Written by Dr Asa Andrew
Out of all the conditions that we frequently see in our Center for Lifestyle Medicine clinics, I would have to say that lack of sleep is close to being at the top of the list. Insomnia is becoming an epidemic with many people today. What is the root cause of it? The main issue with people not being able to sleep lands in the category of the stressors and schedule that many people keep each day. When we have an imbalance in any area of our life, it causes there to create the potential for us not be able to get into a natural sleep rhythm. Sleep is ultimately needed for several core reasons.
1.Sleep Detoxes Our Body
Sleep is necessary because it allows our body to get rid of toxins and wastes that have gathered during our daily routines for empowering your health. The body then rids itself through the urine. It also helps the nerve impulses to have better connectivity, which will improve memory and critical thinking. Hormones are also regenerated with high quality sleep.
2.Sleep Prolongs Life
In a study published in 1899 regarding sleep, it was noted after studying those that lived to be over 100, sleep was a major part of their health routine. The best total sleep time is between six and eight hours. On my show recently I talked about how the average Centenarian slept seven hours. It was also noted in a separate study that women who slept nine or more hours increased their mortality rate by 50%!
3.Sleep Resets The Hormones
Our metabolism, including the primary areas of our body, function on key hormones. Quality restorative sleep helps to reset and prime our essential hormones like testosterone, estrogen, growth hormone, progesterone, etc. When we get quality restorative sleep, our hormones are able to reset.
4.Sleep Prevents Disease
A recent study at the University of Chicago showed that lack of sleep is one of the major causes of obesity. Those that sleep less than five hours increase their chance for cardiovascular disease by 40%. So sleep is very important for our fight against disease.
5.Sleep Reverses Aging and Increases Energy
By increasing our sleep, we will increase our vitality and stamina. We gain the momentum that we need for each day when we can get into a better sleep pattern.
So what do we do? We know now what sleep does for us. How do we get there? Really get there. Into a deep stage of sleep, without waking up 10 times to pee, actually feel rejuvenated the next day?
I’m glad you asked. Here are my top 5 natural ways to get your best sleep.
1.Consider Magnesium Before Bed
This is our most deficient mineral and it has a huge impact on our overall health. Just make sure you are getting the best type of magnesium. There are many kinds. I like glycinate and chelates the best. Magnesium calms the body and stabilizes brain health.
2.Eat Some Protein
Why protein you might ask? Protein keeps blood sugar levels stable and stabilizes muscle while you sleep.
3.Turn Off All Wireless
OMG… Yes I just said this. For real. Put your phone in airplane mode or turn it off. Unplug the house wireless router. There was a study done recently and our brains are heavily affected in the sleep cycle from wireless frequencies.
4.Create The Batcave
Make the room you sleep in like a cave, Batman. The best sleep is created when there is no light or listening to any noises or sounds.. This allows key hormones like melatonin to be produced in the brain for best sleep.
If you have any kind of sleep challenge, stop all caffeine after 2pm. Give your system time to normalize so you can get into a restful sleep.
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Known as America’s Health Coach, Dr. Asa Andrew is a national best-selling author and host of the #1 Health Talk Radio Show in North America. In addition to his hit television series, Dr. Asa (@DrAsa) is a regular contributor to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and FOX and regarded as a healthcare leader in the field of lifestyle medicine.