The hormone Cortisol is activated by stress, sleep deprivation and even EMF (electromagnetic field) exposure. Just a single night of improper sleep can raise cortisol levels by 45%! Sleep is the time that the body recovers, repairs and regenerates as well as produces important hormones (in the liver) such as the ultimate anti-aging… human growth hormone. Did you know, sleep is also the time that the brain flushes out neurotoxic waste products that s-l-o-w-s the body down, clouds the brain and contributes to a sugar-burning metabolism?
Yes, lack of a goods nights sleep not only disrupts the hormonal symphony, depresses the immune system by increasing markers for inflammation but also interferes with the ability to burn fat.
Managing stress both physical and mental can improve the guts permeability helping with leaky gut syndrome that predominantly leads to neurological disorders, allergies, auto-immune and general disease. Getting ample sleep is something I can’t emphasize enough! If you aren’t getting enough sleep, your hormones will not balance, healing will not take place, weight will not come off and the chance for disease manifests!
A good nights sleep can single handedly improve you chance for living longer and stronger in your body.
Holistic Stress Relieving Tips:
Honoring your whole self by exercising more lowers cortisol levels by releasing serotonin in the gut, the “second brain” hardwired to help with stress which synchronously brings about better sleep. Sometimes we need reminding that invoking a relaxation response by receiving a massage, a Reiki session or other alternative healing therapies to calm the mind and body will simultaneously provide you with a higher quality of sleep.
You’re probably already aware of the calming constituents of lavender oil and while taking an epsom salt bath instilled with oils is a bit complex to accomplish each evening. Simply improve your quality of sleep by diffusing essential lavender oil before or during sleep. This stimulates the limbic system or emotional brain and effectively releases response chemicals for a deeper relaxation of body and mind. You can safely put a few drops into the palm of the hand and breath in its distinct aroma or rub it directly on the bottom of your feet. Another very effective combination is making a mixture of magnesium oil, Roman chamomile and lavender oils applied respectively over the body to resolve sleep issues or insomnia.
Minerals are among some of the many depleted components that help our body stay balanced and why magnesium might be a missing link thats responsible for more than 325 different enzymes in the body. Foods are not only depleted of essential trace minerals, but our compromised digestive system might only digest a portion of this responsible mineral for hydration and relaxing our muscles. It’s also crucial for the deactivation of adrenaline that allows that sleepy state to overcome us, actually fall asleep and remain in sweet slumber. This is why taking a bath with epsom salts, using a magnesium oil or consuming a tasty powdered formula mixed with water for better absorption.
I suggest taking 400-500mg of magnesium before you go to sleep in a chelated form such as citrate, ascorbate, carbonate, glycinate, or ideally a mix of them as my clients would agree.
Food is information as certain foods can be metabolically vitalizing with their vitamin and mineral constituents. It is known when there’s mineral deficiencies in the body the thyroid is virtually affected. If you understand that hormones are little chemical messengers delivered by the foods that sustain us and optimally regulate endocrine functioning. Eating the right foods can be empowering to the body and mind, but also why supplementation sometimes comes into play for providing balance to what every body needs.
Melatonin matters, a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness and responsible for the circadian rhythm. Its also a potent antioxidant that defends against free radicals and helps support glutathione activity needed for detoxification purposes being beneficial for scavenging free radicals. Studies have linked it to prevent DNA damage by some carcinogens and stops the cancer mechanism by raising cytokines as well as supporting digestion, the nervous system and improving anxiety. Those with disrupted sleep cycles such as seniors, if you suffer from jet lag or those who work the night shift and even ADD individuals have benefited from taking a sublingual peppermint lozenges that is dissolved in the mouth bypassing the digestive system and goes directly to the brain for a needed nighty night.
Remembering we are all individual, to live consciously and nourish the body daily with natural sources of whole foods that breakdown into the missing minerals that helps put the body in a healthier state.
A handful of protein and magnesium rich nuts like almonds, cashews or walnuts can deliver a dose of a valuable nutrition but remember to be mindful of chewing…the first stage of the digestive process and very necessary for assimilation. Maybe you’ve heard the buzz about tumeric and golden milk? Sipping your way to slumber with this protein based drink when using a nut based milk and combining the comforting spices that down regulate inflammation, improves blood pressure and insulin levels and ideally help you get a goods night sleep.
Try these sleeping beauties, tart cherries as they are rich in melatonin, antioxidants and highly anti-inflammatory as published in scientific literature from the National University of Natural Medicine. Italian researchers discovered that when participants took 5 mg of melatonin at night before bed, they had increased HGH levels by up to 157 percent. More easily, drink ¼ cup tart cherry juice diluted with 1 cup of water before bed or later in the evening.
Comfort yourself with a cup of Chamomile tea before bedtime as some health experts say it can be more effective than sleep medications. While scientists note that it contains Glycine that is known to act as a nerve relaxant and acts as a mild sedative.
Swiss cheese for shut-eye as it’s a good source of tryptophan. This amino acid triggers the release of melatonin that helps increase the amount of time you spend sleeping and also decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. That is if you are not dairy sensitive and if cheese is something you feel you can’t live without and crave daily…chances are, you are more than likely to have a dairy sensitivity or depleted of necessary minerals.
Oily fish like wild caught salmon and halibut that boasts with vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin, according to an article published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. While these omega 3 fatty acid foods help deter inflammation which is lacking in the standard American diet that supports the homeostasis of the body and mind for a goods nights sleep.
No joking about jasmine rice and this carbohydrate-rich grain that falls into a high-glycemic index(GI) rather than a lower -GI long grain rice. I guess, I can’t argue with the findings in a relative study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. They found those who ate a meal with greater amounts of insulin producing jasmine rice actually increased the ratio of sleep inducing tryptophan relative to other amino acids in the blood. This speculation suggested that more of this vital amino acid was allowed to get into the brain to boost better shut eye.
Maybe the most perfect snack is popcorn that is low in calories, packed with slow digesting fiber while its carbohydrate source makes tryptophan an amino acid that’s conducive with sleep. Most corn is genetically modified so choose organic and air pop for a healthy source that is now more readily available in supermarkets. Make sure it has the GMO project label on the package to assure its authenticity of not being modified or sprayed with harmful pesticides.
Kudos for kale and other dark green leafy vegetables, such as arugula, dandelion and collards, also boast healthy doses of minerals and calcium. And research suggests that being calcium deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep. Making smoothies and soups is a way to allow for better absorption as during these preparations the tough to digest fibers have already been pre-broken down so the digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard thus supporting the metabolic pathways.
There’s no better time than now for doing a spring cleanse to help boost healthier eating habits, reduce the inflammatory foods that create havoc and dis-ease. Why not reset your metabolic engine to feel more vibrant, clear headed and balanced bringing on the necessary sleep routine your body and mind needs.
Can you feel it in the air? Those silent but serious EMF waves that disrupt the pineal gland that orchestrates hormonal secretions including melatonin. These high frequency fields affect the body on a biological level and increase cortisol levels. Put down the devices at least an hour before bed, turn off the television and open a good book instead.
Constant exposure to this sea of positive ions that is known to cause chronic fatigue, decrease the body’s immune response and rob you of a good nights sleep because they are known to decrease blood and oxygen to the brain. There’s one pink pearl of a charm that can reverse the effects of those positive ions that result in irregular sleep patterns.
A Himalayan salt lamp works beautifully if kept in the bedroom to neutralize electromagnetic radiation by naturally emitting negative ions improving the quality of air you breathe. There’s counterfeit versions out in the market and true air purifying one’s that actually will weep of salt so protecting the surface below it is important.
Try yogic breathing as I often relate back to ancient healing traditions of Ayurveda that’s based on the principle that balance and health is our natural state. I share with you what yogi’s have long practiced, a simple alternative nostril breathing technique that balances brain function, calms the nervous system and mind. Practice this effective exercise to put you to sleep so if you happen to wake in the middle of the night,it may quell the random thoughts and remedy tossing and turning.
Close the right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Do this to the count of four seconds.Immediately close the left nostril with your right finger and little finger, and at the same time remove your thumb from the right nostril, and exhale through this nostril. Do this to the count of eight seconds. This completes a half round.Inhale through the right nostril to the count of four seconds. Close the right nostril with your right thumb and exhale through the left nostril to the count of eight seconds. This completes one full round.Keep this repetitive alternating focus of counting and nostril breathing. Start practicing by doing three rounds daily so you get the gist and sleep tight!!
Learning how to practice meditation to quiet the monkey chatter by concentrating on deeper breathing, letting go of random thoughts to find the zone of disconnectedness. This peaceful place of silence and just being has been researched for its known calming effect but a Yale University study found that “mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a., “monkey mind.” To be able to dial down on worry about the past, future and ruminating thoughts can certainly be helpful to get more mind/body needed zzzz’s.
Wishing you peaceful slumbers,