JUST ONE MORE click along your episodic TV show on Netflix, that means one less hour of sleep, but that’s nothing a cup of coffee won’t fix tomorrow, right? Not quite. Over time, a deficit of deep sleep could mean way more than just a bit of daze—think weight gain, mood disorders, fatigue, increased stress levels, reduced attention span, and declined cognitive performance.
With the hectic pace of day-to-day life, many people don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults typically need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. Getting fewer hours for even a couple of nights in a row can have the same effect as staying awake for 24 hours straight. And, over time, the chronic sleep debt can even contribute to illness.
I want to get real with you about the importance of sleep and share
12 simple tips from functional medicine on
How to Get Better Night Sleep:
- Set the right temp. Make the room a comfortable temperature for sleep (not too hot or cold). In general, the suggested bedroom temperature should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep.
- Soak the day away. Take a hot bath at night for 20 minutes. You might want to add 2 cups of Epsom salt and 10 drops of lavender essential oil to the bathwater.
- Calm your system. Take a daily dose of Magnesium Lactate before bed, which relaxes the nervous system and muscles. Magnesium supports ion signaling across cell membranes; it supports the body’s natural ongoing activities of bone formation and resorption; it helps facilitate muscle contraction and body’s energy production, which is used by the central nervous, neuromuscular, and cardiovascular systems. Raise your hand if you feel you don’t need it tonight!
- Supplement thoughtfully. Other supplements and herbs to get sufficient shuteye include calcium, L-theanine (an amino acid from green tea), Kava Forte by MediHerb and Min–Tran.
- Ditch the coffee addiction. Avoid or minimize substances that affect sleep, like caffeine, sugar, and alcohol.
- Unplug. Avoid any stimulating activities for two hours before bed such as watching TV, using the Internet and answering emails.
- Set a bedtime (and a rise time). Go to bed (preferably before 10 or 11 p.m.) and wake up at the same time every day.
- Sweat it out. Exercise daily for 30 minutes (but not three hours before bed, which can affect sleep).
- Designate a role. Keep computers, TVs and work materials out of the room to strengthen the mental association between your bedroom and sleep.
- Cut the lights. Keep your bedroom very dark or use eyeshades.
- REST. Keep it quiet. Block out sound if you have a noisy environment by using earplugs.
- Daytime Napping. “No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap.”—Carrie Snow.
One way to combat the effects of sleep deprivation—and repay some sleep debt—is to incorporate daytime napping into your schedule. The length of the nap and type of sleep you get during that nap help determine its potential health benefits. The table below identifies these benefits.
If you need extra support with sleep issues, feel free to call our office at (212) 696-4325 and schedule a consultation. We provide a full-spectrum functional medicine evaluation by a Certified Functional Medicine practitioner.
The Institute For Functional Medicine