Insomnia: 18 Ways to Improve Sleep
ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP?
- Are you cranky? Angry, impulsive or lack motivation?
- Are you feeling hungry late at night, gaining extra pounds or keep getting sick?
- Are you having trouble focusing and completing tasks? Do you tend to nod off when you’re sitting still?
You may want to catch some more Z’s, you’ll feel a lot better!
Lack of sleep has been linked to: diabetes, weight gain, low metabolism, car accidents, heart disease, high blood pressure, stress, stroke, depression, suicide, poor testing, memory loss, irritability and loss of friends.  Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to hormones becoming imbalanced. 
Researchers found that a week of sleep deprivation changed the body’s ability to tolerate glucose. Impaired glucose tolerance can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 
“Loss of sleep impairs your higher levels of reasoning, problem-solving, attention to detail.” 
DO YOU HAVE A SLEEP DISORDER?
“To determine how drowsy you are during waking hours, record how likely you are to doze off in each of the following situations, using this scale:
- 0 = would never doze.
- 1 = slight chance of dozing.
- 2 = moderate chance of dozing.
- 3 = high chance of dozing.
----- Sitting and reading.
----- Watching TV.
----- Sitting passively in a public place (such as a theater or a meeting where you're not directly involved).
----- Being a passenger in a car for an hour straight.
----- Lying down in the afternoon.
----- Sitting and talking to someone.
----- Sitting quietly after a lunch without alcohol.
----- Sitting behind the wheel of a car, while stopped for a few minutes in traffic.
A score of 11 or more suggests that you may not get enough sleep, or that the quality of your sleep may be poor. A score of 17 or more almost always indicates a serious sleep disorder. For possible causes of any sleep problem and how to correct it, see the main story.”
Source: Sleep, December 1991. 
Here are a few items that may prevent high quality, restful sleep.
- Menopause night sweats are very common
- Sleep Apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.
- Exposure to unnatural light during evening hours. TV and cellular phones.
- Nontraditional work hours interrupts your sleep pattern.
- Back Pain
SLEEP DOES YOUR BODY GOOD
The organs, glands and systems in the body depend on a good night’s sleep to repair and function properly.
- Helps your brain work properly so you learn more efficiently, pay attention, make decisions and be creative.
- Adequate sleep helps maintains healthy blood pressure.
- Sleep allows your body to do system repairs and maintenance for a healthy immune system, healthy hormones and healthy emotions.
- “Getting 8 hours of sleep one night can undo the problems that were created from two weeks of only sleeping 5-6 hours a night.”
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
Naturally With Food
Your brain chemistry and hormones are controlled by what you eat.  What and when you eat has a big impact on your bodies systems.
- Eat most of your food earlier in the day instead of late at night. Having 2-3 hours between eating and going to bed allows your digestive system to clear, reset and prevents acid reflux.
- Adding a small amount of carbs like quinoa or brown rice to your dinner may help your body in releasing serotonin because it has gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA, which calms the nervous system.
- Avoid stimulants late in the afternoon to improve the production of melatonin which is a hormone produced in the brain to induce sleep. Caffeine, nicotine and sugar can negatively impact melatonin production.  Bananas are a better afternoon sweet treat choice.
- Research shows that drinking tart cherry juice before bedtime can increase melatonin production.
- Avoid drinking alcohol 2-3 hours before you want to go to bed because research shows your sleep will be interrupted.
- Keep the same sleep schedule
- Avoid napping
- Make sure your bedroom is sleep friendly, no TV or electronics in the bedroom and dark shades that block light.
- Night shift workers might want to use blue-light blocking sunglasses on their way to bed in the daytime.
- Keep a relaxation ritual to damper stress like an Epson salt bath with lavender essential oils
- Exercise Regularly
- Follow a plant based diet, to help balance your hormones.
- Turn the TV and electronics off one hour before bedtime
- If you have sleep apnea your symptoms may improve if you lose weight, quit smoking, avoid alcohol, avoid tranquillizers before bed and try not to sleep on your back.
- Turn off the lights and go to bed when you are sleepy.
- Sleeping on your back will keep your spine in the most neutral position but those with sleep apnea or snoring, breathing, issues may want to sleep on their side.
- Medium firm mattresses are best for back pain which is a frequent complaint.
- Your pillow should support your neck in a relaxed position and keep in line with your spine.
Naturally With Supplements
“In a recent study on the effects of sleeping pills almost every single subject suffered from one or more side effects ranging from headache, nausea, irritable, dizziness and dysgeusia (altered sense of taste).”  Here are a few natural sleep aids.
- GABA, gamma-aminobutyric acid, is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter. It calms the brain and reduces the neuron excitability throughout the nervous system. People who are insomniac or have sleep apnea have low GABA. This supplement helps you sleep when paired with nitric oxide.
- The primary amino acid found in collagen, bone broth, is glycine. Glycine lowers your body temperature and helps with REM sleep.  A cup of collagen before bed is restful.
- As we age our sleep patterns get broken up. Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems. Taking magnesium reverses age-related changes to sleep. 
- CBD oil is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis and insomnia patients who took 160mg/day increased sleep time and woke up less in the night.
- Theanine is a chemical found in tea that increases serotonin, GABA and glycine levels in the brain.
- Lutein & Zeaxanthin are found in colorful produce and have the same effect as the blue light blocking goggles and when taken on a regular basis improves sleep quality and lowers sleep disturbances.
- Lemon Balm is an herb in the mint family that helps reduce stress and anxiety which helps you sleep.
- Valerian is a root that has long been used for anti-insomnia and helps with increasing GABA.
- Combinations that have shown to work well together are GABA and theanine, or magnesium with zinc and melatonin. 
- Studies have shown that adaptogen herbs like ashwagandha or rhodiola rosea also improve sleep.
- Melatonin is a hormone your body produces to help shut down all systems for sleep. It is produced throughout the night to help you stay asleep.
- Mela Long is a vegetarian formula with a biphasic delivery system that releases melatonin quickly and then steadily. Melatonin is naturally produced in the pineal gland in response to changes in light exposure; it helps promote healthy sleep patterns as well as antioxidant and immune activities. Mela Long can support these functions by helping to maintain normal levels of melatonin in the body.
- Support Synchronization of the Body’s Daily Biorhythms
- Support Restful Sleep
- Direct and Indirect Antioxidant Support
- Support Healthy Immune Response
- Support Brain Health
For more information call our office at 410-216-9180 or to order Mela Long CLICK HERE.
- Mela Dissolve 3 also has Melatonin which is produced naturally in the pineal gland of the brain in response to changes in light exposure; it helps maintain healthy sleep patterns as well as antioxidant and immune activities. Melatonin can be taken as a supplement to support these functions by promoting normal levels of melatonin in the body.
- Supports the Natural Function of the Pineal Gland
- Helps Support Healthy Sleep Patterns
- May Support Antioxidant Activity and Cardiovascular Health
- May Support Immune System Activity
For more information call our office at 410-216-9180 or to order Mela Dissolve 3 CLICK HERE.
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Sleep Deprivation and Dficiency," 3 May 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency.
- "How Sleep Impacts Your Hormones," Hallelujah Diet, [Online]. Available: https://www.myhdiet.com/healthnews/science_of_her/how-sleep-impacts-your-hormones/. [Accessed 7 May 2019].
- "News in Health The Benefits of Slumber," National Institutes of Health, April 2013. [Online]. Available: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2013/04/benefits-slumber. [Accessed 13 May 2019].
- "Are You Getting Enough Sleep?," Consumer Reports on Health, vol. 12, no. 11, p. p1. 3p. 2 Charts., 2000.
- E. Lawrence, "STOP SLEEPING ON THESE 5 EATING HABITS THAT CAN HELP YOU GET MORE ZZZ’S AT NIGHT," Well and Good, 3 May 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/eating-habits-and-sleep/. [Accessed 8 May 2019].
- "The Best Sleep Position for Your Body," Sleep.org, [Online]. Available: https://www.sleep.org/articles/best-sleep-position/. [Accessed 13 May 2019].
- M. Sisson, "10 Natural Sleep Aids, What Works and Why," Marks Daily Apple, 24 April 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.marksdailyapple.com/10-natural-sleep-aids-what-works-and-why/print/. [Accessed 7 May 2019].