It’s an interesting phenomenon that two of the most common complaints that people report to their doctors are excessive sleepiness and too little sleep!
One can fuel the other and cause a vicious poor sleep cycle. Having a bad night’s sleep can make you feel like the walking dead the next day, which in turn can make you doze off during the day, which can then interrupt your sleep that night!
Now, we all occasionally have a night where we’re staring at the ceiling, but usually by the next night we have an opportunity to “catch up” and things get back to normal.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from chronic insomnia, where being nocturnal is a regular thing.
And aside from delighting your cat because you’re awake during its favorite playtime, there’s nothing good about regularly lacking sleep because it can take a serious toll on your health, both physically and mentally.
Let’s take a closer look at the various health effects of chronic insomnia and explore some ways you can help encourage regular, restful sleep.
The health prices of chronic insomnia
1- The grim reaper arrives early
People who lack consistent quality sleep (this especially applies to nighttime shift workers) are more prone to accidents on the job and die younger than those with more stable sleep schedules.
2- It’s all in your rhythm
Your brain is kind of like a "master computer" that coordinates the timing of many of your physiological functions and processes, and just like your PC or notebook, it needs to be "restarted" from time to time.
It is during restful, deep sleep that your brain is "reset" and can properly coordinate your various biological rhythms.
3- REM—not just a singing group from the 90’s
The REM phase of sleep is the phase closest to when you wake up, and this is when dreaming usually occurs. This phase is marked by rapid eye movements (REM) so it's known as REM sleep.
Studies have shown that people who are deprived of REM sleep are prone to irritability, anxiety and depression.
4- It’s not all in your head…or your back
Many of the problems for which people seek medical care--mental cloudiness, chronic fatigue, joint and muscle aches and fibromyalgia--are actually caused or exacerbated by poor sleep.
5- Adios, immune system
The most serious consequence of lacking sleep is that it greatly hampers your immune system functioning.
Not only does your immune system protect you from the obvious infections and viruses, but it also protects you from disease--and that includes cancer.
Studies show that the consequences of lacking sleep even for ONE night can be serious.
In one study, healthy male volunteers were deprived of four hours of sleep for a single night. The next day, the activity of certain immune cells (natural killer cells) fell by as much as 30%!
But the good news is that the study also showed a single good night's sleep helped restore the immune cell functioning to near normal again.
So what’s behind YOUR nighttime wide eyeballs?
There are many factors that can contribute to your reluctant admission into the Night Owl Club.
Here are some of the most common reasons why you can count sheep till infinity and still stare at the ceiling every night:
Stress hormones (like adrenaline and cortisol) lower your body's levels of serotonin and melatonin, which are two important neurotransmitters involved in relaxation and sleep.
Poor digestion can lead to late night attacks of gas, acid reflux, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
Many chronic acid reflux patients report suffering from regular insomnia in addition to the fire in their chest and acid sliding up their throat.
In the years leading up to and into menopause, many women suffer sleep disturbances including chronic insomnia due to the significant hormonal changes taking place in their bodies.
Similarly, pregnant women often report suffering from regular insomnia, especially during the third trimester when certain hormonal changes are happening.
Bad eating habits
When your body needs nourishment, it needs NOURISHMENT--and it doesn't care if it has to wake you up at 2am to let you know that.
So if you regularly skip meals, go to bed hungry or lack nutrients because you’re a junk food junkie or fast food fanatic, not having proper nourishment is a great way to make sure you'll be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed—at NIGHT!
Your night cap can cause a sleep gap
Caffeinated drinks (like coffee and soda) and alcohol are both common drinks to sip in the evening before going to bed.
They also happen to be two of the worst sleep inhibitors on the planet.
Lacking Omega-3 essential fatty acids
A recent randomized placebo-controlled study by the University of Oxford has suggested that higher levels of the Omega-3 EFA Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are associated with better sleep.
And considering that our typical processed/fast food diets are anemic when it comes to providing proper levels of Omega-3 EFAs, it’s certainly no surprise that we’re paying the price in countless ways—poor sleep included!
How you can revert back to infancy
If you want to start sleeping like a baby at night, it’s essential to take a look at what might be behind your sleeplessness and do something about it!
Here are seven very safe, effective measures you can try:
1) Counteract stress
Although it's a dirty word to many, there's no denying that exercise is numero uno when it comes to relieving stress.
You can also try counseling, prayer, meditation, aromatherapy, deep breathing, acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga.
There are a lot of options to help you. Pick the ones that will work for you and get going.
2) Eat nutritious meals that your body can tackle easier
This is the most obvious one of all. The best way to prevent poor digestion and having your sleep disturbed by a wrenching gut or a body lacking nutrients is to eat healthy meals that your body can break down more easily.
Now before you roll your eyes, hear me out: Eating right does NOT have to mean deprivation, eating bland meals or existing on "rabbit food."
Not when you use the Great Taste No Pain eating system, or if you have gluten issues, Great Taste No Gluten.
In Great Taste No Pain and Great Taste No Gluten, I show you the simple tips to putting together meals that are much easier for your body to break down.
The best part about it is everything tastes FANTASTIC! You'll be shocked that good-for-you foods and eating for great digestion can taste this delicious.
3) Consider enzyme supplementation
Poor digestion can also be the result of inadequate digestive enzymes.
This is especially common in people who take antacids or acid reducers, the elderly or people who have had a poor diet for years or decades.
Many people with digestive problems like acid reflux, gas, constipation and bloating have gotten tremendous relief by giving their body an occasional boost of enzyme help.
If you feel your enzymes need a little helping hand, Digestizol Max is here to help.
Digestizol Max has a feisty, potent blend of 15 plant-derived enzymes which assist your system in breaking down whatever foods you eat.
That can mean better digestion and more restful sleep for YOU!
4) Consider bio-identical hormone replacement therapy
Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy has been a godsend for many perimenopausal and fully menopausal women.
In health reports from not only the Journal of the American Medical Association, but also from the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Harvard Medical and Stanford University, it’s been stated that bio-identical hormone replacement therapy can have long-term health benefits--including relief from menopausal-related sleep problems!
The catch is many mainstream medical doctors are not familiar with bio-identical HRT because it’s more of a holistic therapy.
Your best bet is to seek out a holistic practitioner to help you.
5) Consider magnesium and Vitamin E supplementation
Many people lose sleep from muscle cramps or restless legs.
If that includes you, taking 250 mg. of magnesium at night, plus 400-800 IUs of Vitamin E each day can be a big help.
6) Switch up your night cap
The more you can avoid coffee, soda and alcohol before hitting the sheets, the better your chances of a good night's sleep.
If you want a little night cap, try water with lemon or some herbal tea.
7) Get enough Omega-3 EFAs
As I mentioned above, due to our typical diets, many of us are likely walking around with a serious Omega-3 EFA deficiency.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are found in abundance in fatty fish—but unfortunately that's not something that most people eat on a daily basis.
That's why daily supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids is so important for so many people.
And VitalMega-3 fish oil supplements are the perfect way to make sure you've got what you need.
VitalMega-3 is loaded with 1,200 mg of Omega-3s in each and every daily two-capsule serving, including the all-important EPA and DHA in the 3:2 ratio recommended by experts.
Your days of being a night owl can finally be over!
If you have occasional poor sleep or downright chronic insomnia, don't think that dangerous, addictive sleep drugs are your only answer.
When you instead take a close look at what may be behind YOUR "night owl syndrome" and do something about it, your restless nights can come finally come to an end!
Imagine—sleeping like a baby every single night.
That can be your reality sooner than you think!
To your health,
PS: Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking.