March 11, 2021
7 Tips to Help Insomnia
Thousands of years ago the sun was the major source of lighting. Our circadian rhythm is not designed to expose our eyes to light at night time. In the same way, our body can’t run 100 miles a day every day with no rest but if we are in a fight or flight it would be able to keep going because of adrenaline. Just because you “can” stay awake and look at your phone doesn’t mean you should. Light inhibits the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that naturally promotes sleep. Not all colours of light have the same effect. Just like not all kinds of food have the same effect on the brain. Through the retina blue wavelengths of light are beneficial during daylight suppressing melatonin and elevating mood making us feel awake. Our screens emit the same wavelength which is part of the reason you won’t get as deep REM sleep from excessive use of screens. Research shows blue light blocking glasses significantly helps. The point is to try to make your room as dark as possible. The closer to nature the better we are still composed of the same chemical material as our ancestors who lived solely in nature. Mimicking their patterns brings our vessel back to the sanity we have disrupted. I highly recommend an eye mask for anyone who has roommates or outdoor street lamps etc. On the topic of screens, the lamps are believed to counteract EMFs (electromagnetic fields) from TVs, computers, phones, wireless internet, etc. Red light is least likely to shift circadian rhythm. I highly suggest getting a salt lamp. I got mine from Pakistan and the lamp not only emits a light red glow which won’t penetrate the retina as vividly as blue but also emits negative ions which we typically experience by the sea, a rushing river or waterfall, in the forest and after a thunderstorm. Rich in minerals, Negative ions may help cleanse the air, promote oxygenation in your brain and even boost your mood.
It is crucial for proper sleep to have no caffeine afternoon. Believe it or not, a chocolate bar has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Be wary of this and if your body is craving chocolate realize sometimes a craving for a specific food can indicate a deficiency in micro or macro nutrition. A craving for chocolate could highlight a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is an essential mineral and is required for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body! Our brains are smarter than us. The same reason if you are in a highly caloric deficient state you crave the highest caloric food like fatty oily food is because your brain knows it’s in scarcity and needs to find calories as fast as possible leading to ravenous hunger. Try opting for Pumpkin seed which has 168 mg magnesium versus convection sleeping pills!
Eating Enough Calories
The obvious one but please make sure you are eating enough calories. Improved blood sugar control comes from an appropriate calorie and carbohydrate intake. As your blood sugar drops overnight, your liver must release its stored glucose (in the form of glycogen) to keep your blood sugar steady. If you’re constantly under-eating, especially if you’re over-exercising on top of that, your liver won’t have the glycogen stores it needs to keep your blood sugar stable. In this case, your body must release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to promote gluconeogenesis, the process of creating new glucose. If these stress hormones elevate high enough, they can actually wake you up in the middle of the night. That’s why it is so important to make sure you are getting enough carbohydrates and calories at night!
My next tip is to do deep stretching or yoga before bed. I do yin postures which deeply stretchy psoas muscle which in yoga is supposed to believe to be the muscle of the soul and any traumatic events may be stored on a cellular level.
Releasing Pent Up Thoughts
My next tip is to talk to a friend, a family member, or simply journal. If I am alone I journal and pour it all out of me not allowing stagnating energy and emotion to be pent up inside thus leaving me feeling light and empty with a sort of airy feeling
Fixing Subconscious Belief
My next tip is fixing the subconscious belief you have about bedtime. What we aren’t aware of dictates our future more than what we are aware of. As a child I registered to sleep at an anxious time, I was alone, and I had to go to sleep because it was what the schedule demanded. I realized the association I had with my bed was an anxious one in itself rather than a pleasurable one. I now don’t even go into my bedroom whatsoever only if it’s bedtime. I register my bedroom as relaxing and full of relaxation. Before sleeping I make sure to be fully present without any distractions. I only think of how much I am grateful for the day and am so grateful for the moment I wake up in the morning because that in itself is enough for me to fall asleep blissfully.
My next tip is to meditate or pray to ground yourself. Come into the awareness you are not the body that is trapped and can’t sleep but the consciousness relax the mind and the body will follow. The reason I love holistic and have a passion to treat the mind-body ends up together is that we know they are connected but don’t know how to treat them. If you are running outside you won’t fall asleep because your physical body is moving why do you think just since you lay down and your mind is running a marathon of obsessive thoughts you will be able to sleep? You have to silence the mind in order to sleep or it will run in circles all night.