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By Dr. Mercola Sleep is one of the great mysteries of life. Like gravity or the quantum field, we still don’t understand exactly why we sleep—although we are learning more about it every day. We do know, however, that good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health. Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health. For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:
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Dramatically weaken your immune system Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep —meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability
When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.
even when getting up to go to the bathroom. and get rid of night-lights. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and serotonin. **If you are interested in more information about sleep or any of the 33 items listed. Close your bedroom door.Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders. or as close to it as possible. which are grouped by subject. waking up too often. . there are many natural techniques you can learn to restore your “sleep health. Sleep in complete darkness. and persistent lack of sleep has a cumulative effect when it comes to disrupting your health. The good news is. normally released by your pituitary gland during deep sleep (and during certain types of exercise. as most of you probably know. or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning—or maybe you simply want to improve the quality of your sleep—you are bound to find some relief from my tips and tricks below. One study has even shown that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause. Lost sleep is lost forever. including: • • • • Heart disease Stomach ulcers Constipation Mood disorders like depression Sleep deprivation prematurely ages you by interfering with your growth hormone production. I invite you to delve into the links that follow. Cover up your clock radio. such as Peak Fitness Technique). Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep.” Whether you have difficulty falling asleep. Poor sleep can make your life miserable. Growth hormone helps you look and feel younger. Optimizing Your Sleep Sanctuary 1.
To do this. Light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and starts preparing your body for ACTION.m. you need a gauss meter... It will only add to your worry when you stare at it all night. Avoid using loud alarm clocks. It is very stressful on your body to be suddenly jolted awake. your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Remove the clock from view. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool. All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness.Cover your windows—I recommend using blackout shades or drapes. which controls your biological clock. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus. 4:30 a.m. 5. preferably at least 3 feet. 2 a. and may have other negative effects as well.3 a. starting around $50 to $200.. between 60 to 68 degrees. . If you are regularly getting enough sleep. Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). Many people keep their homes and particularly their upstairs bedrooms too warm. If these devices must be used. Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F.m. Scientists believe a cooler bedroom may therefore be most conducive to sleep. You can find various models online. Some experts even recommend pulling your circuit breaker before bed to kill all power in your house. generally about four hours after you fall asleep. 3. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.. 2. keep them as far away from your bed as possible. . These can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin. When you sleep. 4. ... Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. an alarm may even be unnecessary. since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop. called circadian rhythms.
deep breathing. and which nature intended for humans as well. the toxins back up into your liver. This will help your body to get into a sleep rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep and get up in the morning. Don't drink any fluids within 2 hours of going to bed.I gave up my alarm clock years ago and now use a sun alarm clock. so avoid doing these activities in bed. Get to bed as early as possible. It also includes a sunset feature where the light fades to darkness over time. which can further disrupt your health. you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep. even on the weekends. 11. You should go to bed and wake up at the same times each day.m. then repeat it each night to help you release the tensions of the day. AM/FM radio. people would go to bed shortly after sundown. Don't change your bedtime. Consider separate bedrooms. If you are used to watching TV or doing work in bed. . beeper. 9. The key is to find something that makes you feel relaxed. as most animals do. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep. 6. especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. 10. snooze button. and 1 a. Combining the features of a traditional alarm clock (digital display. etc) with a special built-in light that gradually increases in intensity. or at least minimize the frequency. This will reduce the likelihood of needing to get up and go to the bathroom. The Sun Alarm™ SA-2002 provides an ideal way to wake up each morning if you can't wake up with the REAL sun. sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep. this amazing clock simulates a natural sunrise. Establish a bedtime routine. you may want to consider a separate bedroom. Reserve your bed for sleeping. In addition. 7. If you are awake. Your body (particularly your adrenal system) does a majority of its recharging between the hours of 11 p. using aromatherapy or essential oils or indulging in a massage from your partner. This could include meditation. Prior to the widespread use of electricity.m. Recent studies suggest. for many people. Preparing for Bed 8. which is ideal for anyone who has trouble falling asleep. your gallbladder dumps toxins during this same period.
blinds or drapes. particularly grains and sugars. As an alternative. This can help the tryptophan cross your blood-brain barrier. Wear an eye mask to block out light. 19. it's not always easy to block out every stream of light using curtains. Even better. Wear socks to bed. Also eat a small piece of fruit. Avoid before-bed snacks. As discussed earlier. Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. an eye mask can be helpful. When your body temperature is raised in the late evening. This will reduce the chances that you'll wake up to go in the middle of the night. No TV right before bed. Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds. 13. Listen to relaxation CDs. This can provide the L-tryptophan needed for your melatonin and serotonin production. 21. Feet often feel cold before the rest of the body because they have the poorest circulation. The temperature drop from getting out of the bath signals your body it’s time for bed. It’s too stimulating to the brain. you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep. particularly if you live in an urban area (or if your spouse has a different schedule than you do). to be soothing for sleep. such as the ocean or forest. That said. get the TV out of the bedroom or even completely out of the house. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. Put your work away at least one hour before bed (preferably two hours or more). Go to the bathroom right before bed. when blood sugar drops too low (hypoglycemia). 16. This will give your mind a chance to unwind so you can go to sleep feeling calm. shower or sauna before bed. In these cases. it is very important to sleep in as close to complete darkness as possible. 14. which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. 18. 15.12. TV disrupts your pineal gland function. it will fall at bedtime. These will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. 20. 17. Take a hot bath. Later. preventing you from falling asleep quickly. facilitating slumber. not hyped up or anxious about tomorrow's deadlines. . Another favorite is the Sleep Harmony CD. you could place a hot water bottle near your feet at night. A study has shown that wearing socks reduces night wakings.
So. I have been doing this for 15 years. Although alcohol will make you drowsy. and pasteurized dairy. which can seriously impair your sleep. leaving you feeling its effects long after consumption. diet pills). you might be tempted to go on reading for hours. an afternoon cup of coffee or tea will keep some people from falling asleep at night. If you often lay in bed with your mind racing. don't exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you awake. the condition causing the drugs to be taken in the first place can be addressed by following guidelines elsewhere on my web site.22. Read something spiritual or uplifting. Sensitivity reactions can cause excess congestion. grains. 28. Reduce or avoid as many drugs as possible. and other problems. Alcohol will also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep. bloating and gas. which has the opposite effect. . Journaling. Lifestyle Suggestions That Enhance Sleep 24. Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep. the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later. At least one study has shown that. it might be helpful keep a journal and write down your thoughts before bed. Avoid foods you may be sensitive to. Make certain you are exercising regularly. in some people. Be aware that some medications contain caffeine (for example. may adversely effect sleep. Studies show exercising in the morning is the best if you can manage it. Avoid alcohol. Don't read anything stimulating. if you are really enjoying a suspenseful book. This may help you relax. However. In most cases. In addition. gastrointestinal upset. caffeine is not metabolized efficiently. (CLICK HERE for my nutritional recommendations. instead of going to sleep! 23. Being overweight can increase your risk of sleep apnea. such as a mystery or suspense novel. both prescription and over-the-counter. 27. but prefer to do it in the morning when my brain is functioning at its peak and my cortisol levels are high. Many drugs. This is particularly true for sugar. Personally. where your body does most of its healing. Avoid caffeine. 26. unable to fall back asleep. Lose excess weight. 25.) 29.
Melatonin is a completely natural substance. My current favorite fix for insomnia is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). and has many health benefits in addition to sleep. Scientists have found that insomnia may be caused by adrenal stress. help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep. Ideally it is best to increase levels naturally with exposure to bright sunlight in the daytime (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) and absolute complete darkness at night. Increase your melatonin. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid. EFT can help balance your body's bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The hormonal changes at this time may cause sleep problems if not properly addressed. made by your body. If that isn’t possible. you may want to consider a melatonin supplement. melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness. decrease restlessness. Related Articles Sleep Duration: Too Much and Too Little • • • This Daily Mistake Can Make You Obese and Forgetful Lost Sleep Can Never Be Made Up How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? . Have your adrenals checked by a good natural medicine clinician. and reverse daytime fatigue.30. 33. In scientific studies. Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. I prefer to use a sublingual melatonin product because it is absorbed much faster and therefore works more quickly. If All Else Fails 32. If you are menopausal or perimenopausal. I offer a melatonin spray on my website that I believe is one of the very best on the market. get checked out by a good natural medicine physician. 31.
Internal Clock and Natural Cycles • • • • • • • • • Changing Your Clock: New Research Explores How Your Body Keeps Time Do High-Fat Foods Disrupt Your Body Clock? Work on a Rotating Shift? Then You Probably Have Lower Levels of Serotonin Are You a Night Owl or an Early Lark? Mars Time Ruins Scientists' Health Internal Clock Determines How Much Sleep You Need Middle of the Night Wakening Throws Off Your Body Clock If Your Body Clock is Disrupted it Can Speed Cancer Growth Shift Work Dangerous to Your Health Jet Lag • • Ancient Trick Eliminates Jet Lag Your Meal Time May be Linked to Jet-lag Sleep Drugs .• • • • • More than Seven Hours of Sleep Per Night Increases Your Risk of Brain Disease The Dangers of Oversleeping If You Sleep Less Than Six Hours You Are Creating a 'Sleep Debt' Too Much or Too Little Sleep May Lead to Heart Attacks Less Than 8 Hours of Sleep May Not Hurt Health Sleep and Body Temperature • • Do Cold Temperatures Improve Sleep? Fingers Warm Up Prior to Sleep Sleep and Light and Darkness • • • • How Light Pollution is Ruining Your Health Sleeping Patterns Are Governed by Light How Incandescent Light Affects Your Sleep Lack of Daylight May Cause Insomnia Circadian Rhythms.
Marketers Will Try to Spin New Sleep Drug to Insomniacs Continued Insanity--Sleep Medications to Kids Benadryl Can Cause Hallucinations in Elderly Sleep. Melatonin and Cancer • • • • • • • • Melatonin Sleep Spray Prostate Cancer Risks Rise With Shift Work Night Light Increases Breast Cancer Risks With More Night Light Comes A Greater Risk of Leukemia Winter Depression Linked With Melatonin Cycle Night Shift Increases Cancer Risk and Beware of Daylight Savings Time Sleep In TOTAL Darkness to Decrease Cancer Risk Melatonin Helps the Blind Sleep Sleep. Metabolism. and Weight Gain • • • • • • • • • • How Much Do You Need to Sleep Every Night to Prevent Weight Gain? How Your Body Clock Regulates Your Metabolism Surprising Factors That Contribute to Obesity Too Much or Too Little Sleep Raises Your Diabetes Risks Fight Obesity by Sleeping How Obesity and Sleep Debt Are Linked Lack of Sleep Strongly Linked to Obesity Cutting Back On Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight Get Enough Sleep to Avoid Diabetes Decrease Your Sleep and Increase Your Risk for Diabetes .• • • • • • • • • • • • • • Over-the-Counter Sleep Meds are Not Effective The Worst Products In The World? Sleep Drugs Are Wildly Popular Despite Barely Working A Scary Parody of Sleep Drugs Get Rid of Your Sleeping Pills NOW! Why Are You Using a Sleep Drug? Nocturnal Sleep Eating: A Newly Described Ambien Side Effect Ambien Side Effects Ignite Drug Ad Deluge Americans Taking More Sleeping Pills Than Ever Dangers of Taking Sleeping Pills Sleep Meds Consumed in Record Numbers Rest Assured -.
Mental Acuity. and Other Sleep Disorders . Memory. You Sure Do Want Improved Performance? Sleep On It Sleep Deprivation Ups Risk of Surgical Mistakes "Early to Bed . Sleep Apnea.Sleep. The Longer You Live? Easy Sleepers Live Longer Importance of Dreaming • • Can Being Sleep Deprived Actually Kill You Early? Controlling Your Dream World Sleep Environment.Driving While Tired Sleep Quality and Longevity • • • • Long-Term Study Links Chronic Insomnia to Increased Risk of Death Can Being Sleep Deprived Actually Kill You Early? Is it True The More You Sleep.Early to Rise" Improves Brain Function Sleep Disorder Increases Car Accident Risk DWT . and EMFs • • • • • • • Sharing Your Bed May be Bad for Your Health Why You Should NEVER EVER Sleep Where Your Cat Sleeps Are You Sleeping in a Dangerous. Electrically Polluted Bedroom? Can Cell Phones Give You Insomnia? Sweet Dreams Come With the Proper Mattress Japanese "Sleep Room" Promises a Full Night's Sleep How to Buy the Best Mattress for a Good Night's Sleep Snoring. Get More Sleep Secret Solution to Improve Your Memory Deep Sleep Solidifies Your Memory If Soldiers Need Sleep. Creativity and Performance • • • • • • • • • • • • Your Circadian Clock is Critical to Your Memory Why You are More Creative After You Sleep A Simple Way to Get Smarter Improve Your Memory.
S.• • • • • • Nine Ways to Help You Stop Snoring How Sleep Apnea Injures Your Brain New Treatment for Sleep Apnea Now We Finally Know Why Some People Can't Lose Weight Speeding Up Heartbeat May Improve Sleep Apnea Child's Snoring May Be Cause of Poor School Performance Sleep and Fertility • • Why Where You Sleep Matters If You Want a Healthy Baby Sleep Debt Affects Female Fertility Too Sleep. A Solution to Have Your Babies Sleep All Night Long The Relationship Between Crib Mattresses and Crib Death Should Infants Sleep With Their Parents? Interview with T.J. Kids Need More Sleep Sleep-Deprived Children More Prone to Injury Later School Start Benefits Teens Sleep In Early Life May Play Crucial Role In Brain Development Cures for Insomnia • • • • • 8 Natural Remedies That May Help You Sleep How to Achieve Deep. Babies and SIDS • • • • • • • • • • • Fans Lower Risk of Sudden Baby Death Smarter Babies Take Their Naps Keep That TV Away From Your Baby! Sleep Deprived Baby? Try Sunlight Is Sleep Position Really Important in SIDS? African-American Infants Dying from SIDS at Alarming Rate Finally. Uninterrupted Sleep Counting Sheep Does Not Help You Drop Off After All New Relief Now Available For Sleeping Disorders EFT Helping Alzheimer's Patients Sleep Better Naturally . Sprott About SIDS Prevention SIDS Risk Greater in Daycare Centers Sleep and Children • • • • • • "Junk sleep" Damaging Teenagers' Health Grades Suffer When Kids Lose Valuable Sleep Time U.
• • A Solution for Those Who Experience Insomnia After September 11th EFT One of the BEST Cures for Insomnia Miscellaneous Articles About Sleep • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • SPECIAL REPORT FOR DOWNLOAD Mastering The Mystery Of Sleep. Sleep Disorders? Is Insomnia Wreaking Havoc Upon Your Health? Eye Problems May be Causing Your Insomnia Good Night's Sleep Essential for Immune System Sleeping Secrets Revealed by Undercover Professor Power Naps May Improve Your Memory Adrenals Overactive Sleep Problems May Complicate Many Illnesses Inadequate Sleep Affects Hormone Levels . Huffington Post Sounds During Sleep Can Boost Your Memory New Information on the Science of Sleep Insomnia Worsened by Increased Nighttime Toilet Visits Why Skipping Sleep Harms Your Brain Practice Makes Waking Up From a Sound Sleep Easier Sleeping Without an Alarm Clock The Most Common Sleep Disorder: Insufficient Sleep Mysteries of Sleep A New Way to Sleep? Sleepy During the Day? It Could be More Than a Sleepless Night Aging Doesn't Cause Sleep Problems Sleep Problems Can Ruin Your Health and Shorten Your Life Skimping on Sleep Harms Your Health SleepSmart and Wake up Feeling Refreshed Harnessing Brain Protein The Key to Anxiety.