25 Aug The miracles of sleep
I always loved sleeping since I was little. Up till today, I still love laying in my bed while doing nothing, but listening to the television or to my audiobook. Apparently I understood at a young age that sleeping long hours at night and when you feel tired is key for good health. Adults tend to sleep short hours. 4-6 hours a night is completely normal. However, most of us need between 7-9 and some of us even 10. When you are sick you need more hours of sleep and there are many more things that are influenced by your sleeping habits.
What do you need to thrive
- Foods (protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber)
- Vitamins, minerals, accessory or conditionally essential nutrients, hormones.
- Light, water, air
- Love, community, connection
- Meaning and purpose
The importance of sleep
Sleeps: allows for rejuvenation and repair processes for immune system and organs involved in detoxifying the body.
- sleep helps to reduce inflammation – therefore there is no better medicine than sleep
- Sleep drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain
- Circadian rhythm is connected to liver function and metabolism of medications
- Napping may be beneficial for those who are stressed, have difficulty with cognition and concentration throughout the day, and those on an active detox.
- When we sleep, the body repair itself and heals from illnesses
Why am I always so sleepy?
- Most people get a blood sugar crash after eating too much carbohydrates. This often result in extreme fatigue 30 minutes after dinner.
- If there are deficiencies in the body, people often feel tired. Iron and B12 are often connected to this.
- If digestion don’t go as nature planned it
- Hormones can make you sleepy, especially when cortisol levels dont peak in the morning as it is suppose to be
- Histamine makes people feel sleepy, the substance is often used in sleeping pills
Not getting enough sleep
Everyone should sleep at least 7 hours, where females tend to need often 9 hours. Everything between 7-10 hours is considered normal, even though 10 hours is on the long end for the most of us. Most men claim they have enough sleep when they sleep 4-6 hours, but this shortens life quality. There are also a lot of people that cannot sleep in the night and stay awake, and are therefore not getting enough sleep.
- Blue screens contribute to this. Close down your phone, tablet, computer preferably 3 hours before going to bed, but otherwise as soon as possible.
- Hormonal disbalance is also causing a lack of sleep and staying awake in the nights, often causes by high cortisol levels that should be low in the night
- Some people have issues going back to their routine after they traveled to another time zone
- Highly stressed people often be awake in the middle of the night – this is also the case for overscheduled people
- . The busyness can be the stressor that calls for the cortisol and that cortisol decreases the progesterone and that lack of progesterone is what then causes the anxiety and inability to sleep >> SO think about hormones!
- People often have issues falling asleep when the roomtemperature is too hot or too cold
If you sleep one night 6 hours as an excepton, you will not directly notice any side effects. You probably be a bit more tired or have issues with focussing or have a headache. However after 8 days, your stress response decreases. As most of us, have issues with sleeping they are more prone to stress. It is therefore extremely important that there will be a change in lifestyle to be able to handle the extra stress load. There are various ways of doing that, however some examples are: yoga, a walk in the park, going on holiday, going to the gym and many more. In addition a permanent lack of sleep is also causing a lower glucose tolerance and make people age faster.
Clinical pearls – take aways
- There are many approaches in order to improve sleep, some people prefer to do a lot on the day so that they are extremely tired when going to bed, remember this can work but if it is causing you stress, it will cause the opposite effect
- Magnesium does miracles for everyone
- Cleaning your diet from unhealthy foods. Coffee, sugar, alcohol and many other foods are not helpful if you have difficulties falling asleep
- Try a paleo challenge for 6 weeks if you want to take it to the next level. Be aware, if you are going on a restrictive diet and you are eliminating lactose, be aware that you keep it introduced once in a while, as 6 weeks is causing lactose intolerances in people!
- Epsom salt baths (great for the uptake of magnesium ; sorry folks without bathtub)
- Eat as healthy as possible, focus on goog quality food, organic is always best available quality
- There are many other ways to fix your sleeping pattern, key is to listen to your body. If you feel tired when no obligations and its 1o PM, why not going to bed?
Some people swear at listening to music before bedtime. Music is a fantastic and often therapeutic way of putting your mind on zero.