One night of poor sleep can cause you issues but consecutive nights of poor sleep can negatively impact the health of your brain, which trickles down to the rest of your body!
Our quality of life significantly declines in the areas of how we think, our work performance, relationships with others, what we eat, how we feel, and how well our body fights off sickness.
The body is excellent at giving us specific cues on how well we sleep.
After a great night of sleep, you feel refreshed, energized, happy and ready to tackle the day.
After a crappy night of sleep, you feel exhausted the moment you wake up, you are not quick on your feet, your brain feels foggy, and you just want to go back to bed!
Are you one that has like ten different alarms set because you need extra back up in helping you “adult” in the mornings?
Are you “wired and tired”? Do you reach for multiple cups or sources of caffeine in hopes that you get the jolt you need to kick your butt into gear?
Are you an emotional wreck, throwing adult versions of a 2-year-old tantrum? Do people often stay clear of you?
Are you in constant snack mode and wonder ugh, why do I have such intense cravings for all this junk food?
When your sleep debt begins to build, you start to notice more troubling symptoms.
- Your memory fails you, and you often question if you completed a task because you seriously can’t remember.
- Focus, what’s that? You have major squirrel syndrome not only in the task at hand but even listening to the person speaking to you.
- You can’t seem to shake the sadness and often feel very depressed in general.
- You’ve gained weight or can’t seem to lose weight, despite all your efforts in diet and exercise.
- You are worried that you will fall asleep or have fallen asleep while driving. The effects of not sleeping can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The more sleep you lose, the more impaired your brain becomes.
Sleep is a time for our body and brain to detoxify, repair and recover. To reverse this vicious cycle, you must start working to get your sleep hormones in sync with each other!
Sleep affects many hormones, but we’ll focus on the three major players that will get you a restful night of sleep, Serotonin, Cortisol, and Melatonin.
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Serotonin – helps to manage your circadian rhythm, which is when you should naturally wake – with the sun and then begin to wind down – when the sun goes down.
If Serotonin is low, you will start feeling moody or even depressed as this is our happy hormone. We want to boost this hormone in the morning.
Be sure to get natural sunlight in the morning, remove the sunglasses while you are driving or while taking a walk. Even if it’s cloudy, you are still benefiting from the rays.
Think of boosting Serotonin by getting recharged by nature.
Another way is to get grounded. Take 5-10 minutes to go outside, if not freezing cold and walk barefoot in your grass. If you happen to be near the beach, walk barefoot in the sand and without sunglasses!
Which leads to the next tip – get movement or exercise in first thing in the morning, as this helps to boost your serotonin levels.
Next up are Cortisol and Melatonin. I have linked these two hormones to together because if Cortisol (stress) is too high, it can block the production of Melatonin (sleep).
If you can’t fall asleep at night and have proclaimed yourself as a “night owl,” understand this is not natural or how you are genetically made up. It just means your cortisol levels are too high at night. But the good news is that you can do something about it.
You must implement some ways to relieve the stress that allows your body to relax fully. Here are a few suggestions you can do in the evening:
- Leisure walking – highly effective in reducing cortisol levels
- Meditation – helps to train the brain to turn off, we all need to shut it down more often!
- Hot bath with essential oils – melts the stress away
- Drink Hot Tea – there are many herbal teas that help you to relax
- Reading – helps you to relax, I don’t know about you, but I instantly get sleepy when I read at night.
- Laugh – how can you be stressed when you are laughing?
Once you start to lower cortisol at night; then Melatonin a chance to do its job. To tell you when you are sleepy and help you to go through both REM cycles.
Non-REM is when you don’t remember anything (phases of deep sleep), and REM (light sleep) is when you are dreaming.
When you wake up, do you remember dreams? Or is your cortisol too high that when you dream, it’s stressful and then can’t go back to sleep? We need to be going in and out of both REM cycles for quality sleep.
Instead of reaching for a Melatonin supplement, please actively work on reducing stress.
If you take a Melatonin supplement consistently it can keep your body from producing it naturally, to the point it will stop making this hormone.
I have a better idea for you!! Download my FREE Daily Routine To Blissful Sleep guide and improve your sleep by implementing a few daily habits at a time!
Before you know it, you’ll be hopping out of bed feeling refreshed, full of energy, happy, and ready to take on the day!