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Adequate Sleep: Why You Need It, and How to Get It

3 minutes to read

05/15/2018

Whether you're just pushing 50 or well past hot flashes and mood swings, you've probably noticed some changes in your sleeping patterns. Long gone are the days when you could sleep through a riot, and eight a.m. sounded impossibly early. Nowadays, you may start longing for your pillow as soon as the dinner dishes are done, and you may find it impossible to sleep past sunrise. You may have a hard time falling and staying asleep, and you may feel like you're not getting enough sleep even though you spend the recommended number of hours--seven to nine--in bed. What's going on, and what can you do about it?

WhyCantYouSleep

Why Can't You Sleep?

Changes in sleeping habits are a natural consequence of aging. According to the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, young adults wake up briefly around five times each night, but by the time you hit 60, you're waking up as many as 150 times each night. Although you're often unaware of waking up so often, such frequent awakening interrupts deeper, rejuvenating sleep cycles, and you may feel sluggish and tired during the day as a result.

A number of factors can further affect your sleep as you age, according to the Sleep Disorders Center. These include chronic illness, various medications, alcohol consumption, sleep disorders, and depression.

WhyQualitySleepIsEssential

Why Quality Sleep is Essential for Good Health

Getting a good night's sleep is about more than feeling awake and energetic the next day. While you sleep, your body and brain are hard at work on internal maintenance and repairs.

Sleep deficiency can lead to a number of health problems, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. It can increase your risk for chronic health problems like diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and heart disease. Sleep deprivation affects your ability to learn, think, and react. Adequate sleep is central to forming memories, remembering information, thinking creatively, and concentrating. Healthy immunity requires adequate sleep, and a deficiency can lead to frequent illnesses and common infections like the cold and flu.

AreSleepingPillsTheAnswer

Are Sleeping Pills the Answer?

As we age, our bodies don't break down drugs like they used to, and drugs stay in the system longer. Sleeping pills can take longer to wear off, leading to difficulties waking up, concentrating, and staying awake during the day. Short-acting pills can help you fall asleep faster, but they often don't prevent you from waking up during the night or at the crack of dawn. Additionally, sleeping pills are only ever recommended for short-term use. They aren't generally safe to use for the long-term, and some can lead to addiction and dependence.

The best way to improve your sleep without medication is to practice good sleep hygiene:

  • Go to bed when you're tired.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark room.
  • Don't eat right before bed.
  • Don't drink alcohol, caffeine, or use nicotine in the hours before bed time.
  • Turn off your screens an hour before bed time.
  • Engage in quiet, relaxing activities before bed.
  • If you can't fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and read away from bed.
  • Only use your bed for sleep and sex.

How a Supplement Can Help

Thrive Naturals' Advanced Sleep Formula is an all-natural supplement that can help you fall and stay sleep, and it won't cause any of the unpleasant side effects that sleeping pills can produce. Advanced Sleep Formula contains five natural sleep aids that have been shown through research to be effective for improving sleep.

L-tryptophan

L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid that can only be acquired through food and supplements. According to an article in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, one or more grams of L-tryptophan produces an increase in sleepiness, and it may help reduce instances of waking up at night.

Valerian

Valerian is a plant whose roots have long been used as a sedative and antispasmodic. A systematic review of 16 random, placebo-controlled studies published in the American Journal of Medicine found that the use of valerian almost doubles the chance of sleeping better when compared with a placebo. Four of the reviewed studies found that valerian helped people fall asleep around 15 minutes faster, and 15 of the 16 studies found that valerian had no significant side effects.

5-HTP

5-HTP is a chemical byproduct of L-tryptophan. It increases the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a role in sleep. A study on mice, published in the journal Sleep, found that 5-HTP increased NREM sleep and reduced REM sleep and wakefulness.

Melatonin

Known as the "sleep hormone," melatonin is naturally produced by the body according to its internal clock. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, studies show that melatonin is helpful for a number of sleep disorders, and it may help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.

Chamomile

According to an article published in the journal Molecular Medicine Reports, chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to man, and it's widely regarded as a mild tranquilizer and sleep-inducer. Research shows that this is due to a flavonoid it contains, known as apigenin, which binds to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain to slow down the central nervous system and promote feelings of calm and sleepiness.

AdequateSleep

The Bottom Line

Good health requires adequate sleep. If you're not getting the sleep you need, good sleep hygiene and a daily supplement like Advanced Sleep Formula can help. If your sleep problems persist after four weeks, visit with your doctor, who can rule out medical issues and disorders like sleep apnea. The harder you work to get your zzzz's, the better you'll feel and the more productive you'll be in your waking life.

Sources:

https://www.uclahealth.org/sleepcenter/body.cfm?id...

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-depr...

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6764927

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC43949...

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC29952...

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