I LOVE sleep! There is nothing like crawling into bed after a long day. Unfortunately, not everyone feels that way and sleep brings on feelings of anxiety when it takes forever to fall asleep or when waking at 3 am just to toss and turn until your alarm rings. Out of desperation some people use sleeping pills like Ambien, but what people may not know is that frequent use of sleeping pills can increase the risk of developing dementia by 40% over a 15-year span! Some rely on a nightcap, but alcohol in fact disrupts melatonin production by at nearly 20%. Researchers have found that consuming alcohol up to an hour before bedtime will contribute to insomnia. Chronic alcohol use contributes to magnesium deficiency as well, so moderation is important.
What can we do to get better zzzz’s? Aside from recommendations such as cool/ loose clothing, temperatures between 60-68 degrees, darkness/no blue light, less technology, what else can we do to go to sleep and stay asleep?
Micronutrient testing can be used to test levels of nutrients in your body necessary to produce the hormone melatonin, which helps you fall asleep. There are supplements out there like Melatonin, 5-HTP, and GABA that can help, and each is produced naturally in the body. If your system is depleted of building blocks such as magnesium, which is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, then it will be difficult to have a natural sleep pattern. Dosing and quality supplementation are important. The “recommended serving” on the bottle may not be enough because each person has a different biochemistry and lifestyle habits. Give your body the tools it needs to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.