There is a perfect wave that if we time right and catch we will get optimal sleep effortlessly. This wave is made up of hormones and includes melatonin at its highest, cortisol at its lowest, and insulin at its lowest and evolved to be our best sleep aid.
Melatonin levels rise as the sky becomes darker and ideally peaks somewhere around 10pm, depending on the season. If we allow our world to be darker at this time, as we are meant to do, melatonin will help ease us into sleep. Things that disrupt melatonin are bright lights, even small lights in our room, television, phones, computers, etc. FREE APP FOR REDUCING BLUE LIGHT ON DEVICES- https://justgetflux.com/
Cortisol (a stress hormone that we need to face the demands of the day but not too much) levels are meant to be at their lowest around 10pm. Our cortisol is designed to peak at daybreak so we wake up ready for the day and slowly decline as the day goes on. If we are able to keep our stressors low at night we can ride this low cortisol wave into optimal sleep and stay asleep. Things that raise cortisol at night are any stressor (emotional, physical, infections, allergens, blood sugar spikes, toxins, and more). By having a peaceful evening, unwinding, learning to mitigate stress through deep relaxation, meditation and breathing you can lower your insulin even in the face of emotional stress. Getting to sleep before cortisol starts to rise or spikes again is key to healthy cortisol levels at night. READ MORE ABOUT STRESSORS HERE THAT PEOPLE DO NOT OFTEN THINK ABOUT but are crucial to address with insomnia and to ensure cortisol is not impacting your sleep
Insulin, a hormone made in our pancreas that helps us clear our blood of glucose, is meant to be low at night again around 10pm. Hopefully we ate dinner by 7pm which was packed with fiber, healthy fat, and clean protein keeping our blood sugar from swinging too high and then too low. It is even important to keep our blood sugar regulated throughout the day as that contributes to keeping our blood sugar stable at night so we can sleep peacefully. READ ABOUT MONITORING YOUR BLOOD SUGAR HERE– this is not just for diabetics but for anyone with blood sugar swings (which is honestly most of us).
After addressing the three big hormones involved with sleep I always consider nutrients that might be lacking, such as B6, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D. There are several amino acids and neurotransmitters necessary for good sleep as well. And finally, herbs are a lovely addition and and sometimes just what people need to help ease them into a perfect nights rest. HERB COMPANIES I LOVE- GAIA, HERB PHARM, MOUNTAIN ROSE
Sex hormones can also impact sleep. As our estrogen and progesterone change with our menstrual cycle and age our sleep can be impacted. Addressing sex hormone imbalance might be necessary to influence better sleep. More on that to come! Look for our 4 week group hormone balancing workshop!!
I love digging into sleep disturbances with people and helping people catch the wave. Call for your 15 free consult to see if I can help you.