The Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle

The Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle

CIrcadian Rhythm and Sleep Cycle

Sleep Hygeine

What is the Circadian Rhythm?

There is a 24-hour circadian rhythm that regulates our sleep cycle. Our hormones are at play with regards to when we feel drowsy and when we experience wakefulness. Regardless if an individual considers themselves a night owl, or they are shift workers, the human body, animals and plants, are all regulated by this internal circadian clock called “The Circadian Rhythm”.

The circadian rhythm influences us both when we are asleep and when we’re awake. Otherwise known as the sleep-wake cycle, or the sleep cycle, the release of specific hormones makes this all possible. One such hormone that gets secreted and peaks, particularly when we are in the deepest stage of sleep, is growth hormone. It is through this release that our brain and body repairs and restores itself for continued health and well-being.

When there is a disruption to the circadian rhythm, there are some consequences we soon experience, such as increased fat storage, depression, diabetes and/or bipolar disorder. When a person has not had adequate sleep for an extended period, their sleep cycle informs them that they need to have rest. The result is the feeling of drowsiness.

 

Sleep Time

The timing that is set for both sleep and wakefulness can differ during a 24-hour span. At 2 – 4am, most adults will find they are very sleepy. Interesting, it turns out that we are also driven to sleep between 1 – 3 pm. Those with sleeplessness, requiring an insomnia treatment, are those that will suffer the most at these times of the day. This reality is all thanks to our natural circadian rhythm.

 

Sleep Cycles and Brain Waves

 

Gamma

  • The “Insight” brainwave
  • The fastest frequency of all brain waves
  • Linked to the high-level information processing

Beta

  • “Waking Consciousness”
  • Responsible for reasoning

Alpha

  • Present mostly in deep relaxation.
  • When we are awake, alpha may slip us into a daydream
  • Alpha brainwaves help us with light meditation.
  • Alpha brain waves help focus us through the quiet balancing of the mind
  • Alpha brain waves are present when our intuitive facilities are optimised

Theta

  • Light meditation and sleeping brainwave.
  • It includes REM dream state.

Delta

  • Deep REM sleep brainwave
  • Realm of the unconscious mind
  • Linked to repair and regeneration
  • The reason it is called delta sleep is because of the presence of high-amplitude, low-frequency delta waves. These are witnessed in a patient’s EEG.
  • It is hard to wake a person once they are in deep sleep.
  • Human growth hormone has been shown to release in pulses during deep sleep.

The Stages of Sleep within our Sleep Cycle

 

When we are about to fall asleep, our brain will enter the Alpha and Theta waves. This is when we experience dreaminess. This same dreaminess that is encountered during the day does not typically result in sleep, but at night it will. This is due to our circadian cycle. Many people who practice the art of mediation will be able to gain control over their brain waves. Alpha is a very restful/peaceful state.

Once our brains begin to enter the Theta wave, we will feel slightly awake and easily roused, but still in a light state of sleep. If we have been undisturbed in this stage, within 5-7 minutes the 2nd stage of sleep will be reached.

 

Sleep Patterns

It is crucial to understand your sleep cycle. Through the optimisation of your sleep sanctuary, you move towards the improvement of cellular regeneration and repair. Our specialist has created a list of sleeping tips that will enable you to get the rest you need every night.

References

 

  • (2018). New perspectives on the role of melatonin in human sleep, circadian rhythms and their regulation. British journal of pharmacology, 175(16), 3190–3199. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/bph.14116 
  • Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2018). Ninds.nih.gov. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from Https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep

  • Bellesi, M., Riedner, B. A., Garcia-Molina, G. N., Cirelli, C., & Tononi, G. (2014). Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 8, 208. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00208 
  • Fitsleep – BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF ALPHA WAVE SLEEP SYSTEM MEDICAL THEORY AND CLINICAL TRIAL VERIFICATION. (2018). Fitsleep.net. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from http://www.fitsleep.net/events/detail/id/3/language/en_us

  • Nedeltcheva, A. V., Kilkus, J. M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D. A., & Penev, P. D. (2010). Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine, 153(7), 435-41.

  • Beccuti, G., & Pannain, S. (2011). Sleep and obesity. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 14(4), 402-12.

  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 2, Sleep Physiology.

  • Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular vision, 22, 61-72.

  • Bass, J., & Takahashi, J. S. (2010). Circadian integration of metabolism and energetics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1349-54.

  • Mahowald MW. Sleep Deprivation: Basic Science, Physiology, and Behavior Sleep Deprivation: Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects. Arch Neurol. 2005;62(8):1314. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.8.1314-a

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How important is sleep for muscle growth and weight loss?

How important is sleep for muscle growth and weight loss?

Sleep Hygiene

While sit-ups and crunches are great exercises for burning abdominal fat and sculpting your 6-pack, you must ensure after all the intense training, one final step is taken. This last step is the one that takes place in your sleep.

It may sound odd to some of you who are new to the world of hormones and hormonal regulation, but scientifically this makes perfect sense. The answer is attributed to the powerfully regenerative activity that occurs when growth hormone spikes during your sleep cycle. As far as lifestyle goals go, sleep should be up at the top of the list alongside burning fat or building muscle. It really does deliver that final step in goal achievement.

The muscle building benefits of having good sleep hygiene

Amanda Dinte, nutritionist BHSc, has published an article on her blog called The Kitchen Cleanse. It lists three of the top benefits of a good night’s sleep:

  • While asleep, our bodies balance themselves on a hormonal level and produce energy. This is the reason why your morning boot camp session feels more like a party than a punishing regime you signed yourself up for.
  • During sleep is when the muscles and all of the systems of the body repair themselves from the abuse of daily living. It also helps facilitate the process of muscle hypertrophy so that all of your hard work in the gym doesn’t go to waste and instead builds visible results.
  • Sleep cleans the brain. It flushes the body with the growth hormone, which is responsible for tissue repair, converting fat into muscle after training, regulating blood sugar levels and improving liver health.

It is definitely important to put in time for training, and it’s important that you consume a muscle building diet that is high in protein, but quality sleep is also crucial.

Research has been undertaken to prove this case in point. Sleeplessness has been shown to affect one’s metabolism and hormonal harmony negatively.

 

Dr Siobhan Banks, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in the US and the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of South Australia, is an expert in the benefits of restorative sleep as it pertains to weight loss.

 

  • It’s long been known that cortisol is a primary culprit of weight gain due to insomnia.
  • Cortisol is the stress hormone that makes us crave food regardless of hunger, for it activates the reward centres in our brain.
  • Leptin and ghrelin are two other hormones, which play a role in the control of hunger.
  • Fatigue has been proven to drain leptin supply. As the production of ghrelin increases, less leptin is produced and our stomach feels empty.
  • The more ghrelin we have, the more our appetite increases, and consequently, we experience a slow down in our metabolism.

 

Sleep Deprivation Causes Hormonal Chaos

 

It seems that insomnia and sleeplessness — which is defined as having less than six hours of proper shut-eye on a consistent basis, creates a storm of hormonal chaos.

The best remedy is to eat light and healthy, get regular exercise and relaxation time, turn off the TV and smartphone at least an hour before hitting the hay, and make your sleep sanctuary a reality. Check out our “Sleep Well, Sleeping Tips”. 

Some people find white noise sends them to sleep way faster than a quiet bedroom. One should keep the temperature down as well – but not too cold.

There are health and lifestyle peptide supplements and nutrient compounds that we carry that may positively influence your sleep hygiene and get you the rest you need.

References
 

  • Banks, S., & Dinges, D. F. (2007). Behavioral and physiological consequences of sleep restriction. Journal of clinical sleep medicine : JCSM : official publication of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 3(5), 519-28.
  • Dattilo M, e. (2018). Sleep and muscle recovery: endocrinological and molecular basis for a new and promising hypothesis. – PubMed – NCBI . Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 14 November 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21550729

  • Buchmann, N., Spira, D., Norman, K., Demuth, I., Eckardt, R., & Steinhagen-Thiessen, E. (2016). Sleep, Muscle Mass and Muscle Function in Older People. Deutsches Arzteblatt international, 113(15), 253-60.
  • Killick, R., Banks, S., & Liu, P. (2012). Implications of Sleep Restriction and Recovery on Metabolic Outcomes. The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 97(11), 3876-3890. doi:10.1210/jc.2012-1845

  • (2018). Tandfonline.com. Retrieved 14 November 2018, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07420528.2017.1335318

  • Kim, T. W., Jeong, J. H., & Hong, S. C. (2015). The impact of sleep and circadian disturbance on hormones and metabolism. International journal of endocrinology, 2015, 591729.
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5 Top Reasons for Sleep Loss and Insomnia

5 Top Reasons for Sleep Loss and Insomnia

Sleep Hygiene

Why Can’t I Get to Sleep?

 

Are you finding yourself twisting and turning at night? Perhaps you keep waking up and experiencing trouble getting back to sleep or have difficulty falling into a sleep that is deep and regenerative.

Late nights where you find yourself tapping into the early hours of the morning means the work gets done, but none of the recharging or healing takes place that would ordinarily.

There could be many whys in all this, be it finance worries or worries about job performance, children, relationships, health that is rapidly declining, grief or perhaps trauma. All these concerns can affect a person and prevent them from getting sleep that is restful. They may lead to short-term symptoms of sleep loss, but they may also cause chronic insomnia.

 

Obtaining good sleep hygiene means knowing how to create your sleep sanctuary.

 

If you are tossing and turning, it may be that the temperature of your bedroom is too warm. Often working out or training too close to bedtime triggers a restless night.

Drinking coffee too late in the evening may prevent you from getting to sleep. Sure it helped you get your work done before turning in for the night, but often we suffer the consequences of taking stimulants too close to bedtime. 

This includes smoking cigarettes at night. Ever had a few cigarettes before bedtime only to find your heart racing? It’s not a nice feeling. There are also many health conditions such as anxiety, depression, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea which one may have to factor in when sleeplessness occurs.

Sleep is crucial for maintaining health and wellness. One must address issues with getting sleep immediately. Place this at the top of your priority list. Sleep is the time of day we should be enthusiastic about. It is when we are supposed to put aside our worries of the day and give way to healing and regeneration. Sleep allows us to recharge. Our brains get washed of all of the toxins and free radicals that have made their way in. Our immune system gets maintained in our sleep and this is also when our muscle-building repair takes place. Anything less than a quality 7-8 hours f=of sleep increases the risk of heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and stroke. Cognitively it slows down one’s performance and minimises ones ability to exhibit patience, consideration and joy.

What are some of the top 5 causes of Sleep Loss

Anxiety, Stress and Depression

The most popular reason one experiences short-term sleep loss is due to stress. Stress unfortunately by itself can create anxiety and depression. Emotions that are negative and play in your mind such as anger, worry and grief or the feeling of being overwhelmed does not deliver an individual to a calming state of mind conducive to sleep. The coinciding anxiety that results out of not getting to sleep is yet another factor which prevents rest.

Laptops, Phones and Tablets Emit Blue Light that Causes Sleep Loss

Many, if not most of us, in this digital age will check messages, text or browse the Internet. Doing this though before bedtime is a big NO NO. Our circadian rhythm is our internal clock. It expects us to sleep as the sun goes down and rise with the sun comes up. Did you know that even a quick trip to the bathroom at night or the bright lights of an LED alarm clock have the potential to prevent us from producing melatonin and reap its benefits? It is suggested one engage in relaxing activities before bed.

Drugs, Alcohol and Medication

Drugs and alcohol will affect sleep. One must also be aware of the over-the-counter and prescription medication that cause sleep loss. It is wise to check if your medicine has caffeine. This is occasionally featured in painkillers. Other drugs that cause sleep loss are decongestants, steroids, asthma medications, blood pressure medications and anti-depressants such as Prozac. If you find it hard to decipher what medicine may be causing your sleep loss, take down a journal and research each drug, or get advice from your doctor.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless leg syndrome is a neurological disorder. RLS causes one to react and move around restlessly whether the compulsion is due to cramping, real or imagined. Extreme sleeplessness comes with this disorder, though it depends on the severity of symptoms.

Sleep Apnea

Characterised by interruptions in ones breathing throughout the sleep cycle, sleep apnea has the potential to be very dangerous. It has been suggested that excess weight may perpetuate symptoms. This is due to its impact on the soft-tissue in the mouth and throat, which obstructs the airway.

Sleep peptides are a viable treatment option for patients suffering from sleep loss. Get your sleep and regain your health and wellness.

References

 

  • Babson, K. A., Trainor, C. D., Feldner, M. T., & Blumenthal, H. (2010). A test of the effects of acute sleep deprivation on general and specific self-reported anxiety and depressive symptoms: an experimental extension. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 41(3), 297-303.

  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 2, Sleep Physiology.

  • Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular vision, 22, 61-72.

  • Bass, J., & Takahashi, J. S. (2010). Circadian integration of metabolism and energetics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1349-54.

  • Mahowald MW. Sleep Deprivation: Basic Science, Physiology, and Behavior Sleep Deprivation: Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects. Arch Neurol. 2005;62(8):1314. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.8.1314-a

  • Mahfoud, Y., Talih, F., Streem, D., & Budur, K. (2009). Sleep disorders in substance abusers: how common are they?. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 6(9), 38-42

  • Guo, S., Huang, J., Jiang, H., Han, C., Li, J., Xu, X., Zhang, G., Lin, Z., Xiong, N., … Wang, T. (2017). Restless Legs Syndrome: From Pathophysiology to Clinical Diagnosis and Management. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 9, 171. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2017.00171

  • Tuomilehto, H., Seppä, J., Uusitupa, M., Tuomilehto, J., Gylling, H., & Kuopio Sleep Apnea Group, f. (2013). Weight Reduction and Increased Physical Activity to Prevent the Progression of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A 4-Year Observational Postintervention Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine, 173(10), 930. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.389

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The What, Whys and Tips on How to Sleep Well

The What, Whys and Tips on How to Sleep Well

Weight Management

Understanding how to sleep well is one of the highest priorities in maintaining ones health.

Why is Sleep so Important to our Health?

  • The circadian rhythm (or sleep-wake cycle) drives” the activity within your cells, with each organ of your body being driven by this rhythm. When it is active, it is partially degenerating and when it is at rest, it is in recovery mode. There are ‘CLOCK’ genes that are present in every cell controlling the switch from activity to rest to activity and so on. Usually, the period of activity occurs during daylight, and the rest and the recovery period is at night.
  • Each organ, however, does not have eyes from which it would sense daylight and darkness. The organs rely upon the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the anterior hypothalamus, which is located in the base of the brain. This region is connected directly to the retina in the eyes and communicates to the organs when it is daylight or dark.

What are the Hormones of the Sleep – Wake Cycle?

  • Otherwise known as the central master clock, this specific region of the brain communicates the onset of daylight/rising to the peripheral organ clocks. This is done through an increase in cortisol and body temperature. It also decreases levels of melatonin in the morning. The night is communicated with low cortisol levels and body temperature, as well as high melatonin levels and growth hormone secretion.
  • Disruptions to your sleep cycle sends messages outward throughout your entire body. During sleep the input we have received gets sorted and consolidated into long term storage. Growth hormone release peaks after 2-3 hours of sleep. This leads to body repair, muscle growth, brain growth (neurogenesis) and interconnections (synapse plasticity), and the immune system strengthens.
  • The suppression of melatonin has been linked to circadian disruption and increases the risk of developing cancer. Melatonin helps to suppress harmful free radicals in your body.  When your circadian rhythm is disrupted, your body produces less melatonin, which is a hormone and an antioxidant and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumours grow faster when you sleep poorly.
  • It also slows the production of oestrogen, which can activate cancer. It is highly suggested that one turn off light-emitting gadgets for at least one hour before bedtime. There is a free software program that is great for those who just have to peruse the net before bed. https://justgetflux.com automatically removes the blue light from your computer screen. Additionally, there are devices that filter out blue light can be used in the evening i.e. glasses (fit over and non-fit over), smartphone/tablet/computer/TV screen filters, night-lights, lamps, etc.
  • Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realise you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far-reaching effects on your health.

How Much Sleep do I Need? 

Sleeping for seven to eight hours a night has been linked to positive personality characteristics such as optimism and greater self-esteem, compared to those with insomnia or who slept for less than 6 hours (or longer than 9 hours) a night.

Regularly sleeping less than 6 hours per night, increases your risk of premature death by 12%. The amount of ideal sleep is six to nine hours per night (usually 7 to 8 hours in a healthy adult), but for the individual, it varies with age, activity, stress levels, health, etc.

For troubled minds: when you “sleep on it,” you are more equipped to solve difficult problems. This is the best choice if you have an important meeting or challenge to face in the morning. Rather than stay up all night thinking about what troubles or challenges you, a good night’s sleep will reward you with the solution.

 

What are the Common Causes of Sleep Loss?

Insomnia will affect your hormone levels and has been linked to an acceleration of the ageing process. It also plays a role in the development of depression, diabetes and cancer. It may tempt you to obtain a sleeping pill to help you get to sleep, but the underlying cause of insomnia does not get addressed this way.

Some of these underlying issues may cause sleep loss.

Stress: All types of negative emotions, including worry, fear, anxiety, etc., can keep you up at night.
Overactive adrenals: When ones adrenals have been hyper-aroused this corresponds with increased levels of stress hormones in your body and the onset of sleep is difficult.

Eye problems: People who have damage in their optic nerve tend to have problems getting to sleep. They also find themselves waking up at strange hours and experience daytime drowsiness and insomnia at night.

Cell phones: Using your phone before sleep could be the cause of your insomnia, as well as headaches and confusion, which may also cut your amount of deep sleep, which interferes with your body‘s ability to refresh itself.

Top 5 Reasons for Sleep Loss and Insomnia

What are the Symptoms of Insomnia

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking too early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep
  • Waking frequently during the night
  • Waking feeling unrefreshed

Major Consequences of Sleep Loss

  • Dramatically weakens your immune system
  • Accelerate tumour growth – tumours grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions
  • Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your body composition and health
  • Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep – meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours – can impact memory recall
  • Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem-solving ability
  • Increased blood pressure and a heightened heart disease risk
  • Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to a decrease in new brain cell growth
  • Increased blood insulin levels, which leads to hunger, eating more than necessary and weight gain
  • Decreased growth hormone release, which leads to minimal body and brain restoration, as well as premature ageing
  • Aggravation of stomach ulcers and constipation

You don’t have to struggle to get to sleep at night. Sleeping well is entirely possible when you take the time to optimise your sleep sanctuary. Here is a list of helpful sleeping tips so that you can get to sleep fast and obtain quality, regenerative rest every night you hit the pillow.

How to Sleep Well at Night

1. Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible.

All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for action.

  • Even the tiniest bit of light in the room, such as a small glow from your clock radio, can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin.
  • Sleeping in darkness will help decrease your risk of cancer.
  • Close your bedroom door, and get rid of night-lights.
  • Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom.
  • Cover up your clock radio.
  • Cover your windows, use blackout shades or drapes.

2. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 21 °C.


  • Many people keep their homes, and particularly their upstairs bedrooms, too warm.
  • Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 15.5 to 20 degrees.
  • Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.
  • When you sleep, your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, generally about four hours after you fall asleep.
  • Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep, since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop.

3. EMF (Electromagnetic Fields)

Check your bedroom for electromagnetic fields as these can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, ranging from $10 to $200 on eBay. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house. Especially avoid having the house circuit board positioned on the wall outside the bedroom.

Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed.
If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably, at least one metre.

Remove the clock from view so that it is not shining light on your eyes (and hence your pineal gland) while you sleep.

Avoid using loud alarm clocks as
 It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. If you are getting enough sleep with regular sleep and wake times, an alarm may even be unnecessary.

Reserve your Bed for Sleeping.


If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

4. Consider separate bedrooms.


Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores.

5. Avoid stimulants several hours before bedtime

Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. Many drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, may adversely affect sleep. Often, medical conditions can be treated with non-drug options.

Avoid caffeine. In some people, caffeine is not metabolised efficiently, leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. So, an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (i.e. diet pills).

6. Avoid Alcohol 

Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

Growth Hormone is the body’s main repair hormone, and 70% is released in the first few hours of sleep. Alcohol can inhibit up to 75% of growth hormone release, significantly reducing daily repair, and facilitating degeneration and ageing. Alcohol can inhibit up to 90% of melatonin release for the night.

7. Make certain you are exercising regularly.

Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. However, don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it. Exercising outside to increase your sunlight exposure is probably best.

8. Get bright sun exposure early in the day

This practice works to inhibit melatonin production and stimulate cortisol production, so as to adjust your body clock to daytime.

Use a blue light source if bright sunlight is not available i.e. indoors, winter. Thirty minutes per day is enough to anchor your body clock into daytime.

9. Lose excess weight.

Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea (breathing pauses during sleep), which can seriously impair your sleep and your health. Ensure you have a weight management plan in place, particularly as you age.

10. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to.

This is particularly true for sugar, grains, and pasteurised dairy. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating and gas, as well as other problems.

11. Get Health Check – Blood Tests, Hormone Testing

Have your adrenals checked, as insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress or fatigue.

If you are menopausal or perimenopausal, get checked out. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if they are not properly addressed.

12. Avoid blue light in the evening.

Use ‘f.lux on your computer to automatically remove blue light from your screen in the evening. Use red or amber lighting around the house during the evening as much as possible, or use dimmers to decrease the intensity of the white light. Wear amber glasses after sunset. Fit-over and non-fit-over styles are available.

References

 

  • (2018). New perspectives on the role of melatonin in human sleep, circadian rhythms and their regulation. British journal of pharmacology, 175(16), 3190–3199. Advance online publication. doi:10.1111/bph.14116
  • Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2018). Ninds.nih.gov. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from Https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
  • Bellesi, M., Riedner, B. A., Garcia-Molina, G. N., Cirelli, C., & Tononi, G. (2014). Enhancement of sleep slow waves: underlying mechanisms and practical consequences. Frontiers in systems neuroscience, 8, 208. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2014.00208
  • Fitsleep – BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF ALPHA WAVE SLEEP SYSTEM MEDICAL THEORY AND CLINICAL TRIAL VERIFICATION. (2018). Fitsleep.net. Retrieved 8 November 2018, from http://www.fitsleep.net/events/detail/id/3/language/en_us
  • Nedeltcheva, A. V., Kilkus, J. M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D. A., & Penev, P. D. (2010). Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine, 153(7), 435-41.
  • Beccuti, G., & Pannain, S. (2011). Sleep and obesity. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 14(4), 402-12.
  • Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 2, Sleep Physiology.
  • Tosini, G., Ferguson, I., & Tsubota, K. (2016). Effects of blue light on the circadian system and eye physiology. Molecular vision, 22, 61-72.
  • Bass, J., & Takahashi, J. S. (2010). Circadian integration of metabolism and energetics. Science (New York, N.Y.), 330(6009), 1349-54.
  • Mahowald MW. Sleep Deprivation: Basic Science, Physiology, and Behavior Sleep Deprivation: Clinical Issues, Pharmacology, and Sleep Loss Effects. Arch Neurol. 2005;62(8):1314. doi:10.1001/archneur.62.8.1314-a

 

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