sleepI am tossing and turning, toss and turn some more! Count sheep, pray, etc….. I just can’t get to sleep, my brain just will not relax or turn off!!!! I am sure many of you have been in this same situation and it is a very frustrating one. Insomnia! It must have roots in the word insane because several nights of poor sleep I thing I am headed that way.  insomnia can vary from difficulty falling asleep despite being tired, to waking up in the middle of the night. It can also be a temporary, occasional, or chronic problem. But whatever form it takes, a lack of good quality sleep can wreak havoc on your health and make you feel very ill. You can’t concentrate, you are so tired and irritable.
What you may not realize is that many important task are not getting done inside of your body when you do not get the sleep your body needs. Your body can’t restore and build nutritional and body compounds (enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies, blood cells, etc…), build and repair tissues and bones when you are awake. Your mind and body require deep sleep for 7 to 8 hours for your bodies systems to function properly.  Everyone’s body is different. Some people can get by on 6 hours sleep and some people need 10 hours of sleep but for most people 7 to 8 hours of deep sleep is required for a healthy body. When you are sleeping the bodies night shift goes to work repairing damaged tissues, building new tissues, and restoring depleted compounds and nutritional stores used the day before.

Your Sleep Clock

You have probably heard of the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm controls normal sleep patterns and is part of the bodies master clock and is controlled by the hypothalamus gland in our brain. This rhythm is also effected by external factors such as your diet, your environment and behavior. To help establish good sleep never eat in your bed room and start turning the lights and sounds down low. This will begin to signal the body that it’s time to get ready for sleep. It may takes a few day to a few weeks of this behavior for your body’s natural clock to kick in.

Major triggers of insomnia.

  • Lack of magnesium (magnesium is required for muscles to relax)
  • Lack of potassium
  • Lack of B Vitamins
  • Caffeine (particularly late in the evening)
  • Stress (stress causes hormonal imbalances and can imbalance the natural circadian rhythm
  • A lack of complex carbohydrates in the diet (carbohydrates help absorb B vitamins, have tryptophan that help release serotonin and melatonin which help us relax and sleep)
  • Eating to close to bed time (can cause reflux)
  • Eating to much sugar a few hours before bed time
  • Lack of adequate exercise

Improve Your Sleep with These Tips

  • Getting out in the sunshine in the mornings on a regular basis helps re-establish your natural sleep clock.
  • Get plenty of magnesium and potassium in your diet by eating lots of leafy greens, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Whole grains also provide lots of B vitamins and minerals. Blast a wide variety of foods for optimal sleep.
  • Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin, the brain’s key calming hormones.
  • Tart cherries also increase your bodies melatonin. A team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Rochester did a sleep study and they found that cherries, particularly tart cherries, naturally boosted the body’s supply of melatonin.
  • Almonds are a great source of magnesium
  • Chamomile tea is a very helpful for calming and relaxing the body.
  • Green tea contains theanine which is relaxes and helps promote better sleep. Just make sure it is decaffeinated green tea.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes to 1 hour 5 days per week.  Exercise in the morning gets your body revved up for the day and helps generate relaxing chemicals .  If you exercise in the afternoon or evening make sure you have at least 5 hours before going to sleep. About 5 hours after exercising your body temperature begins to fall triggering your body for sleep. Vigorous aerobic exercise tends to provide the highest sleep benefits of any exercise.
  • You can also buy melatonin and 5-HTP as supplements to aid in your sleep. 5-HTP is a form of tryptophan your body can absorb easily.

Fire Up the NutriBullet for Great Sleep!

Try this mind calming blast about 1 hour before bedtime.

  • 1  banana with slightly green tips
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup tart cherry juice or 1/2 cup tart cherries

A good nights sleep which is 7 to 8 hours for most people is very important for your health.
Healthy Wishes
Wally Bishop C.N.C.
Vive Developer
The contents of this blog is not and should not be  considered medical advice. This blog is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Never quit taking prescription medications unless advised to do so by your doctor.

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