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Better Sleeping

Purpose

To help you become more aware of the many things you can do to help improve your sleeping.

Introduction

Many factors affect sleep, and often one or more of those factors may need to be adjusted to improve your night's sleep. How important is sleep? Well, some say it's critical to good health (see Avoiding Cancer by B.J. Wang). B. J. Wang states, "The first and most important step toward minimizing cancer risk starts with a healthy sleep schedule. ... a full 8 hours..."

This page lists some of the factors that can be adjusted to improve your sleep. In this current version, topics are not in priority order, and comments may be sparse.

What matters?

The following is a partial collection of some of the tips I learned from other sources on better sleeping.

What Why/Comments
Positive Affirmations / Gratitude list Thinking, saying, and feeling positive thoughts before you fall asleep help set the stage for better state of mind and sleep. That can also help you fall asleep faster.
Distract your thoughts You can redirect the thoughts that are keeping your mind from resting using various techniques such as music, (boring) audiobooks, and well as replacing your thoughts with Positive thoughts.
Room for sleeping Some say your bedroom should only be for sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping because of excess thought, then get up and go somewhere else and come back when you're sleepy.
Routine Many say routine is important. If you eat at the same time, you will get hungry right around the time you eat. Similarly, if you go to sleep every day at the same time, you will get tired around the same time.
Melatonin As you age, you produce less Melatonin. Therefore, there are those who say you take more as you get older.

Light seen at night quickly depletes Melatonin.

Cold room Cool bedroom is recommended. 65?
Foods eaten, and when Some solutions may include:

Eat dinner earlier enough to help work through digestion.

No fluids 2 hours before bedtime.

If you want a snack before bed, consider a handful of almonds / walnuts, or some nut butter on bread. Or a complex carb snack and/or kiwi

Eat a high protein snack (it could be cauliflower) several hours before bed: (provides Tryptophan needed for Melatonin and Serotonin)

Eat a small piece of fruit (help Tryptophan to cross blood-brain barrier)

Room darkness Light seen at night quickly depletes Melatonin. That also applies to your hallway and bathroom if you have to use it at night. Keep as dark as you can, and some say using red lights may prevent accidental depletion of Melatonin.
Noise Some noises that only happen randomly may wake you up. Noisy heating/cooling and outside noises are examples.
Physical movement, pain, snoring, etc. Several issues can wake you up without knowing. Restless legs syndrome is just one of them. There are plenty of sources on how to reduce each one of those issues.
Prior to bed No stimulating or stressful activities before bedtime. No work 2-3 hours before bed.
Cortisol reduces REM sleep To decrease cortisol:
Magnesium supplementation
Omega-3
Sufficient sleep
Reducing stressors
Laughing
Regular exercise
Exercise As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, can drastically improve sleep.
Attitude Remain calm when you can't sleep, because it is said that in time your body will get the sleep it needs. It may require changing your habits, but it can be improved.

Further research

Categories Link Comments
Melatonin Melatonin: functional significance for optimal cellular physiology - Prof. Russel Reiter (youtube) Prof. Reiter has studied Melatonin maybe longer than anyone else has, over 40 years. He mentions that cancers stop growing in darkness and Melatonin, and that in the past (before the lightbulb) we had many more hours of darkness. He also discusses how disruptive nighttime lights can be to your sleep.

As you age, your Melatonin production drops. He advocates and takes Melatonin supplements based on age. He is older, takes 100mg's every day (1:18:22), and has been taking Melatonin for many years. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, he may take a couple more (5mg each, adding 10mg) (1:25:40). 

Start taking maybe at age 40-45 to delay disease. He knows of Diabetics that take 1,000mg per day.

It's been said you cannot overdose on Melatonin, and studies now show that for sleep, it can allow for sleep ("opens up the sleep gate" 1:24:20), but is not a sleep drug. The video goes into Melatonin, and its role in animals and plants. It also includes many studies that indicate possible benefits from Melatonin. After the lecture, there is a question & answer section (about 1:20:00). For brands he suggests (1:21:12) Source Naturals, Natrol Time released (amazon) which is what he takes, and Nature Made. Melatonin may not help as a sleep aid for everybody. However, it can help for so many.

See also Melatonin: Magic Potion or Unregulated Danger (medscape.com).

Sleep Schedule Polyphasic Sleep  (polyphasic.net) Polyphasic sleep society. (20 min, 90 sleep) Sleeping more than once a day may be beneficial.
GABA Health Benefits of GABA (webmd) A friend mentioned his chiropractor suggested GABA. I have not researched further on this.
Cannabis Using Marijuana As A Sleep Aid (SleepFoundation.com) Marijuana appears to improve sleep in certain cases. Page discusses overall pros and cons as well as usage info.

See also 11 Cannabis Options for the Best Sleep of Your Life (Leafly.com) gives an overview and products that may help with sleep.

  How to Treat Insomnia Naturally Consider these natural remedies for insomnia. In the page it mentions that Taurine. See also The Supplements I Recommend To All My Plant-Based Patients (drjoelkahn.com) where he mentions that he suggests, among other supplements, Taurine.
General Why Sleep is More Important Than Diet (youtube) Shawn Stevenson. Go to bed 10->2, when there is the most Melatonin secretion, sleep creates more human growth hormone.
Food 5 Surprising Foods That Help You Sleep (forbs.com) Mentions Tart cherries, Bananas, and Toast.
  Prescription for Nutritional Healing (You can find this in your library, a great health resource) (I have more to add to this)

Lack of calcium and magnesium can cause you to wake up after a few hours and not get back to sleep.

Don.t eat large meals 2-3 hours before bed.

Avoid cheese, chocolate, eggplant, tomatoes, wine.
Go to bed when you are sleepy.
General Shuteye and Sleep Hygiene  (getpocket.com)
  Thyroid Issues and Sleep (sleepfoundation.org) Thyroid issues can lead to sleep problems, as well. 

When your gland produces too much thyroid hormone, this is known as hyperthyroidism. The condition causes different bodily functions to speed up, leading you to feel wired and jittery.
Symptoms may also include feeling anxious and experiencing a racing pulse, making it hard to get into a relaxed state.

  Solutions for Deep Sleep Every Night (youtube) Dr. John Bergman is well respected and has several videos!

Insomnia causes:
Stress (physical, chemical, emotional)
Poor sleep environment
Inconsistent sleep schedule
Excessive stimulation before bedtime
Sedentary lifestyle

Insomnia cures:
Reduce stress
Improve environment
Restrict your sleep (6 hours per night) (until you cure your insomnia)
Avoid excess stimulation
Exercise regularly
Emotional freedom technique, journaling before bed, reading before bed
Sleep 10pm->4am for 21 days. (this gets into a routine)
ABSOLUTE DARK (mask if needed), cover blue lights

NREM (3 stages)
Deepest state of NREM, thought to be the most restful form of sleep, person feels .groggy. when awoken from stage 3 (called Sleep Inertia, groggy when awakened).

(REM is 4-5 periods per night, bizarre content, we want to get 4/5, adults have it less then children)
REM on-off switch
ON when abundance of neurotransmitter Acetylcholine (activates Rem on neurons) (Ann: some? antihistamines inhibit Acetylcholine) 
OFF requires absence of monoamine neurotransmitters
Histamine, serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline, melatonin, norepinephrine
Serotonin and norepinephrine switch REM neurons OFF

Cortisol reduces REM sleep
(To decrease cortisol)
Magnesium supplementation
Omega-3
Sufficient sleep
Reducing stressors
Laughing
Regular exercise

Melatonin (reset the circadian clock) (decreases with age)
Does NOT cause sleepiness
Exposure to even small amounts of light can suppress melatonin; BLUE LIGHT has the strongest effect

To increase: Melatonin cherries, banana, pineapples, oranges, grapes, plumbs, olive oil, wine and beer

avoid looking at bright screens 2-3 hours before bed (after sunset, and it messes the circadian cycle)
Solutions for blue light: (exposure to sunlight for full spectrum fluorescent bulbs) (at least 30 minutes of sunlight per day)

Dos and don.ts to achieve deep sleep
No stimulating or stressful activities before bedtime
No stimulants (coffee), dark chocolate, alcohol (disrupts REM), spicy foods before bed, blue light (2-3 hours before bedtime),
No fluids within 2 hours of bedtime (if you pee @ night)
Avoid grains and sugars,
No work, 2-3 hours before bed
Reduce or eliminate all medication

Do:
**Stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous System (Chiropractic care)
Regular sleep schedule
Establish a routine: meditation, deep breathing, aromatherapy, etc.
Improve your sleep environment, room tem no higher than 70 degrees!
Eliminate EMF.s (electro-magnetic fields)
Eliminate alarm clocks if you can
Exercise regularly,
Reserve bed for sleeping (not reading, especially for insomniacs)
Eat a high protein snack (it could be cauliflower) several hours before bed: (provides tryptophan needed for melatonin and serotonin)
Eat a small piece of fruit (help tryptophan to cross blood-brain barrier)
Hot bath before bed
Wear eye mas to block out light
Listen to relaxing audio or white noise
Journal your thoughts before bed
Read 30 minutes before bed.

5 keys to health and healing
Proper nerve supply (chiropractor)
Regular exercise
Proper nutrition
Sufficient rest
Prayer and meditation

Buckwheat pillow (he likes)
What is the best sleeping position?

To tell if you got good REM, do you feel refreshed when we wake up?

Pee at night: Unstable pelvis, Cagle exercises, fluids 2 hours.

Pain Pinched Nerve In Neck Symptoms & Treatment (and arm pain) (youtube) (Back Intelligence Dr. Dave Oliver) Treatment normally involves modification of activities. Most are abnormal postures, such as changing way you sit, etc
He starts with an overview of spine and nerves. It's great to see to get a better understanding of why your arm or finger might hurt when its cause is pinched nerve in neck.
-Ice not heat is another primary treatment suggested. You will know within first 1-2 days if it's working. Apply for 15 minutes (covered), every 1-2 hours.
-Get pro advice! There are many causes of the pinch, if you do the wrong treatment, it can cause more damage.
-Median nerve streatch exercise (arms out, rotate arms and head)
-pinched normally due to poor posture.

See also: How to Fix a Pinched Nerve in The Neck (backintelligence.com)

How To Fix Forward Head Posture - 3 Easy Exercises (youtube)
- Chin Tuck
- W exercise
- YWLT 7:15 (fst+second+2 more exercises) "You will live taller"

10 exercises for a pinched nerve in the neck (medicalnewstoday.com)

Pain Most Important Exercises to Help Pinched Nerve & Neck Pain (youtube) Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck present the most important exercises one should do to help a pinched nerve & neck pain.
- Centralize the pain from hand and arm to one point for recovery,
-Start with chin tucks,
-then extensions the universal exercise to try to see if it will reduce pain.
-Can also try a chin tuck and side bend towards the side with the pain.
-If you don't make changes in your lifestyle, you will go back to the pain. Good posture is then discussed.

 See also an updated version. (youtubes) Pain starting from the neck can go down to fingers, a sign of pinched nerve. Doing the exercises won't fix it if you don't fix posture, posture, posture!

Pain Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain, Pinched Nerves, & Arm Pain. (youtube) Physical Therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heneick not only demonstrate the best sleeping positions for neck pain, pinched nerves, and arm pain, but they also provide excellent tips for decreasing any neck, shoulder, or nerve pain you may be having while sleeping.
Pain INSTANT RELIEF - How to Treat A Pinched Neck Nerve - Physical Therapy Exercises (youtube) Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT Good to description below video and starting point for exercises. If the pain in arm move towards or away from shoulder will help determine proper exercises. Good chin tucks. See the good breakdown description at the youtube page by Jared about video.
Pain NECK PAIN GONE! Daily Stretches For Neck Tightness And Pain (youtube) Jared Beckstrand, PT, DPT See description below video for exercises and starting points including Trapezus stretch and Levator Scapulae stretch. Video also shows what muscles are stretched.
     
  Sleep (mit.edu) Offers many great resources including some additional resources worth checking out, including this excellent audio (youtube) bedtime relation to help you fall asleep more easily.
  Sleep Hygiene (sleepfoundation.org) A good page that discusses how you can practice good sleep hygiene.
  Sleep Hygiene From ClearMindSystems.net A summary .pdf

Conclusion

Many variables factor into getting better sleep, so consider a log of what works (or does not work) for you, but keep in mind that the great news is that in most cases, it can be improved!

Thank YOU for reading this!

By David Morgan

For any comments, questions, or if you want to help with AllOne in any way, please contact David. .  About
This page updated 02/16/22 08:22 PM