Insomnia is something that nearly everyone experiences at times, especially as parents to young children when sleep deprivation seems to never end. An occasional bad night’s sleep will make you feel tired and irritable but it will fortunately not have any harmful effects on your long term health.
The human body needs sleep to be able to function properly and having a regular sleep schedule is essential for a healthy and long life. It is recommended to sleep for around 8 hours a night but according to the American Sleep Association, as many as 50-70 million US adults suffer from a sleep disorder and are not getting the rest that they so desperately need. So what really happens when sleep deprivation becomes a long-term issue and we never seem to fully recharge?
After just one day of sleep loss cognitive impairment sets in and some of the negative side-effects can be experienced as early as after 17 hours without sleep. Your judgment will be affected as well as your memory and hand-eye coordination.
Your immunity is boosted during sleep. This is when the defense and repair system is the most active, identifying and replacing what is worn out and identifying and recycling what is foreign and might be harmful (including abnormal cells). Long term insomnia can therefore make you more susceptible to getting sick simply because your immune system is less able to fight off viruses and bugs.
During sleep the pituitary, the master gland in the brain, releases growth hormone which is essential for growth, cell repair, metabolism, muscle growth and repair. Getting enough and regular sleep is one of the best ways to optimize your long-term growth hormone production.
For the millions of people who are surviving instead of thriving there are many ways to improve sleep difficulties. See below for 8 simple “physiology before pharmacology” tips to help you beat insomnia naturally.
- Stay away from synthetic neurochemicals that are present in medications and enhance serotonin and melatonin production in a natural way by taking tryptophan with B6 and zinc 30 minutes before going to bed. See PERQUE Sleep Guard, the safer and natural way to boost your body’s own production.
- Take amino acids such as free l-methionine and glycine along with magnesium aspartate to help with anxiety and/or periods of depression that are caused by lack of restorative sleep and an imbalance in the body’s neurochemical harmony. Try PERQUE Mood Guard to address this.
- Practise mindfulness by incorporating relaxing rituals like salt & soda baths with calming essential oils, abdominal breathing, active meditation to link relaxation response with breath, and dichromatic green light to reduce stress for 20 minutes prior to bed.
- Stay away from electronics and aim to keep all devices out of the bedroom. Avoid looking at television, phones, computers or tablets right before bedtime. Make this easier by turning off routers and other sources of electromagnetic fields at night!
- Keep your bedroom as dark as possible and again, do not fall asleep with your television on.
- Avoid eating within three hours of going to bed and eat foods that can easily be digested, assimilated, and eliminated without burdening the immune system. If you are experiencing delayed allergy burdens it is important to know that they can have an effect on your sleep rhythms.
- Do not consume caffeine after lunch and choose water and alkalizing beverages instead to make sure you stay hydrated.
- As you fall asleep, picture yourself receiving inspiration, insight, and guidance during the restorative sleep ahead.