Trouble sleeping?  You’re not alone. More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite what you may have heard, it’s true that most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Adequate sleep can help with weight control, improve mood, boost immune function and heighten memory. Sleep is a true wonder drug – it’s free and without harmful side effects!

If you’re having difficulty sleeping try these simple strategies. If you’re still not sleeping well, you may have a sex or stress hormone imbalance so please contact me to schedule a consultation. Functional testing may be indicated to help us get to the root of your problem.

  • Promote melatonin production. Melatonin receptors are widely distributed in the body, not just in the eyes. Reduced melatonin production can induce insulin resistance, disruptions in the circadian rhythm and sleep problems.  Some strategies for promoting melatonin include:
    • Installing an app like FLUX on your devices to block blue light at night
    • Reading paper books in the evening, not books on Kindles or iPads
    • Shutting down devices at least one hour before bedtime
    • Making your bedroom dark!
  • Optimize evening nutrition. Beyond caffeine and alcohol, watch meal timing, meal size and carbohydrate intake.
    • Limit or avoid caffeine after lunch
    • Limit or avoid alcohol
    • Don’t eat too much or too late in the evening
    • Include real food carbohydrates with dinner to promote relaxation
  • Establish an evening routine. We know this works for babies and children so why do we neglect it for ourselves?
    • Find what works for you
    • A warm cup of tea, reading, meditation… anything but social media!
    • A hot bath or shower near bedtime has been shown to improve sleep quality because it raises body temperature and, as it falls, sleep comes more easily

We know that sleep is a fundamental pillar of optimal health. Sweet dreams!  Until next time, make every minute of sleep count!