by Dr. Richard Powers
Healing, repairing, regeneration, and detoxification are accelerated during deep, restorative sleep.
Basically, to feel and function well and avoid a premature demise, you must get the sleep your body requires. If you follow the adage, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” you may get there sooner rather than later!
Research has proven that insufficient sleep significantly impacts immunity, with compounding sleep debt opening the door to infection and compromised immunity. Furthermore, without proper and adequate rest, the brain cannot efficiently dump its trash, and the toxic residues left behind impair memory and cognition and accelerate brain degeneration and shrinkage.
For all these reasons and more, no effort should be spared to ensure a good night’s rest. Below are key hints to help you fall asleep sooner, stay asleep, and get better sleep quality.
Use low-blue-light glasses when viewing a TV, tablet, or computer after 7 p.m. as they block blue frequencies of light, which are emitted from electronic devices (similar to daytime sunlight) and signal the brain that it is daytime, thereby forgoing the triggering of nighttime physiology, including the release of melatonin.
Block out all light in your sleeping room (consider blackout shades). Darkness promotes melatonin secretion and, therefore, better sleep.
Avoid using electronic devices at least 30–60 minutes before lights out (including TV, computer, tablets, gaming, phones, and other devices) as they stimulate the brain, potentially making it difficult to fall and stay asleep and achieve deep, restorative (i.e., delta) phases of sleep.
Minimize caﬀeine and alcohol intake, especially after 7 p.m., as both can be chronodisruptors (i.e., things that interfere with circadian rhythms and undermine restorative rest).
Take sleep aids as needed to help you fall asleep, stay asleep, or get more restorative rest. You may combine several aids, as needed, such as:
- L-Tryptophan (two to four caps)—30–60 minutes before bed (improvement is cumulative over about two weeks)
- As necessary, add Insomnitol (one to two caps) or RelaxMax (one to two scoops)—take 30–60 minutes before bed
Eat well, move often, think right and detox—as all promote restorative rest!To Sleep, Perchance to Dream!
Learn more about how to get more restorative rest from Dr. Powers’ guidebook, Foundations for Creating Optimal Health.
Better decisions. Better outcomes. Better life.