It’s 3 am. You’re wide awake. You look at the clock and do the (albeit sleepy) mental math. “If I fall asleep NOW, I’ll get exactly 3 hours of sleep.” You repeat the process an hour later. Then, even though you got no more than 2 hours the night previous, you still can’t sleep the next night. What’s going on?
While there are many reasons why a person may have trouble sleeping, we can divide these issues into two main categories: the inability to fall asleep, and the inability to stay asleep.
The Inability To Fall Asleep
You toss and turn, but you just can’t relax. Your mind is going a million miles a minute (or its metric equivalent). Usually, if you’re having a hard time falling asleep, it’s a relaxation or circadian rhythm issue.
Things to try:
- Stop drinking caffeine past 1 pm. Caffeine metabolizes at different rates, depending on your liver health. For some people, it can take up to 12 hours to work its way out of your system.
- Turn off your screens a couple of hours before bedtime. The blue light of electronic devices tricks our brains into thinking it’s sunlight, and our circadian rhythms get out of whack.
- Try magnesium at bedtime. Magnesium helps to calm your body and your mind, making it easier to fall asleep.
- Consider supplementing with melatonin to get your sleep back on schedule. Melatonin helps your body get back on a more natural sleep schedule, by simulating your body’s natural circadian response.
- Try relaxation teas or tinctures. We have several options to help you out.
Most people who have trouble staying asleep tend to wake up between 2 and 4 am. This is usually indicative of either a cranky liver or, more likely, chronic stress.
Things to try:
- Cut back on alcohol
- Drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning
- Include adaptogenic herbs in your daily routine. We like the Strest Tincture from St. Francis Herb Farms
- Cut down on overall caffeine consumption
- Stop drinking liquids 2 hours before bedtime (sometimes, it’s as simple as eliminating a midnight bathroom trip)
As always, make sure to discuss any changes you make to your supplement routine with your healthcare provider. If you have specific questions related to your sleep routine, feel free to come in and discuss them with our in-store holistic nutritionist. Sweet dreams!