1 in 3 Australian adults suffer from poor quality / quantity of sleep. In fact, recent surveys suggest this proportion is increasing; and closer to 45 percent now have inadequate sleep.
Lack of quality sleep is associated with…
What is insufficient or inadequate sleep?
Anything less than 7.5 hours in adults, 9-10 hours in children and 8-10 hours in teenagers.
Sleep is when repair, regeneration, healing and memory formation take place. In fact, just 2 hours less sleep a night can decrease testosterone in men by that of aging 10 years. Less sleep can double the risk of cancer or cardiac arrythmia and you are 500% more likely to suffer depression or anxiety disorder with consistently less quality sleep.
A 2013 study showed 2 hours less sleep caused poor food choice the next day resulting in the consumption of 500 extra calories a day. This suggests poor sleep is a major contributor to weight gain and obesity or an inability to lose weight.
Getting Better Quality Sleep:
Better sleep is multifactorial and comes as a result of a good sleep planning or hygiene. Below we have listed the top tips for the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had!!
Get some early day sunshine:
Starting your day with natural light exposure helps reset your biological clock. It also balances your body’s melatonin and cortisol levels, and serves as a natural source of vitamin D. In fact, research shows that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to sleep disorders.
Try going for an early morning walk or leaving the office during your lunch hour to get your dose of sunshine. Vitamin D from sunshine helps to support and regulate immunity, reduce inflammation and support hormones. In winter even regular sun exposure may not be enough so you can find a clinical dose (1,000iu) of Vitamin D in a daily serve of ALPHA SWITCH™.
Work out in the morning
That rush of endorphins and adrenaline you feel after a solid workout is awesome — until it’s the reason you can’t sleep at night. Try shifting your workout schedule to the mornings. You’ll feel great having completed your exercise session bright and early, and it’ll be easier to unwind at night.
Working out in the morning effectively decrease sleep complaints and treats symptoms of insomnia as shown by research. Part of this is due to the normalisation of the cortisol (stress hormone) curve.
Supplement with Magnesium & Ashwagandha
More than 75% of Australian adults may suffer from a magnesium deficiency. If you are regularly active that may climb to 90%. While there are plenty of magnesium-rich foods you can eat. Adding a supplement can help jump-start your levels and support your sleep.
In fact, one study in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that magnesium supplements reduced insomnia and improved sleep efficiency.
Ashwagandha is a herb that can be incredibly helpful and calming. This Ayurvedic herb found in ADRENAL SWITCH™ has been used for centuries as an adaptogen.
The Latin name of this herb (Withania somnifera) translates to “help sleep”. It is known as the KING of herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha helps regulate cortisol which means it helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Cortisol is one of the main culprits for keeping people from switching off. Not only will you have difficulty getting to sleep, but you may find you do not get the deep (Delta) sleep. You then wake up tired and frustrated.
The magnesium and standardized Ashwagandha found in ADRENAL SWITCH™ is highly bioavailable and at clinically researched levels.
Maintain a regular sleep schedule & go to bed earlier
Keeping your circadian rhythm regular even on weekends can be hard to do but highly beneficial. As your body becomes used to getting into bed and waking up at the same hours, you’ll find it becomes easier to fall asleep and wake up naturally.
Aim for an average of 7.5 to 8 hours of quality sleep a night. You shouldn’t need an alarm clock to wake if you get to bed 8 hours before you need to wake.
Midnight is called mid night because it is supposed to be the middle of the night. This is not the time you want to be hitting the sack. You should be aiming to be in bed by 9pm if you want to be up at 5-6am.
Remember, you’re going to try and get some morning sun and exercise so getting to bed earlier will allow you to get up earlier.
Limit caffeine after 2 p.m.
Although many of us feel like we are building a tolerance to caffeine the sleep disrupting effects can last for 6 – 8 hours. In fact, a review of two randomized control trials showed that eliminating caffeine for a whole day was able to improve sleep quality and lengthen sleep duration.
Instead of turning to caffeine, try an alternative like VITALITY SWITCH™. The uplifting herbs will nourish your energy system without the stimulation of your central nervous system (CNS). Also, the improved gut health benefits may help with Serotonin production which may boost your happiness and improve sleep at night.
If you do feel the need for caffeine reach for COFFEE SWITCH™ or POWER SWITCH™ as the caffeine is naturally sourced and the addition of EnXtra® (alpine galanga) which will improve the way your body processes the caffeine. It also increases dopamine and reduces adenosine which means you will be more motivated, focused, and productive without any jitteriness or caffeine crash.
Reduce blue light
Limiting blue light which is emitted from LED & Plasma lighting and screens (TV’s, tablets, laptops, smart phones etc) after dark is an essential way to improve the release of melatonin in the brain. The fake light being emitted by these lights and devises can enhance the production of cortisol which may prevent you from switching off.
If you find yourself regretting the past, worrying about the future or just unable to switch your brain off at night you need to get some BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES, change your LED lights to warm full spectrum lights and start to dim your lighting as the sun goes down. You can also install apps or night shift on your phone and lap top.
Do not eat within 2 hours of bed
Carbs in the last meal of the night can be helpful for sleep. However, avoid eating sugary sweets, chocolate, simple carbs, juice or high-glycaemic fruit just before bed, as it can spike blood sugar, boost your energy and you can wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry — literally fuelling insomnia.
Instead, try a little bit of protein with vegetables or a small amount of complex carbohydrates. In fact, PROTEIN SWITCH™ with added MCT oil powder can be the perfect night-time dessert or shake.
We even find mixing ADRENAL SWITCH™ and some PROTEIN SWITCH™ in coconut yoghurt as a dessert after dinner reduces cravings and improves sleep quality.
Turn off wifi and remove your phone from your bedroom
If you are struggling to get to sleep, or suffer from disturbed sleep during the night, your WiFi may be to blame. Studies have shown that exposure to EMF radiation from WiFi networks can significantly affect sleep patterns, and long-term exposure could lead to further problems associated with lack of sleep, including hypertension and depression.
Having your phone next to your bed even if not attached to wifi it will be continuously searching for 4G which may be just as disruptive to your sleep. Not to mention, you are more likely to reach for your phone if its nearby.
Do not have a TV in the bedroom
This is problematic for several reasons…
a) It maybe a smart TV and needs Wifi (see above).
b) It will be emitting blue light (see #6).
c) It trains your brain to seek entertainment (dopamine) in the bedroom where relaxation (serotonin / melatonin) should be released.
Make your room dark & quiet
Not all of us have the luxury of going to sleep when its dark. So be sure to install blackout curtains in your room or plantation shutters that keep out residual light and potential noise.
Because of city living becoming more popular light and noise are becoming increasingly to blame for the poor quality of sleep for many individuals. You can use light blocking sleep masks like the MANTA SLEEP MASK.
Implementing as many of these 10 tips will have a cumulative benefit and will see your quality of sleep and quality of life improve rather quickly.
However, if you still struggle to get a good night sleep and wake up feeling tired you may wish to have a siesta (short mid-afternoon sleep). Try to keep this around 20 - 30 mins or you may cycle into a deep (delta) sleep which will be difficult to wake out of and your productivity may fall.
You can see how important sleep is for the health of your body and your mind. Getting quality sleep can not be underestimated and this attitude of sleep when your dead needs to change.
As everyone strives to be successful and productive in this world. Hustling long into the night and working later than your competitors is not the way to get ahead. In fact, some of the most successful individuals on the planet get to bed by 9pm but they are early to rise.
Early Bird Gets The Worm!
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training, or nutritional strategy. Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods must not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone consuming prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by a qualified health care provider.