Home lifestyle tips Sweet Dreams for a Healthier You

Sweet Dreams for a Healthier You

written by Head Health Nutter May 27, 2009

“Hectic schedules. Bigger workloads. More hours in front of the computer and TV. There are more reasons why we lack sleep than there are hours in a day.” Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D.

In Monday’s post, Are We All Just Hormonal?, we introduced Doc Turner as our wellness knight in a shining white and teal book cover. Using hormones as a guide towards achieving health, she says sleep, along with stress management, is the most important aspect for restoring hormonal balance.

The hormonal benefits of superb sleep are enticing:

  • calms the nervous system for relaxation
  • maintains youth (anti-aging hormone is released)
  • increases happiness (feel good hormones released)
  • protects against harmful effects of excess estrogen
  • maximizes metabolism
  • enhances appetite control
  • keeps muscles moving
  • sharpens mind and memory
  • greater night-time repair and fat-burning benefits

The importance of sleep to health and wellness is unanimous among health professionals. Here are 3 links to get you started:

  1. This article published by the American Psychological Association (APA) explains the importance of sleep, what happens when you don’t get enough and suggests how to increase the quality of your sleep.
  2. The National Institutes of Health believes sleep is essential for everyone and tells us why in this piece written for parents.
  3. emedicinehealth.com provides us with the basics of sleep.

Sweet Dreams are Made of These (tips for a better sleep)

Adding the excellent tips from the APA, here are a few Live Lighter tips and suggested natural sleep aids:

  1. Herbal tea. Any will do because they lack caffeine or sugar and warm drinks are relaxing. Try good ‘ol Chamomile and Sleepytime from Celestial Seasonings.
  2. Stronger herbal tea. For those nights you’re really wired, I find Organic Nighty Night from Traditional Medicinals is a safe but highly effective herbal mix.
  3. Meditate. Get really calm while sitting comfortably and empty your mind right before bed. Thirty minutes will give you adequate time but do what you can.
  4. Deep-Breathing. As you lay in bed on your back, breath in deeply and slowly to the count of 8. Hold the air in your lungs to the count of 4. Breath out slowly and deeply to the count of 8. Repeat 3 times or more.
  5. Ear plugs. For women who have snoring husbands or restless babies, I recently tried Sleep Pretty in Pink women’s ear plugs. Stay tuned for a Live Lighter product review on this one!
  6. Stretch. Start on your feet, knees, stomach or back and just stretch. Do whatever stretches come to you, your body knows what it needs. All you have to do in get `in the zone’.
  7. Yoga or Pilates. Stretching with guidance. Choose relaxing poses or programs rather than the active options.
  8. Disconnect. Again, try for 30 minutes before bed and disconnect from the world. Avoid using the computer, TV, phones or anything else wired.

Do you have any natural sleep aids or tips to share with the community?

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6 comments

Allie May 28, 2009 at 9:48 am

Any time we are discussing sleep issues we should not leave out sleep apnea. Many people I talk to either have it or know someone who has it. I used to wake up many times during the night, had trouble staying awake in the afternoon, was fatigued, irritable, depressed, and had memory and concentration issues. I also was in emerg three times last year with cardiac arrythmia attacks during the middle of the night, was given drugs to slow down rapid and irregular hearbeat. The doctors said it was just my age(60)and stress. I checked the Internet and many sites showed a connection between arrythmia and sleep apnea. Doctors need to be more aware of this! I also snore which was another indication that I could have sleep apnea. I insisted my doctor send me to a sleep clinic and I was diagnosed with “severe” sleep apnea(I stop breathing avg. 60 times per hour at night). and now I am using a C-PAP machine at night to help me breathe. I am getting a sound sleep now, have more energy, feel happier, and have had no more arrythmia attacks.

Reply
Head Health Nut May 29, 2009 at 9:46 am

Thank you very much for sharing your personal struggles with sleep apnea, Allie.

From your description, I think my Honey has sleep apnea, too! Although he doesn’t have symptoms as severe as you had once, I will talk to him about going to the doctor.

It’s really great to hear that you’ve got it under control and feel much better. You’re an inspiration for others who’re experiencing sleep troubles! πŸ™‚

Reply
Dee July 1, 2009 at 4:11 am

I too did the overnight sleep clinic testing several years ago, which ruled out sleep apnea. But other than the extensive list of natural aids mentioned above, I have found READING, or another natural remedy called REST EZ by Melaleuca both work very well for me now.

Liquid melatonin and tryptophan were always excellent natural aids too, but these have now been “outlawed” from the market ~ since they are more effective than prescription drugs which have a much higher profit margin, are addictive and do not address the root causes of insomnia. I would never recommend taking pharma drugs, especially when all of these natural aids work!

Reply
Head Health Nut July 4, 2009 at 10:52 am

Cool, Dee! Thanks for sharing all these natural sleep aids with us.

Dr. Natasha Turner says for additional tryptophan, we can increase our intake of turkey, brown rice, cottage cheese, meat, peanuts and sesame seeds. Also, try grain chia or Salba.

She also suggests melatonin supplements, so that leads me to believe that it’s still available. Other sources of tryptophan (which is used to make melatonin in our bodies)are cherry juice, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

Sweet dreams, Live Lighter Readers!

Steph
Head Health Nut

Reply
Tibetan March 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I checked the Internet and many sites showed a connection between arrythmia and sleep apnea. Doctors need to be more aware of this! I also snore which was another indication that I could have sleep apnea. I insisted my doctor send me to a sleep clinic and I was diagnosed with β€œsevere” sleep apnea(I stop breathing avg. 60 times per hour at night). and now I am using a C-PAP machine at night to help me breathe. I am getting a sound sleep now, have more energy

Reply
Head Health Nutter March 9, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Tibetan. πŸ™‚

Steph @ Live Lighter.org

Reply

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