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When it comes to sleep, it is not only important that you are getting enough, but it is also important that are you getting good quality sleep. Sleep is important for physiological reactions all throughout the body, such as hormone regulation, mediating mood, and healing and supporting our immune system. Basically, if your sleep is off, everything will be out of balance.
In North America, it is more common than ever for individuals to be sleep deprived. This may be due to many different factors. It really comes down to the health, environments and lifestyles of the individual experiencing sleep issues. There are some common practices that can help improve the quality of a person’s sleep. Below are what I find to be most important when working towards a healthy sleep regime.
In today’s society, we are surrounded by blue light; both natural sources such as the sun, as well as unnatural sources like LED lights. Backlit devices (blue light) is artificial light that surrounds us in our homes and is on all screens including smartphones, TV’s, tablets and computer monitors. Staring at these screens into the evening hours can be disruptive to our hormones that play a role in helping us fall asleep.
Melatonin is an important hormone involved in helping us to fall asleep and stay asleep. Melatonin is produced in a small part of the brain called the pineal gland. The production of this hormone is stimulated by our natural circadian rhythm regulated by the setting of the sun. When it gets dim out, melatonin is produced making us feel sleepy. If instead we are staring at and surrounded by bright lights come sunset, our melatonin production is inhibited, and we struggle with falling asleep.
When we are not sleeping properly we will notice it! Weight gain, negative mood changes, and weakened immunity are just some examples of the many problems we encounter with poor sleep quality. The above lists are suggestions that may help to improve your sleep, starting with incorporating one or two small things into your daily routine is a step in the right direction for improved sleep quality. Depending on each individual, there are many ways to help improve sleep quality including supplementing with vitamins, minerals and herbs. If you struggle with sleep it is best to talk to your Naturopathic Doctor to find a health regime that best suits your unique needs.
Sleep well, be happy, be healthy!
Amy is a certified nutritionist with over 7 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She is currently in her third year as a Naturopathic Medical Student and has a special interest in gut and brain health.
Find her on Instagram: @amy_kwilson
The information provided herein is for informational purposes only. The products or claims made about specific nutrients or products are reviewed and evaluated by Organika based on available scientific evidence on its initiative. Such applications, however, have not been specifically assessed by Health Canada. Organika makes no guarantee or warranty with respect to any products sold, and shall not be responsible for any indirect, inconsequential and/or special damages for the reliance on or use of any information contained herein. This information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or another medical professional. You should not use this information for diagnosing a health problem or disease but should always consult your physician.