Getting enough sleep, especially if you suffer from autoimmune disease, is like a cruel joke. We are ex-haus-ted, but often suffer from insomnia as well. Here are some tips to help achieve that restorative sleep you crave.
5 Steps to Improving Your Sleep:
1. Turn off ALL electronics at least an hour before bed. Yep, that’s right, no computer, no tv, no iPad. It is a known fact that the light and electricity produced by these devices tricks our bodies to thinking it is still daytime. It is important to develop a routine that coincides with your bodies natural rhythm. Your body is so used to being stressed right up until the time we expect it to fall asleep. Instead, we need to honor our bodies natural schedule and encourage pre-sleep relaxation to improve the natural restorative abilities within our bodies.
2. Supplement with GABA (GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID) – This supplement can be especially beneficial if you suffer from not only dysfunctional sleeping but anxiety as well. It works by correcting a deficiency in the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, this deficiency can lead to a wide range of detrimental symptoms, like depression, sleep disorders and anxiety. This is due to the fact that GABA is an amino acid which plays a calming role on the body’s central nervous system. People may be deficient in GABA for a number of reasons such as their lifestyle or genetic makeup. Start with 500mg about an hour before bed.
3. Create a zen-like space – Keep your bedroom dimly lit, use candles and even soothing incense like lavender or vanilla. Use soothing music to help lull you to sleep.
4. Have a little fat before bed – a small snack of avocado or nut butter will actually assist in better sleep – don’t overdo it, a full belly can make it difficult for the body to complete the important task of detoxification.
5. Meditate – You don’t have to have any meditation experience to perform this simple relaxation technique. When you are comfortable in bed, close your eyes and as you inhale, think the word “rest”, and you exhale, think the word “relax” – keep repeating this mantra as you focus on these two words as you breathe. This simple practice will help to calm your mind preparing you for good quality sleep.
Keep in mind, your bodily systems, particularly your adrenals, do most of their recharging and recovering between 11pm and 1am, so aim to be in bed at a time that will ensure you will be asleep during those hours.
Whether you are looking to recover your health or to simply improve your well-being, sleep is essential for good health. Sleep is necessary for our bodies to perform even the most basic functions like detoxification, cell regeneration and hormone balance – many of the things we take for granted until we are sick. Without enough sleep, our bodies begin to deteriorate and won’t be be able to recover without increasing the quantity and the quality of sleep we are getting.