It's estimated that 40% of Americans are sleep-deprived.
Studies indicate getting seven to eight hours of adequate sleep per night is ideal for anyone at any age. Sleep allows the body to heal itself, and slow down to detoxify organs throughout the night. Our body works around the clock taking information to communicate with all of our interconnected systems.
Tip #1: Take Vitamin D!
This vitamin is also a hormone, and it appears to have direct brain effects on your regulation of sleep, specifically in the diencephalon (the part of your brain that contains the hypothalamus and regulates hormones) and brain stem (trunk of the brain). Some studies indicate that sleep disorders have become a widespread epidemic due to vitamin D deficiency. Plan D is high potency with 5,000 IU of vitamin D3, and new to the Reset360 product line. Vitamin D has hormonal, neurological, and immunological influences on pain in the body, playing a key role in the cause and continuation of chronic pain and associated problems such as insomnia.
Lack of sleep, disrupted circadian rhythms, and low vitamin D levels can impair healing and repair. It’s difficult to gain a sufficient amount of it through your diet. The best food sources are liver and low-mercury fish such as herring, sardines, and cod.
Sunshine is still the best way to get vitamin D, but if you have a genetic defect in your vitamin D receptor, it may be almost impossible to get enough sunshine to keep your vitamin D in the optimal range of 60 to 90 ng/mL (the optimal range for sleep and achieving a healthy weight).
Generally, 2,000 to 5,000 IUs/day is recommended, but the best strategy given the multiple genes involved in vitamin D metabolism is to track the blood levels over time. As you’ll find with many nutrients, there is a U-shaped curve between vitamin D and health, so too little is bad, and too much is bad too. You need the right amount. We recommend talking to your doctor to find the right dosage for you .
Tip #2: Regulate Your Natural Sleep and Wake Cycle
Both the mind and body thrive on routine. When you go to bed and wake up at the same time every night, it helps regulate your sleep and wake cycle. Many people have to be up around 6 AM to start their day. This means that going to sleep at 11 pm will give you 7 hours per night. The lowest amount of sleep you should get to reap the benefits of rejuvenation is 7 hours.
Tip #3: Take a Non-Habit Forming Supplement
Three non-habit forming supplements used for sleep are Melatonin, 5-HTP, and Valerian Root. Melatonin comes from our Pineal gland in the brain. Production starts around 10 PM in the body to help induce sleep. The chemical compound 5-HTP is from the biosynthesis of serotonin and tryptophan. Production of our sleep-inducing chemicals decreases from lack of natural light exposure. The purpose of Melatonin and 5-HTP in the body is to regulate our sleep and wake cycles. Valerian root is a natural plant-derived supplement. It is the plant that pharmaceutical companies make Valium from. It is non-habit forming and can help to induce sleep.
Sleep Tight is a new addition to the Reset360 product line, formulated to provide relief from occasional sleeplessness and help you reset your circadian rhythm. Its powerful combination of minerals, herbs and tried and true melatonin helps to relax your muscles and promote calm in the evenings and allow you to rest. Taking a supplement to encourage sleep can start a natural circadian rhythm in the body. After that regulates, you can taper off consumption.
Tip #4: Upgrade Your Microbiome
It’s clear that your microbiome powers most of your body’s key functions, including sleep. Preliminary findings from a study of adults over age 65 found that those with better sleep quality also had more of the good gut microbes, including Verrucomicrobia and Lentisphaerae, and improved cognitive flexibility . Other findings suggest there is a link between gut bacteria and normal sleep patterns. This is especially true when we consider that the food we eat fuels important hormones, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which governs sleep and mood . Bad sleep, functional constipation, and low microbe proportion may be connected . We know that sleep deprivation leads to obesity and weight gain .
There is certainly a connection between poor gut health and poor sleep. I suggest amping up your intake of prebiotic foods, like leeks and avocados.
Tip #5: Find New Ways to Manage Stress
Technology often reels us in without realizing it. Now we can flip the script on it for stress reduction through the use of stress-reducing apps! It is tempting to stay up late on social media. There are excellent apps designed to have us take a break and calm us down. This gives us the power to upgrade our nervous system instead of leaving it on all the time. Apps for guided meditation, visualization, and autogenic training are available. Autogenic training is a way to self-produce feelings of warmth and heaviness in the body. Other apps such as Calm, Headspace, Breathe, The Stop, and Think are great for this purpose too. Here’s a YouTube example of autogenic training.
Tip #6: Weekends Are Not Ideal to Catch-up on Sleep
It seems like catching-up on sleep over the weekend is a good idea. You may feel better for a bit but this is actually a myth. The body and brain need a regular cycle to function at their best. Sleep deprivation five days a week is what affects our health. The body will still operate in a pattern of deprivation and show results from that. In an ideal world, we should keep the same schedule seven days per week.
Tip #7: Rethink Your Caffeine Consumption
Some people process caffeine right away - 49% of Americans - and experience direct effects, while 51% of the population has a slower metabolism of caffeine. That is if we are able to tolerate it at all. Some individuals have the gene called CYP1A2 which means caffeine goes through their system at a snail's pace. Consuming caffeine can trigger insomnia even from a small amount found in green tea. Those who process it at this rate should limit consumption to 200 mg/day if at all.
To learn more about your genetic process and other insights, use www.23andme.com. This is a great way to get an idea of how your body works with the information it's given.
Tip #8: Hypnosis
If you have chronic insomnia, it may be time to consider hypnosis. Research has shown it to work when nothing else does. In 2015, a study on 502 insomniacs showed hypnosis did help them sleep. It may not be for everyone, but it is worth a try if you have tried other options to sleep at night.
Tip #9: Blue-Screen Time Avoidance Before Bed
This one may not be easy if you watch TV late at night, or take your laptop with you to the bedroom. Blue-screen time does suppress melatonin production which we need to sleep. Cutting screen time out two hours before bed is ideal. If you can’t seem to avoid it, you can try the software by f.lux. It adjusts your computer screen to match the natural lighting of the time of day. This helps your body wind down in a more natural way.
Tip #10: Try CBD Oil or Hormone Management Supplements
CBD is the cannabis compound that does not produce a “high.” Research has concluded that it can have positive effects on sleep. It is best to start with a few drops before dinner and work your way up to 5-10mg / twice a day to get the benefits.
For hormone management, some find relief by controlling their cortisol levels. Ask you doctor about whether cortisol levels may be contributing to your insomnia. Progesterone supplementation may work well for women in perimenopause, or menopause. Ask your doctor about oral supplements that have shown to improve sleep.
If insomnia is a problem for you, try one of these tips for a week and see how you feel. Try more than one until something works for you as long as it’s right for your health and situation.
These options help you train for a better sleep cycle as the body gets used to a new routine.