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Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for health and healing. We all need a good night’s rest regularly, and there’s no gold medal for getting the least sleep. In our fast-paced society, people often neglect rest, which harms their health in the long run. If you want to improve your health, the simplest thing to do is to get enough sleep. Without it, your body’s ability to heal is limited, and you increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, and mental health issues. Sleep supports healthy hormone levels, brain activity, and immune function. That’s where supporting your circadian rhythm comes in.

Why’s Circadian Rhythm Important?

All living creatures rely on their circadian rhythm for biological functions. This internal body clock determines the body’s physiological functions over the course of about 24 hours, including eating and sleeping. Both internal (like hormones and neurotransmitters) and external factors (like light and temperature) influence this rhythm. A healthy circadian rhythm involves increased cortisol in the morning to wake you up, gradually decreasing throughout the day. Cultivating healthy sleep habits supports your circadian rhythm, promoting overall well-being.

8 Tips to Get Better Sleep

1 – Set an Early Bedtime

If you get to bed by 9 pm or 10 pm regularly and stick to a consistent sleep schedule, it will have a dramatic impact on your health. By going to bed earlier, you increase the total amount of time available for sleep, giving your body the opportunity to complete all stages of the sleep cycle. The first half of the night is when the majority of deep sleep occurs. Deep sleep is essential for physical restoration, immune function, and cognitive performance. By going to bed early, you increase the likelihood of spending more time in deep sleep, which enhances overall sleep quality.

This especially applies to women whose hormones are more affected when they don’t get enough sleep. Men don’t need quite as much as women, but they will wake up earlier, which is a good thing. If you can’t fall asleep immediately, just be patient and pick up a novel. Eventually, you’ll get there.

2 – Practice Grounding in the Morning

There are so many benefits to grounding, and good sleep is one of them. Some people also call it earthing. No matter what you call it, it’s as simple as getting outside and getting your bare feet on the natural ground, whether that’s the grass or the beach. It’s especially good to do this in first thing in the morning to set the rhythm for the day. When you ground, you transfer the electroactivity of the earth to your body, helping to regulate cortisol levels and support a good night’s rest. 

3 – Exercise in the Morning

Morning exercise can also help regulate the circadian rhythm. Exposing yourself to natural light and physical activity early in the day signals to your body that it’s time to be awake, helping to establish healthy sleep-wake cycles. Regular exercise, especially in the morning, is linked to deeper and more restorative sleep. It can increase the amount of slow-wave sleep, the deepest stage of sleep which is crucial for physical and mental rejuvenation.

4 – Add Green Tea Hours Before Bed

Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has calming effects on the brain. L-theanine increases levels of neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin, and dopamine, which can promote relaxation and reduce feelings of anxiety. Green tea is rich in antioxidants like catechins and flavonoids, which have been linked to better sleep quality. Sipping on a cup of green tea in the afternoon or early evening can help calm the mind and prepare the body for sleep.

5 – Eat Earlier in the Evening – Ideally Before 7 pm

Eating earlier in the evening allows your body more time to digest food before bedtime. Large meals and late-night snacks can lead to indigestion, acid reflux, and discomfort, which may interfere with the quality of your sleep. Giving your body several hours to digest before lying down can reduce the likelihood of experiencing these issues.

6 – Turn Off Devices 1 Hour Before Going to Bed

Light can affect your circadian rhythm. Yes, we’re all addicted to our phones, tablets, and TVs, but these don’t belong in the bedroom. This is a part of basic sleep hygiene Skip the electronic devices 1 hour before bed to avoid light stimulation, insomnia, and a reduction of melatonin due to blue light exposure. Creating a bedtime routine that doesn’t involve screens or bright lights can go a long way toward helping you get a better night’s sleep.

7 – Take Chamomile Herb

German Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) is one herbal supplement you can take to support relaxation and healthy sleep patterns. In a study of those with generalized anxiety, taking chamomile daily for 8 weeks improved feelings of anxiety and depression. Chamomile tea is a part of many people’s relaxation techniques also known to have sedative-like effects and can help promote sleepiness.

8 – Eat Less Sugar

Throughout the night, your cortisol rises to wake you up in the morning. Throughout the day, it decreases until it’s at its lowest level right before sleep. Stress to the body can cause your cortisol to be high consistently. It could be due to emotional stress, or it could be simply from eating too many sugary snacks. Having high blood sugar for too long can increase cortisol and insulin, which can increase your risk of all kinds of health problems.

Take Care of Yourself and Get Better Sleep

Are you a night owl? Does getting to bed sound crazy to you? It’s time to get your hormones tested. Your body is designed to rest at night. Do you wake up at 2 am to get a snack? It’s a good idea to get your insulin and blood sugar tested. If you have significant trouble sleeping, getting tested is the only possible way to know what’s going on. You may even need to do a sleep study to rule out sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. But don’t put this off. Sleep deprivation over time can lead to serious health outcomes. Don’t let restless nights be your normal experience. Instead, use these tips to get better sleep. Then, contact a Wellness Way clinic to schedule a consult and get your testing done.

Learn More About Sleep and Why Women Need More Sleep than Men in the Video with Dr. Patrick Flynn:

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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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