Sleep impairment can come down to four things:
#1 : STRESS
Tricky thing about stress, the more stress we have, the easier our neurology makes it to be stressed out. When you are stressed, often times you're making your "stress muscles" in your central nervous system stronger because they believe this is a priority to you and they want to be helpful.
Chronic stress can also essentially wreck our circadian rhythm by stealing hormones involved in the cycle. If you are "not a morning person" and you feel extra groggy in the morning then this could be you. (There is a regimen we offer which resets your circadian rhythm. Ask us about it.)
#2 : GABA
Some people can't quiet their mind. Do you feel that when your head hits the pillow you are the most awake you have been all day? Maybe your mind goes from one worry to the next. If your thoughts are keeping you awake then you might not have enough GABA. This is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain that is in charge of closing up shop at the end of the day.
There are nutritional compounds that help produce more GABA, which are great. Ask us for our comprehensive list.
You can find GABA as a finished product over the counter at supplement stores which is ironic because GABA is so big that it shouldn't be able to get through the blood brain barrier to access your brain. So, this is not a good option. It shouldn't work. If it does, that's a problem because then you have a leaky brain.
If you are on anti-anxiety medications than chances are you are already working this pathway and your problem might be blood sugar related.
#3 : BLOOD SUGAR
If your blood sugar crashes in the night, which it tends to do, then you are in luck because your body should have more than enough cortisol (stress hormone) to maintain your blood sugar...unless you are chronically stressed out!
If you are burning through your cortisol because you like to skip meals and you are stressed to begin with then you will run out of this slightly more friendly version of the stress hormone that keeps us alive--cortisol. When you run out, your body will rely on epinephrine and nor-epinephrine to maintain proper blood sugar levels and they are the heavy hitters.
People who feel wide awake in the middle of the night, sometimes sweaty, sometimes anxious, sometimes with their heart racing then you just got a jolt from your epinephrine and nor-epinephrine pals. Often we confuse this with the nightmare we had or some thing that we are anxious about but it is just your physiology, and it's due to blood sugar which is totally in your control.
Some helpful solutions may be to include more protein and fat in your diet. Don't skip meals and snack more frequently.
#4 : ALCOHOL
There is not much to say about alcohol. It's pretty clear- Recent studies have shown evidence that when you drink, even if it's not a lot, you will have a harder time entering into deep sleep.
Now there are more reasons why you might not be getting the most of your snooze time but we find that these are the biggest interrupters. For more information contact us and feel free to subscribe for more helpful articles like this one.
See you next time...