Did you know SLEEP is the second most important factor to consider after the diet when trying to lose those extra pounds?
Having periods of sleep disturbances due to acute stress or environmental disturbances are completely normal. However, when sleep becomes difficult more often than not, changes must be made. If lack of sleep is causing you impairment in social/occupational functioning; extreme fatigue during the day and you have trouble losing weight then interventions need to be taken.
Sleep disturbance may be secondary to any of the following reasons:
- Another medical condition like, sleep apnea, GERD, congestive heart failure, COPD
- Side effect of a medication
- Alcohol or recreational drug use
- Excessive caffeine intake
- Environmental factors (excess light, poor bedding or noise)
In my experience, one of the biggest hurdles to getting a good night's rest is STRESS! We all need better ways to handle stress whether it’s minimizing the effects of it or learning ways to cope better or taking some adrenal support. The adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and release hormones like cortisol to help your body adapt to acute stressful situations. When the stressor becomes chronic, cortisol is depleted. By dealing with stress we can help improve mood and boost our energy. Adaptogens make the body more resilient when dealing with physical and mental stress. There are many different adrenal support supplements out there, so make sure you speak to your Naturopathic Doctor which one would be best suited for you.
The other big trigger for lack of quality sleep is the intake of stimulants throughout the day. Make sure you address how many cups of coffee you are having throughout the day. If you are sensitive to caffeine this may be the reason you are having difficulty falling asleep. As well, it is important to note that alcohol can induce stages 1 and 2 of sleep but it depletes you from deep and REM sleep. This creates sleep debt because you’re not hitting REM sleep.
If you are looking for more information on identifying the causes of your sleep disturbance or just ways to optimize your sleep, speak to your Naturopathic Doctor today! Happy Sleeping :)