Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

It is estimated that as many as 70 million Americans suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Sleep deprivation can have a myriad of health effects, long term and short term. Cindy explains what you can do during your day to try to get 7-9 hours of sleep at night.

Credit: Amen Clinic

Video Transcript:

Hi, I’m Cindy Santa Anna integrative nutritionist for the Amen Clinics and your Wellness Wednesday host. Today’s topic is getting a better night’s sleep. It is estimated that as many as 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, this can have myriad health benefits, long-term and short-term deleterious health effects such as weight gain, anxiety, irritability and even memory problems. Us adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Teenagers about nine to ten and aging adults – 65, plus about 6 to 8 hours a night with, maybe even some naps. So how can we get a better night’s sleep?

Tip 1 – Get Exercise

The first tip is to make sure that you’re getting exercise throughout the day. This has so many benefits, even if it’s a 20-minute walk outside or some weights. This can help make you tired at night and sleep better.

Tip 2 – Limit Caffeine

The next is to limit your caffeine and remember that caffeine takes about 72 hours to completely detoxify from the body, so you want to make sure that you’re not having any stimulatory drinks after about 12 o’clock. This includes tea and even chocolate.

Tip 3 – Limit Blue Light Exposure

The next is blue light. Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, which helps us feel sleepy, so watching TV, being on your phone, kindles, laptops, etc. late at night is really bad. So if you do watch TV you can put on your blue light blockers. I even have some for kids for my kids and then turn off all your electronics at least a good 30 to 45 minutes, if not an hour before bedtime, to allow your body to start producing that melatonin.

Tip 4 – Comfortable Sleeping Environment

The next step is to make sure that your sleeping environment is comfortable and cool. You don’t have bunchy pajamas, maybe sleeping on organic sheets or organic cotton. Turning down the temperature one degree at night to make it nice and cool helps your body know it’s time for sleep.

Tip 5 – Watch Your Diet

It’s also important to pay attention to your diet throughout the day and make sure that your dinner is at least three hours before your bedtime and contains a protein, fiber from vegetables, and a healthy fat; staying away from heavy carbohydrates like rice and pasta and breads. Watch the desserts and then seriously watch the alcohol; that can majorly interfere with your sleep and it’s not recommended for brain health.

Tip 6 – Supplements

You can also supplement. You can use some herbs like lemon balm and passion flower. I like magnesium glycinate at bedtime. L-Theanine is nice, as well as vitamin B6 rich foods and gaba rich foods. I love the holy basil and ashwagandha, which are adaptogenic herbs that help us respond to stress better. So those are some good options as well.

Okay, so try these tips and I hope, you’re sleeping better at night – take care.

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