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Improve Your Sleep Quality, and Wake Up Feeling Rested


Do you wake up feeling tired, even when you do get "enough" sleep?

What can you do instead, to HELP improve the quality of the hours you do get? 

Here are 8 ways that you can boost the quality of your slumber. 

Practice a sleep hygiene routine  - have a routine every night when possible. An example of a simple, quick sleep routine could be: Wash face, brush teeth, change into pajamas, read a book or do a few minutes of journaling with dim light (or 5-10 minutes of meditation) then lights out. Make sure you are only sleeping in bed when possible. 

Omega 3’s help the body produce GABA - a natural relaxant. The Standard American Diet does not provide the correct balance of Omega-3’s and supplementation is often necessary. This is the one that I take and have really felt improvement in both sleep quality and inflammation reduction. 

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) contains tryptophan, and is a precursor to serotonin, on of the happy hormones thats involved in the circadian rhythm. You can’t get 5-HTP from foods, but the body can use tryptophan in the foods we eat to make it. Some food sources of tryptophan are poultry, dairy products like milk and cottage cheese, potatoes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, some dark leafy greens like turnip and collard greens, and seaweed. Why is 5-HTP important? It’s a serotonin precursor. And the body converts serotonin to melatonin by an enzyme in the pineal gland as part of the circadian rhythm (the rhythm responsible for our sleep-wake cycles.) As you modify your diet to include more foods that contain tryptophan, supplemention is always an option, and can be beneficial. (Here's what I recommend to clients through FullScript)

Tart Cherry Juice contains natural tryptophan. (We’ve already discussed tryptophan as a precursor to melatonin production.) When consumed regularly, tart cherry juice has been shown to help people fall asleep more easily. In one study, taking 8 oz of tart cherry juice daily showed an improvement in sleep in just 5 days.  


box of organic night night tea

Chamomile, Passion Flower and Valerian Root Teas have all been used since ancient times as herbal sleep aids. (Don’t use these if you are allergic to any of the ingredients) This tea combines several restful herbs and we use it in my house when we really need some great sleep

Morning SunSunlight early in the morning to set your Circadian Rhythm. Sunlight early in the day signals your body to start the hormonal processes that dictate your day-night patterns in all of your systems. It's not just what you do in the evening that has an effect on your sleep at night! Some people find a sunlight lamp to be incredibly helpful during the darker winter months.

Cool temperatures around 65 degrees have been shown to produce the best quality sleep. If getting the room that cold in the summer months is a challenge, consider a fan, and reducing your body temperature with a cool shower before bed. 

Meditation can be very beneficial to helping you fall into a deeper sleep, especially if you’re having trouble relaxing. Read about progressive muscle relaxation, a simple meditation technique, in another blog post here. 

Synthetic, prescription and even some "natural" sleep aids are not recommended for long term use (and a few should even be avoided all together, especially opioid sleep aids). Some experts believe even taking a standard melatonin supplement regularly can encourage the body to stop making it naturally, causing one to become dependent on it.

If you're struggling to fall asleep, or you're waking up still feeling tired I hope some of these tools are helpful! 

We cover many of these tactics, and more in the wellness coaching modules at ProActive Wellness Coaching. If you are ready to take control of your wellness and address imbalances that are causing you to feel low energy, unmotivated or foggy, let's talk! Send me a note today, and we can see which of our programs would be good fit!

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