Have you had a bad night’s sleep? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Studies have shown that just one night of being sleep deprived can make you as insulin resistant as a type-2 diabetic. This translates directly to aging faster and storing more body fat than you want to (please say it ain’t so!)
But what if you have had more than just one night of bad sleep? Stretch the misfortune of bad sleep out over weeks, months, and years then you can start to see why lack of sleep can be such a huge problem. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that sleep deprivation is directly related to an inability to lose weight. Test subjects were put on the same exercise and diet program, but those who were in the sleep deprivation group (less than 6 hours per night) consistently lost less weight and body fat than the control group who slept for 8+ hours a night.
There are several other studies showing sleep deprivation encouraging cancer, Alzheimer’s, and depression. (Say it really ain’t so again!!)
But never fear! Getting good sleep can be possible. If you experience a few bad nights here or there you might want to start implementing these changes into your life today to get the maximum benefits.
Get More Sunlight During the Day.
Funny enough, a good night’s sleep starts during the daylight hours. One of the most vital things that induces great sleep is your body’s natural secretion of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in your brain and sends a signal to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in your body.
The production and secretion of melatonin is powerfully affected by light exposure. Sunlight provides the natural spectrum of light that we need to help coordinate the cycle of melatonin production. Get more light during the day (especially as early in the morning as possible), while getting less light at night, and you’re on your way to having a magic sleep formula.
Avoid the Screen.
This is likely the number 1 thing you can do to improve your sleep quality immediately. The artificial “blue” light emitted by electronic screens trigger your body to produce more daytime hormones (like cortisol) and disorient your body’s natural preparation for sleep. So shut it down 30 mins or more before bedtime.
Use a Blue Light Blocker.
Extenuating circumstances come up, and you may need to be on the computer later than you want. This is where cool advancements in technology can come in to help smooth things out. On my Mac I have a free application called f.lux that automatically eliminates all of the problematic blue light from my computer screen at a certain time each day. On my iPhone I have set my phone to automatically shift the colors of my display to the warmer end of the color spectrum (so no more blue lights!) automatically. (to do this go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift).
I remember that during ridiculously hot summers, my parents wouldn’t turn the air conditioner up to “save” on the utility bill. Well, I can tell you that I spent those summers tossing and turning in my bed trying to sleep through the heat.
Something called thermoregulation strongly influences your body’s sleep cycles. When it’s time for your body to rest, there is an automatic drop in your core body temperature to help initiate sleep. If the temperature in your environment stays too high, then it can be a bit of a physiological challenge for your body to get into the ideal state for restful sleep. Studies have found that the ideal room temperature for sleep is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above 75 or below 54 will likely cause some difficulty sleeping.
Get Your Daily Intake of Magnesium.
Magnesium is a bonafide anti-stress mineral. It helps optimize circulation and blood pressure, balance blood sugar, relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and calm the nervous system. Yet, because it has so many functions, it tends to get depleted from our bodies rather fast.
Magnesium deficiency is likely the number 1 mineral deficiency in our world today. And getting your magnesium levels up can almost instantly reduce your body’s stress load and improve the quality of your sleep. Current RDAs for magnesium range from 310–420mg per day, but a recent study found that the average daily intake for women is only 234–267mg (https://www.doterra.com/US/en/brochures-magazines-doterra-living-winter-2017-minerals).
Have a Caffeine Curfew and Be a Booze Blocker.
Set an unbreakable curfew stop time to make sure that your body has time to remove it from your system. For most people, it’s generally going to be before 4 p.m. But if you’re really sensitive to caffeine, then you might want to make your curfew even earlier, or possibly avoid caffeine altogether. And it isn’t just caffeine, it is alcohol as well. If you want to be a champ at this rejuvenating sleep thing, consider having a booze curfew so that your body can have a couple hours to get it out of your system. Or I would recommend just not drinking either. Water is my go-to!
But that is not all! I saved my very favorite tips for last. Click here to watch a video of me sharing some of the things I use to get the best night’s sleep ever! I even include a great tip for pet owners.