Why is it that good sleep has become so difficult to attain?
Maybe it’s because sleep disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia are rising?
Or possibly, we’re all just stressed to the max, and our brains won’t shut up long enough to wind down.
We discovered a few surprising things that might be keeping you awake at night.
These aren’t the reasons you’ve heard a million times– like avoiding caffeine late in the day, not exercising too late in the evening or ditching screens with blue light before bedtime.
Following these tips are great, but they won’t help you sleep better if an underlying issue keeps you from being able to sleep normally.
- A JACKED-UP CIRCADIAN RHYTHM
Circadian rhythm is the name given to your body’s 24-hour “internal clock” – you may have heard of it as the sleep-wake cycle because it controls your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
If you struggle to fall asleep, wake up at a set time, or catch yourself yawning most of the day, your circadian rhythm could be off.
Whether it’s due to varying work shifts, traveling, or just inconsistency with when you go to bed and wake up – an inconsistent sleep schedule disrupts your circadian rhythm, and sleep researchers say this can affect your quality of sleep, which is just as important as quantity of sleep.
Here are some tips for promoting a healthy circadian rhythm:
- Try to adhere to a routine each day, even on weekends.
- Open your blinds as soon as your alarm goes off.
- Get enough daily exercise.
- Sleep in a dark and cool environment.
- Avoid stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and nicotine in the evenings.
- Power down your screens that emit blue light at least 1 hour before bed.
- Skip afternoon naps.
- NOT KNOWING AND FOLLOWING YOUR CHRONOTYPE
According to sleep experts, there is another piece to the sleep puzzle when it has to do with how restful your sleep is and how productive you are the next day — your chronotype.
This is not the same as your circadian rhythm; however, it influences your sleep-wake cycle.
A chronotype is your body’s natural inclination to get up, stay alert and fall asleep at particular times in the day.
There are four chronotypes:
Lions: These are your typical early birds that wake up before 6 am, are most productive before lunchtime, lose steam in the afternoon and by 9 pm are ready to hit the sack.
Bears: Like the animal, bear chronotypes follow the rising and setting of the sun. They are typically more productive in the late mornings, hit an afternoon slump and are ready to go to bed around 11 pm. This is the most common chronotype.
Wolves: These are your typical night owls that stay up past midnight and don’t like getting up before 9am. Their brains work best in the afternoons and evenings.
Dolphins: This is the rarest chronotype and, like their namesake, don’t seem to be able to fall asleep deeply. They have racing thoughts and can rarely follow a set sleep schedule. Most dolphins seem to have a spurt of creativity around 10 am to 2 pm.
If possible, sleep experts say you shouldn’t fight your chronotype. Instead, you should work with it to boost productivity and improve your sleep quality.
- NUTRITION AND MINERAL DEFICIENCY
Certain micronutrients can either help or hinder your sleep patterns. Furthermore, if certain minerals aren’t in balance, your sleep could also suffer.
Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals that need to be in balance for restful sleep:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
If you feel like vitamin and mineral deficiencies are affecting your sleep, ensure you consume whole foods high in these micronutrients and/or consider a high-quality multivitamin.
- HIGH LEVELS OF CORTISOL
Many hormone imbalances can cause restless sleep. The biggest is your stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol has a powerful influence on sleep and wake cycles. It’s common to see high cortisol at bedtime for people who have trouble falling asleep and high cortisol at night for those who can’t stay asleep.
There are various reasons for high cortisol. Some include:
- Stress (both physical and mental)
- Prolonged light exposure before bed
- An inconsistent sleep schedule
Your sleep isn’t the only thing that’s affected when your cortisol is too high. Excess cortisol can also cause weight gain and a weakened immune system.
Some herbs can help naturally promote lower cortisol levels. We will tell you what they are in just a second. But first, we want to reveal one more sleep destroyer that really shocked us!
- YOUR GUTS
Your gut is home to billions of bugs called your microbiome. If they are unhealthy or unbalanced, you can develop gut dysbiosis that can lead to GI inflammation.
This excess inflammation can disrupt, guess what? Your stress hormone cortisol. Which, as we’ve already stated, can drastically impact if you will wake up in the middle of the night when you should be sleeping.
But there is more. The gut is also responsible for producing your feel-good chemicals dopamine, serotonin and melatonin. If you are low on any of these hormones, it could prevent you from being able to relax and sleep.
Another way your gut could impact sleep is that your stomach doesn’t agree with what you are eating. There are the common culprits like gluten and dairy. But you can also be sensitive to “healthy” foods like cruciferous vegetables.
Invest in some quality gut health supplements and figure out what foods your body doesn’t like and avoid them, especially at night.
SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE….
Whether your lack of quality shut-eye is due to one of these five lesser-known reasons or a more common cause, we are a sleepless nation.
Research shows the average person gets less than seven hours of sleep, and 50 to 70 million adults in the U.S. are affected by a sleep disorder.
Getting enough restful sleep is the most underrated cause of almost every health issue people face worldwide.
Slacking on sleep is known to cause:
- Weight gain
- Mood swings
- A low sex drive
- High blood pressure
- Reduced immune function
- Brain fog and memory loss
- An imbalance gut microbiome
- Lackluster skin, fine lines and dark circles
AN ALL-NATURAL SLEEP SOLUTION
With one of the leading causes of sleepless nights being the inability to wind down and stop racing thoughts and one of the lesser known reasons being high cortisol– we wanted to tell you about a natural sleep aid on the market that can help with each of those things.
It’s called Night Shred Black by Inno Supps.
Inno Supps is a leader in the supplement space that manufactures high-quality, clean, natural supplements made in the USA with a rigorous third-party certification and testing process.
Their most popular sleep aid, Night Shred Black, contains scientifically backed ingredients that work together to naturally help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
This unique sleep aid contains 3 g of melatonin, which is found in most sleep aids on the market for good reason.
Research shows that supplementing with melatonin can help you fall asleep faster, increase your total sleep time and improve overall sleep quality.
But Night Shred Black also has four other unique blends of herbs and botanicals not found in many other sleep-aids on the market and a blend of ingredients that can prime your metabolism to burn more body fat.
Nighttime Recovery Complex
Deep Relaxation Compound
Mood Enhancement Complex
PM Fat Burning Complex
Grains of Paradise
Each ingredient has unique qualities that work together to help you wind down, but let’s rewind to the solo element in the deep relaxation compound.
Zylaria™ is a rare fungus that has been used in Chinese folk medicine for centuries to help with sleep and mood-related health conditions.
This mushroom has some impressive scientific backing that claims it can naturally promote:
- A better overall mood
- Improved sleep
- Increased relaxation
- Sedative and calming effects
THE BOTTOM LINE
You can cut back on naps, screen time and stimulants all you want, but if there is an underlying reason for your inability to sleep, like poor sleep patterns, anxiety and high cortisol, you’ll never be fully rested.
Taking the herbs and adaptogens listed above can provide a natural solution to help provide support for these sleep disruptors.
And you can find them all in Inno Supps’ Night Shred Black.
Members of the editorial and news staff of the Las Vegas Review-Journal were not involved in the creation of this content.