Can’t sleep? Rebecca’s Has Some Suggestions for a Healthy Nighttime Routine…
If you run out of sheep to count at night, just try counting the number Americans with insomnia. The effort would last you at least 60 million seconds. According to several major studies, a whopping 25% of Americans suffer from insomnia. What’s worse, aside from the obvious suffering involved, is that millions of the sleepless rely on prescription drugs to sleep. In doing so, many become highly dependent on pharmaceuticals to get a decent night of rest. There are risks to using these drugs, and many develop harmful dependencies. Thanks to the increased use of electronic devices, these numbers are on the rise. The lights emitted by devices disrupt melatonin, a hormone that helps guide our circadian rhythms. A healthy nighttime routine can be a major asset in battling the woes of sleep disruption.
At Rebecca’s Natural Food, we always suggest looking to healthy, sustainable, and natural means of maintaining your health. Sleep is so important to your overall well-being, including your immune system and general ability to be a happy, functional person. Did you know that poor sleep has been linked to memory disruption, increased accidents, depression, and high blood pressure? It’s time to open your eyes to the importance of shut-eye.
If you’re struggling at night, consider taking a holistic approach. We suggest a combination of all-natural supplements with several behavioral changes and hacks. Read on for several ways to bring ease back into your nighttime routine.
Try all-natural supplements to relax
In lieu of prescription drugs, try an all-natural supplement that can help your body relax. There are so many non-addictive ways to help your body ease its way into that parasympathetic state. CBD is one of our favorite supplements for relaxation. (Read more about the benefits of CBD here on our blog!). There are many other natural remedies. We have many types of sleep remedies. Tart Cherry juice is naturally high in melatonin and we also have melatonin supplements with or without herbs. We have homeopathic sleep supplements that are safe for kids or adults using medications, flower essence remedies, single or blended herbal teas and supplements along with magnesium in both topical and oral options. Our Rebecca’s brand products are very popular and include Melatonin, valerian capsules or tincture, Ultimate Sleep Formula herbal capsule, and 5HTP. Other helpful blends include Herb’s ETC Deep Sleep in tincture or softgel and Irwin Naturals Power to Sleep PM soft gels (available with or without CBD). We have many choices and would love to help you choose the best one for you. Lisa Kearny, ND is at our store Mondays and Saturdays and Susan Dunlap, our Nutrition Information Specialist works Tuesdays through Fridays, and all of our other knowledgeable supplement staff can help you too!
Studies from Harvard University found that practicing mindfulness meditation not only helps with insomnia but can also improve the quality of your sleep. If you already have a meditation practice, perhaps you’ve noticed how it helps relax you and improves sleep. If meditation is new to you, try downloading a free app such as Insight Timer to get started. Meditation helps your body enter into a parasympathetic state, aka the opposite of fight or flight. Slowing down and focusing on your breath for even just 10 minutes can help you transition from your day to bedtime.
Unplug at least an hour before bedtime
Our smartphones, tablets, computers, and similar devices play a heavy hand in bedtime disruption. These devices emit what is called “blue” light, which can affect the body’s circadian rhythm by suppressing its production of melatonin. Blue light causes these cells to tell your brain it’s morning, effectively disrupting your natural cycles. Try to limit or completely avoid using all such devices at least two hours before bedtime so your body can naturally transition into bedtime mode. We also suggest keeping these devices off of your bed entirely. Sleep advocate Arianna Huffington won’t even bring her cell phone into her bedroom! If you absolutely cannot avoid your devices, try putting them into a mode that minimizes blue light, (such as the Night Shift setting for iOS, any number of apps that filter out blue light for Android users, and the Night Light option that was released with the Windows 10 Creators Update).
We love essential oils! On their own, these may not be enough to end serious sleep issues, but in combination with some of the above tips, they can be a great aid and are soothing for children as well. We offer a good selection of essential oils and aromatherapy diffusers. A few individual oils to try are lavender, vetiver, and sandalwood. We also have some relaxing blends like Aura Cacia’s Chill Pill or Mellow Mix, Nature’s Answer Organic Peace and Quiet, or Badger’s Sleep Balm. Always be cautious using essential oils around pets, especially cats.
Struggling with sleep puts a damper on your entire life, and not just at bedtime. If you’re suffering from insomnia, come into Rebecca’s Natural Food today! We’re happy to discuss a healthy nighttime routine and regimen to help you.
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash.
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