let it go. Like releasing to the universe. Or write down all the things you are grateful for to focus on positive great things. Going to sleep on a happy note.

  • Camomile tea has a great calming effect as well that can help you sleep.

  • Buy yourself a good mattress and pillow. Invest in your sleep, your health depends on it. If you are tossing and turning from a sore back or waking up sore. Not good! Sleep is where we repair, it is such an important thing in our overall health. Not getting enough sleep can be just as bad as eating bad and not getting enough exercise for your health.

 

Sleep positions – good bad and ugly

  • Back sleeping – great decompression for your spine, neck and joints. You want to make sure you have a good pillow to support neck so aligned properly with the back. But on the flip side can increase snoring and sleep apnea. So if snoring is an issue, consulting your doctor is something to consider. If it is sleep apnea it is important to take care of that as it can lead to many health issues long term.

  • Side sleepers, about 69% sleep this way and can reduce snoring, and ease back pain, sleeping on your left side can reduce acid reflux. On the downside, it can put a strain on your internal organs and compress nerves, so switching sides is a good idea.

  • Stomach sleeping, really only one benefit, it restricts movements so you will likely get a deeper sleep. However it puts strain on digestion, your back, your neck, internal organs and will likely compound sleep apnea.

  • So really back sleeping is your best bet if you don’t snore because then your partner may just smother you. Just kidding.

 

So try to make an effort to make sleep a priority like other healthy lifestyle choice.

And the whole sleep when you are dead thing…well lack of sleep consistently will just bring you closer to it! So go to bed at a reasonable time, use these tips and tricks and hopefully you will be sleeping like a baby again. If there is an underlying health reason see your doctor or work with me and see if we can't balance you out naturally before anything drastic.

 

Sleep tight!

 

 

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Kingsville, ON N9Y 2E6

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