We spend approximately 1/3 of our lives sleeping
If you struggle to cope with the stressors around you, you are not alone. We live in a culture of overstimulation and struggle to keep track of emails, texts and notifications coming at us. We are constantly overloaded trying to manage children, ageing parents, finances, illness, etc. We also live in a world that expects to have everything instantly and are easily stressed when there are delays.
Many of us do not even realize that we are stressed; we just keep moving forward on the next task, the next problem, and it is not until our stress has manifested into something more or it has caused an illness that we notice.
What other benefits does a good night provide?
- Sleep positively affects tissues, systems and organs.
- It plays a role in brain function by cleaning the brain's pathways, and without sleep, neurons cannot form new memories or learn.
- During sleep, your blood pressure decreases, providing much-needed rest to your circulatory system.
- It also uses this time to repair blood vessels.
- Lack of sleep negatively affects your metabolism and can affect the part of the brain that controls hunger, causing an increase in appetite and cravings for sugar.
- Your immune system relies on sleep to keep you healthy, and without adequate amounts, you may find yourself more susceptible to colds and infections or chronic illnesses.
- Sleep is required for physical and mental energy, and a lack of it can affect judgement, performance, behaviour and mood.
- Study after study has revealed that people who sleep poorly are at higher risk for several diseases and health problems.
There are times when we have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. While the amount of sleep we need changes with age and varies by individual, the average adult should aim for 7 hours a night. But there are different sleep problems we experience, and knowing these subtleties, we can improve sleep hygiene and use specific supplements as adjuncts.
Awaken to Sleep Promoting Supplements
Insomnia – difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Lifestyle and environmental factors and medical conditions often impact insomnia. These may include excess worry, pollen, dander, blue light, noise, alcohol intake and caffeine. The recommended supplements for insomnia are Theanine, GABA, melatonin, and passionflower. Or you can try a combination supplement such as Healthology Sleep Great
Restless Leg Syndrome is a nervous system disorder that commonly occurs late afternoon or evening and is generally most severe at night when resting or trying to sleep. It causes unpleasant aching, tingling, or burning and an uncontrollable urge to move your legs. Iron deficiency, Parkinson's, renal disease, or diabetes may play a role in RLS.
Magnesium is a critical mineral to the central nervous system. A deficiency in this mineral can cause neuromuscular irritability, which may be a factor in developing restless leg syndrome. A B12 deficiency has also been noted in individuals suffering from RLS. If you have been tested and have an iron deficiency, you may find that you suffer from RLS. If you suffer from RLS, start by taking magnesium before bed. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant that may significantly improve the symptoms of RLS. Magnesium supplements are available in many forms. Look for a BisGlycinate form. It is more gentle on the stomach, especially before bed
Valerian 800 mg used for 8 weeks may also help improve symptoms of RLS and decreases daytime sleepiness; Veeva Sleep Formula contains valerian, magnesium and other supportive sleep herbs
Stress & Anxiety cause imbalances in serotonin, cortisol and other hormones that can impact sleep. Interestingly, this situation is considered bidirectional. In other words, sleep problems can cause anxiety, and anxiety can disrupt your sleep. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that can help manage the body's stress response throughout the day so you can sleep better at night. A combination supplement such as Natural Factors Tranquil Sleep is an excellent solution before bed to promote sound and restful sleep by clearing the mind and calming nerves.
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally. This may cause issues falling asleep or not being able to stay asleep long enough. L-Tyrosine helps in the function of organs responsible for making and regulating hormones, including the adrenal, thyroid, and pituitary and can improve alertness following sleep deprivation.
Perimenopause & Menopause are the result of falling and lowered estrogen and progesterone levels which can impact sleep. Reports highlight that 60% of postmenopausal women experience frequent insomnia cycles. L-Theanine elevates GABA, serotonin and dopamine, which may provide relief of menopausal mood swings and difficulty concentrating. It can also help to quiet an over-active mind at night. Ashwagandha can help manage the body's stress response throughout the day so you can better sleep at night and provides a sense of calmness and relaxation that can help promote deeper sleep.
Dietary Habits & Choices such as eating later into the evening can impact digestion, affecting your ability to sleep. Drinking stimulants (Coffee, tea, energy drinks or alcohol) can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Many amazing sleep formulas address the different stages and needs of sleep. Finding the right supplement for you involves examining your present health condition and tracking your sleep patterns
If you are unsure where to start, ask us for help. We can help guide you in the right direction.
Manage Your Stress Response -Provide the right nutrients for brain-body balance
Consider re-establishing the brain-body balance by providing your body with nutrients to handle the stress response better and a more balanced way to manage your day. Supplements can help the body better manage the stress response and the hormones associated with the response.
Support the Adrenal Glands - Stress triggers the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol ( a long-term stress hormone) and adrenaline (a short-term stress hormone). If the adrenal glands are not functioning properly or overproducing stress hormones, your body cannot properly recover from the stress response. The long-term effects of adrenal stress can also play havoc on weight management and sleep disturbances. Prairie Naturals Adrenal-Force is a glandular-based product designed to alleviate adrenal fatigue and support overall adrenal function. Reduce symptoms of stress and mental fatigue. Fortified with Rhodiola Extract, L-Tyrosine, and a high potency Activated B Complex, Adrenal-Force is an ideal formula for people who experience chronic stress or mental fatigue as it delivers the necessary nutritional support for healthy adrenal function.
L-Theanine is a unique amino acid found in green tea. It has been used for centuries to promote relaxation without causing any drowsiness. L- Theanine works by decreasing the excitatory brain chemicals that contribute to stress while increasing the brain chemicals that produce relaxation. It is said to be the "Zen" supplement because it quiets the mind. When taken during the day, it helps to take the edge off so you can focus more clearly, whereas taken at night, it helps to produce a state of chill so you can rest. Consider supplements such as Natural Factors Mental Calmness chewable L-Theanine for daytime use and brain focus and Pure Lab Vitamins sustained released L-Theanine for an end-of-day chill
GABA is a natural calming agent of the brain. When we become overwhelmed with stress, the brain typically responds by producing more GABA to produce a more relaxed state, decreasing nervousness, scattered thoughts, and hyperactivity. GABA can improve relaxation without drowsiness and enhance mental focus. GABA also controls stress-related eating & food cravings and can facilitate sleep. We love the Natural Factors Gaba supplements because they come in a few different forms. You can take a yummy chewable throughout the day or a capsule on a more scheduled morning and night routine