6 Ways to Get Rejuvenating Sleep Naturally
Poor sleep is a big issue we’re hearing from you lately, so I thought I’d share some tips today on how to improve your sleep, and touch on some root cause factors that may be keeping you up at night!
Low Blood Sugar Might Be Interrupting Your Sweet Dreams
What does blood sugar have to do with sleep? LOTS! If our blood sugar levels are unstable during the day, we may find ourselves waking up at some point during the night, especially around 1-3 am. You can work on stabilizing your blood sugar by eating healthy fat, protein and fibre in each meal and avoiding sugars, refined carbs, stimulants and alcohol. Depending on your individual needs, intermittent fasting or sticking to 2-3 main meals a day may help.
Are Your Adrenals Talking Back?
If your adrenals are overworked due to stress, this can seriously impact your sleep. If you find yourself waking up between 2-4 am, getting up too early or getting a second wind just as your head hits the pillow, you’ll want to consider your adrenal function. Our adrenal glands can become imbalanced due to stress of many kinds, including chronic stealth infections, gut issues, toxins, overworking, worrying, poor diet and more. Work on lowering stress, eating a hormone-balancing diet (lots of veg, good fats and protein!), get natural light first thing in the morning and avoid artificial blue light at night as much as possible.
Healthy Gut Bacteria Help You Sleep
Your gut bacteria are responsible for producing hormones, including serotonin and melatonin. If our gut bacteria are unhealthy, we won’t be able to properly produce and convert these crucial hormones for sleep! Our gut-brain axis influences our circadian rhythms, which don’t just affect our sleep/wake cycle, but our other hormones and mental health also. (Read more on 4 Underlying Factors in Depression). Additionally, infections like parasites are another common reason for insomnia and restlessness, as they are more active at nighttime.
Tap into Nature to Sleep Better
Utilizing teas and supplements to support sleep can be incredibly helpful. Teas like passionflower, lemon balm, valerian root, chamomile and licorice may be good choices. Also, supplements such as magnesium, which people with insomnia are commonly deficient in, melatonin and probiotics can help support restful sleep. Consult your healthcare provider before starting anything new.
Create a Calming Evening Routine
Never underestimate the power of routine. Do you tend to watch violent shows, the news or have stressful conversations before bed? Create a routine that will help you relax and cue your brain that it’s time for sleep. Do some gentle stretching, breathing, sip herbal tea, read a book, journal, use a meditation app, listen to calming music; whatever makes you feel relaxed at least 30 mins before bed.
Avoid Eating 3 Hours Before Bed
There’s a lot of confusion as to whether or not you should eat before bed to boost metabolism and improve sleep. We recommend not eating 2-3 hours before bed for a many reasons. Eating at night drives cortisol levels up, which wakes us up. We are also less sensitive to insulin at night, and eating late can cause a greater disruption in blood sugar and insulin. We want to keep insulin low for hormonal health, fat-burning and optimal sleep. Furthermore, eating before bed activates digestion during a time our gut needs to rest and heal. Lastly, it takes energy away from detoxification while we sleep, which is crucial for our brain, hormones, gut and immune function.
We’d love to help you create a routine that works for you and begin addressing those root cause factors of insomnia. Using targeted nutrition and supplementation can make all the difference in your sleep!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist