Sleep: It Does A Body (and Mind) Good

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We all know that sleep is important, but do you really understand the reasons why? Here I will give a few scientifically proven reasons why.

Sleep deprivation can cause a host of issues, ranging from weight gain, inflammation, memory loss, mood swings, fatigue, and worst of all…diseases, like cancer

Insomnia- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

It’s hard to believe that this isn’t a daily complaint of mine anymore, since for over 20 years it was a big problem. It would take me at a minimum of one hour to fall asleep every night and most nights it was more like 2-3. Then I would wake up every hour or a couple of hours later and be plagued with an ability to go back to sleep. It was exhausting!

So much has changed in my life in the past year that it’s hard to pin point the exact reason that I came out of the insomnia fog and now fall asleep easily and stay asleep most of the night. If I do happen to wake up to go to the bathroom or for the kids, I can easily go right back to sleep. Just ask my husband, this has been an amazing transformation. Poor guy, he suffered the consequences, too!

Since I look at everything as a holistic approach, I don’t believe I can pin point it. I think it’s a combination of what I have been doing and what my lifestyle is like now. The number one reason…mindfulness.

I will break it down into a few categories so you can gain a few tips:

Most people suffer from food intolerances and don’t even know it. This will be an entirely separate blog post in the future. I took out gluten, grains, dairy, and legumes and my health noticeably improved, including my sleep.

If you suffer from insomnia, some things to consider are:

Foods:

To avoid- caffeine, sugar and heavy meals late in the day are the biggest no no’s.

Try eating foods high in Magnesium and Calcium like bananas, figs, dates, tuna and turkey.

Teas- herbal teas like chamomile are great for relaxing the body. Also try blends like Sleep Easy or De-Stress.

Supplements- You can also try a Magnesium supplement. My favorite is Natural Vitality Natural Calm Magnesium, Organic, Raspberry Lemon flavor. I mix this with a little water before bed and it’s delicious and helps my body and mind relax. https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Vitality-Magnesium-Organic-Raspberry/dp/B00BPUY3W0

Lifestyle:

More important than food is your overall lifestyle. Stress and a busy mind are the leading causes of insomnia.

Exercise regularly, even if it’s a daily walk

Avoid naps- when you’re battling insomnia, it’s hard to not want to nap, but all it does is encourage the sleepless cycle.

Sleep routine: figure out what environment is best for you and develop a simple, yet consistent wind down before you go to bed.

Meditation, yoga or another mindfulness practice- there is more and more research all the time coming out supporting the positive effects of meditation. Being in a mindful state, being present, and letting go of the “monkey mind” going on in your brain can improve sleep immensely.

If you’re new to meditation, try this app: http://buddhify.com

Share this with a friend or loved one if they suffer from insomnia and don’t hesitate to reach out if you want more information.

 

 

 

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