In this episode of the podcast of The Gutology Podcast; Ollie & Julia discuss the impact that sleep has on your overall health and immune system. You can download now on iTunes & Spotify.
Julia shares that about 90% of the people that visit her clinic have sleep issues. The type of lifestyle we have now is very different compared to back in the days. Today’s habits sets us up for poor sleeping habits.
For someone to get well from a chronic condition, particularly autoimmunity, or inflammatory, sleep is such an important part of actually getting them to that point.
Circadian rhythm are 24-hour cycles that are part of the body’s internal clock, running in the background to carry out essential functions and processes. Unfortunately, not a lot of people know about this. Julia shares that learning the fundamentals of the Circadian rhythm can help improve sleep.
In our times, there are a lot of artificial light. This includes television, phones, and laptops. It is common for us to use our phones and laptops while going to bed. These are things or habits that can change how our circadian rhythm looks like. One way to reset the circadian rhythm is by avoiding blue light at least 1hour before bed and then looking at natural light the moment we wake up.
Sleep deprivation effects
People feel better when they have a good night's sleep, and if they go with days of poor sleep, it affects the general health of a person. Your body is repairing itself at night, so not getting a full eight hours of sleep is restricting your overall health. One of the effects could lead to a rise in inflammatory markers in the body.
There are supplements that can aid to achieve good sleep. One of the most useful is magnesium. It helps with stimulating the neurotransmitters in the brain that help induce sleep cycle. Another one is melatonin. This is often used for the short-term treatment of insomnia; it also has antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Because melatonin is not readily available to some countries, there are other more natural ways to encourage or increase levels of melatonin. Cherries are one example as they have good natural boost in melatonin.
Julia advices patients to forget sleep for now, and not to worry about it too much. She tells them for periods throughout the day, to take 10 minutes out and just do some deep breathing exercise. Physiologically it supports the HPA axis, which regulates the sleep cycle. It is more likely that by focusing away from sleep, sleep will come more naturally to those who will follow her advice.
Dysregulated sugar control can also impact inflammation, which in turn affects the circadian rhythm and the sleep cycle. Because the person is having trouble sleeping, in the day their sugar level will go up and it becomes a cycle to having a problematic sleep. So anything that can intervene and help break the cycle to have a better sleeping pattern.
Blue light is a light with blue wavelengths which are supposedly beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood but bad at night because they often impede sleep. There are already apps that can filter out the blue light from your gadgets, so that when you use it at night, it does not affect your sleeping pattern.
Make it a habit
As simple as waking up early every day, even on the weekends, is a good habit that can promote better sleep. To achieve a 24-hour clock that is in tune, try to follow its natural rhythms and have a good routine. Like setting yourself up to bed should start at least an hour to an hour and a half before you intend to go to bed.
Moderation of regularity and making simple habits are the things that make the big difference. They don’t always start out big, but rather small, incremental things that become habits.
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