5 Steps to Naturally Improve Our Sleep

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 1 in 4 Americans take some type of medication every year to help them sleep. However, sleep specialists do not have any evidence for medications that can cure insomnia. There are around 90 distinct sleep disorders; most are marked by one of these symptoms: daytime sleepiness, difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, and abnormal events occurring during sleep. The cumulative long-term effects of sleep disorders have been associated with an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke. After decades of research, the case can be confidently made that low-quality sleep has profound effects on human health. 

10 Sleep Insufficiency Facts from National Sleep Foundation:


1😴 More than 50% of Americans lose sleep due to stress or anxiety.
2😴 Around 75% of adults with depression suffer from insomnia.
3😴 More than 90% of people with PTSD have been found to have insomnia.
4😴 3 Hours of exercise a week reduces daytime sleepiness and increase concentration.
5😴 For adults over age 40, 69% of men and 76% of women get up to go to the bathroom at least once per night.
6😴 Sleeping pills do not cure insomnia.
7😴 Yoga helps with quality sleep by reducing stress and anxiety which is the cause of low-quality sleep.
8😴 Drinking alcohol has been found to decrease sleep quality by 39.2%

9😴 Almost half of the adults say they feel sleepy during the day at least 3 days per week (low-quality sleep). Falling asleep in less than 5 minutes could also signal an unhealthy level of sleepiness.

10😴 Poor sleep is one of the major contributing factors to deaths in car accidents.

To prevent the dangerous effects of the low-quality sleep, please consider these 5 STEPS to improve it holistically and safely, without creating any dependencies and side effects from consuming supplements and pills:

1. 5-10 minutes of Breathing Exercise every morning and night to shift your physiological markers. In the mornings, practice energizing breathwork to harness sustainable energy and reduce consumption of coffee, and at night, do the calming breathwork to shift your system into a parasympathetic state  - the sleep-inducing state. Breathwork, meditation, and taking yoga classes are proven to cure chronic insomnia. You can try any breathing exercise, and see which ones work for you from our Mind-Mastery Channel, or on our Apple Podcast 'Slow Down To Heal'

2. Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day to access the reserve of energy stored in our body. Daily exercise creates the hormonal balance needed for regenerative sleep and a healthy immune system.

A TIP: Leave your evenings for slower-paced exercises like yoga instead of any cardio. Elevated heart rate causes low-quality sleep. 

3. Create an evening mental hygiene that will trick your body into sleep by eliminating stimulants like noise and lights at least 2 hours before bedtime. Dim the lights and fill up a bath at 9p. Light a candle and play calming wordless music. Taking a long bath or shower relaxes our muscles promoting better sleep. Any visuals from the TV or phone will need to be later 'digested' by our brain which will steal precious time away from its rest. Get in bed an hour earlier with a book instead - the concentration needed for reading a paperback is key to slowing down our busy minds and enjoying quality ZZZs. Using earplugs, dark-shaded curtains and eye masks makes a huge difference too.

4. Whatever it takes, work on reducing alcohol and coffee habits, and stop eating and drinking water at least 2 hours before bed.

5. Schedule a regular massage, acupuncture, and Red Light therapy, and consider working with a licensed sleep and behavior therapist. All these healing modalities are proven to reduce stress, balance our hormones and create an internal environment for relaxation and renewal.

 

And I do have to mention here that our sleep is also greatly affected by the health of our physical breathing pathways: healthy breathing is very quiet breathing. Having any breathing constrictions like a deviated septum may diminish our breathing and cause snoring, even sleep apnea. All breathing constrictions need to be looked at by a medical specialist called a pulmonologist or otolaryngologist.

Try my latest 'Breathwork with Visualization for Insomnia & Anxiety' below,  or on Apple Podcasts to improve concentration, and our ability to re-route our mind from the external environment into the breathing, our internal steady rhythm. I recommend practicing this daily and keeping it in your 'pocket' when you feel scattered, anxious, unproductive, worried, angry, and cannot sleep.  I notice more and more people take substances to help with insomnia, sleeping problems, and anxiety and I want to let you know that anything we 'swallow' is just a bandaid, another dependency we create that doesn't solve our underlying problem, which is a lack of mental hygiene.

Thank you for reading this, and taking loving care of yourself. Please forward this page to anyone you think might benefit. Sending you peace, health, and yummy replenishing sleep,

Natasha & Glowing Team