(NaturalNews) If you have ever struggled to fall asleep at night or stay asleep through the night, you are not alone. It is estimated that over 30% Americans experience insomnia while close to 60 million people have sleep trouble in a given year. Chronic insomnia impairs mood and cognitive function while accelerating the degenerative process of aging. Beat insomnia today with natural strategies.
Poor sleeping habits and insomnia pose a very serious threat to one`s health. These health consequences include elevated cortisol and reduced human growth hormone (HGH). High cortisol induces elevated insulin and fat storage. Over time, insulin resistant diabetes and obesity are common. Elevated cortisol & lowered HGH levels create an inflammatory cascade that wears down joints, tissues, and organs.
Chronic insomnia accelerates the aging process throughout the body. This speeds up the development of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Parkinson`s, Alzheimer`s, and osteoarthritis among others. Elevated cortisol and lowered HGH will also cause skin wrinkling, hair loss, poor vision, & muscle loss.
Getting a good night sleep on a regular basis is one of the best strategies for preventing and/or reversing disease processes. An individual should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Too much sleep can be just as damaging to the body as too little. The greater the stress an individual is under the more restorative sleep his/her body typically needs.
The first step to healthy sleep is creating an optimal sleeping environment. Have a clean, comfortable, well-fitted mattress. All lights should be turned off or turned away from the bed. The room should be fairly cool (70 degrees or so) as this improves sleep quality. Using a fan for moving air is typically a good idea to improve nighttime breathing and sleep quality.
Ideal sleeping hours for the greatest healing and anti-aging effects are between 10pm and 6am. A good general goal is to be sleeping by 11pm to get a good boost of HGH. Some experts suggest that every hour of sleep before midnight is equivalent in quality to 3 hours of sleep afterwards due to its HGH boosting effects. Do something to unwind your mind before bed. Great strategies are to read and meditate, keep a gratitude journal, or use something else that inspires and brings peace to your mind.
There are several natural remedies that can be used to help induce restorative sleep. A relaxation tea such as mint, chamomile, or valerian root works great. There are blends of teas that often use all 3 of these herbs to help promote relaxation. It is necessary to avoid any caffeinated foods or beverages such as coffee & chocolate within 10 hours before bed.
Almonds, bananas and milk are great sources of tryptophan. Tryptophan mirrors the results of Prozac, by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. Of course, it does this naturally and does not have the addictive effects of Prozac. Healthy serotonin levels help boost relaxation, confidence, mood, and restfulness. Bioactive milk peptides have been well-studied for their ability to induce sleep. Unfortunately, today`s store bought milk is highly toxic and inflammatory. However, raw milk from grass-fed cows or goats is very helpful as is whey protein. The best whey protein is from non-denatured, grass-fed cow or goat. This is extraordinarily rich in these bioactive peptides.
A great nighttime beverage to drink to help induce restful sleep would be organic almond milk, half a banana, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of coconut oil and a scoop of non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein. This is easy to make and digests very easy in the body.
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com