It’s no secret we need to get good sleep and let’s take a look at what happens if we do not get enough.
Lack of good quality sleep starts to drastically alter our hormones. Hormones including estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol are the most affected.
Starting with cortisol, this hormone is released in our bodies in response to stress. Not getting enough sleep causes stress and cortisol is released to deal with this stress. In a chronic sleep deprivation situation, our bodies go into a more fight or flight response and the adrenal glands that produce cortisol get over worked.
This can also cause the adrenal glands to release cortisol at the wrong time of day. Have you ever felt wired and tired? That could possibly be higher cortisol levels at the wrong time of day. Cortisol usually follow our circadian rhythm which can be severely interrupted when we are under too much stress for too long.
So, how can you improve your sleep? Start by:
1-Making sure you are creating enough time to get good sleep. Aim for 6.5 to 8 hours per night and going to bed and waking in the morning at the same time each day can help your body get into a rhythm.
2-Helpful supplements include melatonin, L-Theanine, Relora, Magnesium Glycinate or malate, GABA.
3-Do not eat right before bed. Make sure you eat dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime. This will improve your sleep as you are giving yourself the proper time to digest your food. Late night alcohol can also affect how well we sleep. As you body starts to metabolize the alcohol, it is also trying to detoxify your body so this can cause extra stress on the liver and may cause you to not get quality sleep.
4-Light: Here is one of the biggest and newest ways to dramatically improve your sleep: Block the blue light that is emitted from your electronics at night. Your computers, tablets, and cell phones emit a blue light that tells your pineal gland that it is still daylight therefore reducing your body’s innate ability to know when to start producing melatonin for sleep.
One way to help protect yourself is to download F.lux https://justgetflux.com. You can also get these really cool “swannies: http://www.swanwicksleep.com. They are also really great for blocking the irritating light from our electrics. In addition to this, it is a good idea to just put away all electronics by 8-9 pm and do something nice and relaxing for you. Read, meditate, take a bath,
something like that. Email and social media can be over stimulating into the evening so give yourself a break!!
Lack of sleep will also cause your skin to look older. Not getting enough sleep interrupts the body’s ability to renew, heal, and detoxify. Even in as little as 5 nights or less, your skin will start showing more wrinkles, lines, and red spots. Your body cannot produce the collagen it needs if you sleep too little.
Remember, self-care is very important to you performing at your best in all areas of your life. Making sleep a priority is one of the key areas you must keep in mind as it affects everything about your body and skin.