Insomnia

Can’t sleep?
Sleep deprivation is a huge problem across America with insomnia affecting about 10% of our population. An even bigger problem is the majority of folks that deprive themselves or struggle with sleep don’t necessarily believe its affecting them as much as it is.

Here’s the truth of the matter…it absolutely is.

Whether you struggle getting to sleep or staying asleep, first address the things that are easily controllable and allow them time to work. You’ll be surprised at how effective these small changes can be in helping you get some high quality rest.

The difficult part? Actually doing them. Start here…

1. Sleep Hygiene
  • Turn off any electronics or back lit screens 60 minutes to 2 hours before bed time. This IS ruining your sleep.
  • Black out any external light peering in through windows. Foil over your windows is a cheap, yet effective option, but so are these
  • Cover any visible LED lights in your room including small lights from smoke detectors, TVs, modems, digital alarm clocks. Duct tape will suffice here
    • Unable to do these things because of a stubborn partner? Use a sleep mask.
  • Turn your AC down below 70 degrees or at least make sure you have a fan that is ventilating your room and keeping it chilly. Cold? Use more blankets
2. Don’t look at your phone
  • If we wake up in the middle of the night, the easiest way to really continue to screw up our sleep is to look at our phone or even worse turn on any lights. COMMITT yourself to staying in bed and waking when your alarm goes off. Even if you lay there for hours on end, whatever you do, do not expose yourself to blue light!

3. Calm your mind

  • If you’re worrying about the next days presentation, workout or “to-do list” try writing everything you have on your mind down on a notepad then telling yourself that you will handle it first thing in the morning. This physical transference of thoughts to written words will help clear your mind…so long you grant yourself the permission and allow it to happen.
  • Breathe. Guided or patterned breathing can really help channel your parasympathetic nervous system and help down regulate you into more of a rest and relaxed state. Start out by counting a 3-5 second nasal inhale followed by a long, extended exhale and you’ll be quite surprised how quickly you drift off.
    • Meditation apps like Headspace or Simple Habit can be extremely helpful during restless nights. These are guided meditation applications (breathing practices) that help you doze off regardless of your current situation. They have specific guided breathing strategies for a whole host of issues with sleep that really WORK. Try them.
5. Don’t take sleep drugs – Don’t mess with your hormones folks. Our body naturally produces .3 mg of melatonin from sun down to sun up. The average over the counter sleep pill has about 3-5 mg of melatonin per dosage. That is over at least 9x the natural dosage our body creates. When you start putting artificial, overly dosed hormones into the body, our body not only stops producing it but also stops reacting to it. This quickly turns into “some is good, but more is better”. Also, lots of literature today is showing HUGELY detrimental side-effects including dependence, drowsiness, memory loss, changes in brain chemistry and even bizarre sleep walking events. Woah.
  • PurePharma M3 is sold at the box. A super high quality, top notch product we’ve carried and recommended since day 1. Most folks are deficient in magnesium and it can have relaxing effects for the brain and body in preparation for sleep.
  • Natural Calm is a good alternative as well. It’s a naturally occurring zinc/magnesium supplement that I have never used but have heard great things from friends and have read great reviews from mentors and pioneers in our industry. You can mix it with warm water for a soothing effect at night, but has been known to have some laxative effects…
  • Sleep Remedy is one of our favorite pre-sleep supplements that simply create the cascade of melatonin to occur. Melatonin is our sleep hormone, naturally created by the body at night to bring us into a restful state. Like CALM, you can mix it with warm water for a soothing effect at night. Hopefully we will start carrying this at the box as it has worked well for the folks we’ve tested it on.
6. Eating and drinking
  • Eating – Some folks do better eating smaller meals before bed AND some folks do better not eating directly before hitting the sack. If there is a lot of digestion still happening while you get horizontal, this may provide problems with getting and staying asleep
  • Drinking
    • Water – try cutting off your hydration at least 2-3 hours before bed. This will help prevent nightly urination problems. Although, I believe if we’re truly in a rested state, it shouldn’t’ matter how full our bladder is, we should be in enough of an unconscious state for it not to affect our sleep. Try everything else before pointing fingers at water intake.
    • Alcohol – did you know that alcohol breaks down into our body as ethanol and then from ethanol into formaldehyde (yes the same fluid they use to embalm human corpses with)? This toxin triggers our adrenal system to rev up our stress hormones to help filter this poison from our body ALL NIGHT. Wonder why your under recovered, stiff, sore, hung over and just flat out don’t sleep well when you drink before bed? Theres your answer.
These are a few of the numerous low-hanging fruits that you can address if you’re struggling with sleep. We recommend you really, truly put in an effort into trying EVERYTHING listed above and/or eliminating them…your mind, body and soul will thank you once you do and once you’ve developed good pre-sleep habits and a sleeping routine.

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