Why do I need better sleep?
Sleep has a powerful restorative effect and is a critical element in healing and preventing chronic disease. Circadian rhythms are our bodies’ natural patterns of sleep and wake cycles. Many systems in the body follow similar rhythms including our hormones, nervous system, blood pressure, blood sugar and bowel flora populations. Melatonin largely controls our circadian rhythms. Disruption of this hormone causes the rhythm to be imbalanced, possibly causing headaches, chronic pain, IBS, or high blood pressure.
How do I prevent melatonin disruption and restore normal sleep patterns?
- Get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep between 10:00 PM – 6:00 AM. Physical regeneration occurs between 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM. Mental regeneration occurs between 2:00 – 6:00 AM.
- Avoid blue light screens for 2 hours before bedtime. Blue light can decrease melatonin to half and resets the circadian rhythms by causing your brain to act as if it were in daylight.
- Keep electronics away from the bed.
- Avoid caffeine after noon.
- Don’t exercise at night.
- Block all light in the bedroom during sleeping hours.
- Keep your bedroom cool.
What can I expect?
With proper sleep, your body can utilize its natural abilities to heal itself, resulting in more energy and vitality to live the life of your dreams!
Why should I avoid sleeping pills?
Even though sleeping pills can induce drowsiness, many don’t promote REM sleep. REM sleep is what experts call “restful sleep”. While you are sleeping your body beings to heal itself, if you are sleeping in a deep restful sleep your body can regenerate, repair, and fight. Sleeping pills only promote a gentle sleep which doesn’t give your body enough time to heal.
This isn’t the only downside of sleeping pills. In a study*, 10,529 people who took sleeping pills were compared to those who didn’t. Researchers found that those who took the pill were four times more likely to have died during the 2.5 year follow up than those who didn’t take sleeping pills. The researchers also found a 35% increased risk of cancer in the people who took the pills.
However, if you are having a hard time sleeping or have used sleeping pills before, you are not alone. 69% of patients who visit a doctor have a chief complaint of sleeping issues. If you are taking sleeping pills remember to consult with your doctor before you reduce your dose or stop taking sleeping pills. There are many safe and effective alternatives to sleeping pills.