Friday, May 15, 2015

Sleep Supplements

The first blog in this series demonstrated the importance of sleep, then I shared sleep strategies. This week I examine some sleep supplements and next week I will finish by discussing meditation for sleep.

Sleep supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues. Your immune system also relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. For example, if you're sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections. What supplements can we use to aid us in reaching that deep sleep we need?

None of these supplements have rigorous studies to prove their effectiveness. Many people have tried different options and had success in finding what works for their body. Please consult your doctor before taking any supplement.

Chamomile Tea
This tea is a very mild sedative. In addition, the process of steeping and slowly sipping the warm tea may help relax the body and clear the mind to prepare for sleep. 
Valerian
This herb is said to be a mild sedative that also lowers the anxiety response. 
Melatonin
Melatonin is naturally produced in your body to promote sleep. A supplement may fill in where your body is deficient or provide an extra boost that will help you relax enough to sleep.
Essential Oils
Young Living Essential Oils can be used to naturally promote a good night's rest and can be applied topically or diffused. Try several drops of lavender oil and Peace & Calming on the back of the neck and bottoms of feet. To quiet mental stimulation and agitation, try adding cedarwood oil as well. A lavender oil and epsom salt bath before bed can also contribute to a very relaxing night. For more information about these and other oils, email Rachelle Howard at rachelle90gmail.com
Holy Basil
Do you find yourself suddenly wide-awake at 3am? This herb may moderate the cortisol spike that can wake us in the middle of the night.
Progesterone  
The week before your period, progesterone levels plummet. As progesterone assists in causing drowsiness, this drop can lead to restless sleep. Make sure you supplement with progesterone (usually a cream) not progestin. There is a significant difference. Follow the package directions for a healthy cycle.

 Get Some Sleep, Stay Active and Enjoy Your Food!

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