Getting good sleep is so necessary for good health! Never underestimate the healing power of sleep! Many women I see in my practice have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep, or both. Hot flashes and night sweats can cause insomnia and discomfort. Stress can cause your adrenal hormones to be out of whack, which can keep you from sleeping well. And some women are too busy to to get good sleep.
Your sleep can suffer if your hormones are out of balance, and if you have poor sleep habits this can cause hormone problems. So today I want to share with you some tips for better sleep:
- Sleep in a dark room, and eliminate any light sources. This helps boost your melatonin production, a hormone that controls your sleep and wake cycles. This hormone is turned on in your body by darkness and turned off by light.
- Eliminate electronic stimulation before bed and in the bedroom. This means turn off the TVs, computers, tablets, phones and anything else like that. Glowing screens can over stimulate you and keep you from falling asleep.
- Caffeine, from coffee, tea and energy drinks can really upset your sleep cycles. Limit caffeine to early in the day to none at all depending on how difficult your sleep is. Did you know that caffeine can take up to 24 hours to pass out of your body? Coffee generally contains the highest levels of caffeine, then black teas and then green teas. Energy drinks are usually very high in caffeine and sugar which can really over stimulate you.
- There are many supplements that can help improve your sleep including 5HTP, melatonin, magnesium, calcium, Valerian and hops. But how do you know what to take? Many things can influence your sleep such as your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) or your adrenal glands (think stress for adrenals). Diet can also affect sleep.The best way to know is to get tested (call me, I can do this for you) to see which systems are out of balance, then balance can be brought back with diet/lifestyle changes as well as knowing what are the right supplements to take (and not wasting money on ones that won’t work for you!)
- A really common cause of disrupted sleep is when your cortisol is our of balance, usually meaning it’s too high at night. Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that is released due to chronic stress. The best way to know is to take an Adrenal Stress Index test which is a saliva test. If your adrenal hormones are out of balance, diet and lifestyle changes, as well are supplements are usually recommended. Also sleeping between 10 pm and 2 am is the best time for sleep to heal your adrenals.
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