Jan 13, 2019
“A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow” - Charlotte Bronte
Poor sleep health is a common problem with 25 percent of U.S. adults reporting insufficient sleep or rest at least 15 out of every 30 days.
In our society, we have taken sleep out from his natural context. We live in a world where it is with great reluctance to let go!!!! We all try to go higher and higher , up our energy continuously.
Sleep used to live in nature, in the presence of the circadian rhythms, “it danced with light and with darkness”.
The brain cycles through five distinct phases during sleep: stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep makes up about 25% of your sleep cycle and first occurs about 70 to 90 minutes after you fall asleep. Because your sleep cycle repeats, you enter REM sleep several times during the night. During REM sleep, your brain and body are energized and dreaming occurs. REM is thought to be involved in the process of storing memories, learning, and balancing your mood, although the exact mechanisms are not well understood. REM sleep becomes seriously suppressed when sleep is not enough over time.
Deficit in dreaming over long period of time leads to memory deficits. Our dreams are involved in emotional healing, the brain behaves as a second gut . When we dream, mind digests and assimilates information, keeps track on what is to be kept or excreted.
One of the things often overlooked when people are trying to improve their overall health, have more energy, lose weight and sleep better is the importance of obtaining enough amino acids from different protein foods. Amino acids, including tryptophan, are the “building blocks of proteins,” and without a wide enough array of them in our diets, we actually can’t even survive, let alone thrive.
If we don’t process tryptophan well, it leads to melatonin deficiency and poor sleep.
We must get all the essential amino acids (like tryptophan, histidine, leucine and lysine, for example) through our diets since we can’t create them on our own, but even other nonessential amino acids have many critical roles in the body. Essential amino acids help the body produce the kinds that are nonessential, and together they’re important for building and repairing muscle tissue, helping with neurotransmitter functions, supplying the brain with enough energy, and balancing blood sugar levels, for example.
High tryptophan foods include nuts, seeds (pumpkin and squash), tofu, soybeans roasted, cheese (mozzarella), red meat (lamb, beef, pork), chicken, turkey, fish (tuna), shellfish (crab), oats, beans (white beans), lentils and eggs (whole).
Daily living causes stress, which isn’t easy on the adrenal glands – the small endocrine glands that sit atop the kidneys. These glands are key players in initiating our “fight or flight” response and regulate the stress response through the synthesis of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
Stress and adrenal function affect sleep, particularly the circadian patterns of cortisol secretion by the adrenal glands. When the adrenals fatigue, adrenal hormone levels may become low, leading to another possible source of nighttime sleep disruption - low blood sugar. Hypoglycemic symptoms wake you during the night.
Being exhausted makes the body lose its ability to heal itself by itself !!!
With busy lives that leave us on high alert most of the time, the daily stress we experience causes the continuous production of these hormones, which can suppress immunity, hinder proper digestion, and increase both blood sugar and blood pressure.
Overtime, this constant stressed-out state takes a major toll on our health.
This stress sends a message to our body to hold off on functions that are not essential, such as digestion, until the stressor has been removed and our body is safe to rest and repair. This means that those functions may constantly take second priority, leaving us more vulnerable to inflammation and disease.
We may not be able to remove all forms of stress in life, but we can try to control how we perceive that stress and how we respond to it.
NATURAL WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS :
Eat clean and whole foods.
Eat a balanced diet, including nutritious sources for carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Try to eat meals on a regular schedule and limit the amount of meals you have “on the go.”
Get adequate sleep.
Aim for a regular sleep schedule and try to get 7–9 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can cause a significant increase in cortisol levels. Unfortunately, elevated cortisol levels may make falling asleep more difficult. Reduce blue light exposure in the evening. Try taking some time to do something relaxing right before bed to help your body unwind and allow your adrenals to get their beauty sleep!
Reduce caffeine consumption and drink plenty of fresh, filtered water each day.
Caffeine intake has been shown to initiate a stress response by increasing the amount of cortisol released by the adrenals. When paired with outside stressors, caffeine consumption can lead to excessive cortisol production. Chronically elevated cortisol levels may contribute to high blood glucose and decreased insulin sensitivity, making obesity and type 2 diabetes more likely.
Reduce consumption of refined carbohydrates.
Refined carbohydrates can stress the adrenals and lead to a disrupted insulin response. These foods are known to rapidly elevate blood sugar levels. As mentioned above, stress hormones can also increase circulating blood sugar, so it’s easy to see how this combination can be harmful to your health, especially if it occurs frequently.
Give your adrenals a break.
Activate your parasympathetic nervous system and engage in calming activities like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
Meditate 5 min every morning, add 10 min yoga routine before bed time, or blocking out 30min every day after work for self time or to do something creative. Create awareness and take one little step at the time.