3 Things Anyone Who Can’t Sleep Must Know Today
When it comes to your health there is perhaps nothing more essential than sleep. It’s one of the three main wellness pillars as we know, alongside diet and exercise. And some may argue it’s the number one pillar. After all, we spend about a third of our entire lives in a sleep-like state. It’s therefore essential we optimize our sleep and get the most out of it. Because when it comes to functioning at your best, quality sleep is the best performance-enhancing habit you can have.
A good night’s rest will improve daytime energy, mood, immune system, brain function, inflammatory levels, heart health, digestion, focus, memory, cognition, comprehension, detoxification, and just about every positive aspect to a better human performance you can imagine. It’s that powerful.
But unfortunately not everyone is getting the deep and restful sleep they need each night. In fact, a shocking amount of people are suffering from poor sleep, and even worse, a staggering amount of people are suffering from insomnia. According to the latest research from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, at any given moment up to 35% of the population suffers from symptoms of insomnia (short-term) and up to 10% of the population is chronically dealing with insomnia and can’t get over it1. And perhaps even more awful is the fact that approximately 75% of the adult population age 65 and over have symptoms of insomnia as well2.
Sadly, the fact that we’re living in such a rapidly evolving technological world and a world built behind blue screens and artificial light means this problem is only going to get worse. We’re not genetically wired to be up all night working or going out or scrolling past Instagram photos and Tik Tok videos producing ungodly amounts of stimuli for our brain to swim around flamboyantly in. This only arouses our mind instead of relaxes it, and in turn causes us to wake up instead of shut down and sleep.
The numbers of those who can’t sleep or who get very poor sleep are only going to continue to shoot up. That is of course, unless something is done.
Thankfully, there are several key actions anyone suffering from sleeplessness can take right away to get back to sleeping great again, and in many cases sleeping better than ever.
For anyone suffering from sleeplessness here are 3 things you can try that’ll have you sleeping like Rip Van Winkle tonight.
1. Have A Wind-Down Period
If you want great sleep each night try having some relaxing, downtime leading up to it.
Having a designated time to set aside to get you prepared to fall asleep is critical and often overlooked. People who jump right into bed or who go from doing something like playing video games, or watching an engaging movie, or messing around on their cell phones, are not giving their minds the time it needs to unwind.
It takes a certain amount of time for your brain to adjust to radically different conscious conditions. Going from being mentally excited to jumping right into bed is the perfect recipe for rolling around for the next few hours and wondering why you can’t sleep.
Instead, stop the video games, movies, and cell phones an hour or two earlier, and have a relaxing routine before nodding off. Reading a book, journaling, listening to relaxing music or sounds, and meditating are some of the best ways to unwind and set the right mental conditions for sleep.
Lastly, remember to avoid or at the very least minimize blue light as it excites the mind and increases the release of excitatory neurotransmitters like cortisol while at the same time decreases relaxing neurotransmitters like GABA. I know how difficult it can be to curtail this as blue light is so prevalent, especially from our phones which we’re all pretty attached too, but setting aside the phone before sleep can be a game-changer for your health.
2. Dark and Quiet Are Your Two Best Friends
When it comes to being awake you need all five of your senses to navigate the world in the most ideal manner possible. Seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling all that we come across is imperative to our existence and they cue us in on what’s happening in the world around us. They allow us to experience life at its capacity and alert us to the stimuli we face.
When it comes to sleep, however, we want to shut down these alert-inducing senses as much as possible so they don’t disturb our rest. Sleep as we know is about relaxing, recharging, and healing, not being awake and alert and active. Thankfully, when it comes to touching, tasting, and smelling – these senses are naturally out of play and are largely non-factors when it comes to sleep. But with regard to seeing and hearing, our eyes and ears can certainly keep us up with even the smallest provocation.
Ideally, as I alluded to earlier, it would be best to have a sleep schedule that closely follows that of the sun, meaning waking up and going to sleep when it’s naturally light and dark, is truly best. But if you can’t manage this, work third shift, or are innately nocturnally predisposed, make your room as dark as possible.
That means getting blackout curtains that block out the sun in the morning when you’re sleeping and keeping your room dark throughout the entirety of your rest. Having just a speck of brightness in your room can mess with your melatonin and cortisol release and critically impair your sleep.
One recent scientific retroactive analysis concluded that 99% of people who are exposed to room light just before bed have a suppression of melatonin, a delayed release of melatonin, and a shortening of melatonin duration by 90 minutes, compared to those exposed to dim or no light. Also, the study found that in 85% of the trials conducted on melatonin expression, exposure to room light during sleep inhibited melatonin synthesis by 50%3.
Just as your room should be as dark as possible to align with the universal laws of nature, so too should your room be quiet. At night, activity has historically quieted down, if not ceased entirely, and so we’ve been conditioned primordially to sleep in environments with little to no noise.
Unexpected sounds or noises in the night would naturally stimulate our conscious minds and affect our sleep because for hundreds of thousands of years, unanticipated sounds in the night meant something bad. An animal predator approaching near, a dangerous thunderstorm, a potential foe from a nearby tribe; anything that could cause our primal ancestors harm would undoubtedly alarm them and affect their rest.
We may not live in a world as dangerous as that of our prehistoric forbearers, but we’re still largely wired in the same capacity. Sounds and noises, especially of the unanticipated variety, very much affect and even ruin our sleep. Again, ideally it would be best to sleep at a “normal” time. This way you could synchronize your sleep with that of most your neighbors and have as few interruptions of commotion as possible. But for some, using a white noise machine can be a solid alternative.
White noise machines are great for keeping your mind distracted from many of the background sounds that inevitably creep up throughout the night. A dog that barks for a few minutes down the street, a roaring motorcycle that rides by, an argument between a couple walking in front of your home, all of these sounds, which would wake most people up from their beauty sleep, would most likely go unnoticed if a white noise machine (or two if needed) was being utilized during your slumber.
They’re not going to block out every sound, and they certainly aren’t fool-proof, but for most sounds, they do an exceptional job of masking their presence. Alternatively, using ear plugs can be even better for some people or can make a great addition to this noise-blocking tandem. A pair of plugs with a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 33 decibels can do wonders for your ability to filter out sounds and enjoy the quiet.
Lastly, silencing your phones, your laptops, your T.V.’s, and anything else that might make a noise during the night is a given. Remember, you want your room as quiet as humanly possible and without anything that’s going to disrupt your mind from the peace it needs to sleep.
3. Correcting These Sleep Stoppers Can Change Everything
If you’ve followed the first two steps and have tried seemingly everything to get your sleep under control but nothing seems to help, the chances are it’s not your fault. You see, our brains can become almost hijacked by our environments over time and get put into a steady state of unease, especially when it comes to sleep.
If the balance of neurochemicals gets thrown off over time, whether by something major or just gradually, it can sometimes be incredibly difficult, or nearly impossible for some, to correct.
This type of problem, unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier is becoming all too common these days too. And the true culprit behind sleeplessness isn’t just some bad bedtime habits or an inability to relax the brain before bed, but a brain that gets essentially “stuck” in a state that keeps it alert and awake instead of calm and relaxed.
That’s because of two neurotransmitters that I like to call “Sleep Stoppers” which are found in radically high amounts in those suffering from sleeplessness. These two neuro chemicals are cortisol and glutamate and they keep the mind alert and the body restless. So instead of relaxing and drifting off into a peaceful, rejuvenating sleep, you toss and turn all night and get little to no sleep at all.
The reason it’s so common for people to develop these high levels of the Sleep Stopper chemicals in their brains is because it’s so easy for them to activate. In fact, cortisol and glutamate can be chronically elevated from daily stress attributed to work, money, family, the news, and even common foods you eat. Just about any area of life where stress is found, even seemingly harmless stress, can, over time, lead to elevated levels of cortisol and glutamate in the brain and therefore lead to an alert and awake brain at night.
Cortisol and glutamate have their place and are essential for our survival in life. Cortisol is very helpful during times of emergency – like when you’re in danger or you’re in fight or flight mode. When quick action is needed cortisol is great. But these days, between work, family, money, social media, and the news, a lot of people are overwhelmed with cortisol 24/7 and they can’t get a break from it. So they find themselves in bed tossing and turning and stressing out, instead of sleeping like a log. For glutamate, when someone is learning, problem solving, or playing sports, they want their brain firing quickly and glutamate is perfect for this. When they need to be performing at a high-functioning level or a high-stress situation glutamate is ideal. But too much of it can send thoughts racing. Especially at night, and can lead to a restless, wide awake and out of control mind.
There are certainly some things that can help bring these two sleep stoppers back down to normal levels over time and can slowly help the mind relax again. Meditation comes to mind, yoga is good, daytime exercise can help, and improvements in diet can also be a good thing. But for some, these measures just aren’t enough and they need more support.
So that’s why we came out with a natural sleep support formula a few years back that helps do the trick.
Our incredible sleep aid called Natural Sleep, is the first and only formula designed to naturally and effectively bring the two Sleep Stopper chemicals back into balance and restore deep, rejuvenating sleep. Natural Sleep is loaded with the best herbs and natural compounds on the planet and is scientifically formulated to bring cortisol and glutamate levels down while increasing the relaxing and calming neurotransmitters that promote a great night’s sleep.
It does this safely, effectively, and quite rapidly.
If you’re struggling with sleep or simply want to start sleeping better than you have in years, Natural Sleep may be the best product for you. It’s incredible at supporting a healthy, restorative, and rejuvenating sleep.
Go to elitelifenutrition.com/natural-sleep and use the discount code SLEEP20 to get 20% off your first bottle. Or, for a very limited time only you can get 20% off every order of Natural Sleep if you order the bottle as a monthly subscription. Meaning every month we will ship you out a new bottle of Natural Sleep without having to go through the trouble of ordering and waiting each time. You can cancel at any time, and there are no hidden fees. So if you’re serious about having some of the best sleep you’ve ever had going forward this is probably your best option. So many of our customers have joined the monthly subscription program and have never been happier… and their sleep has never been better!
Take care and sweet dreams.