Your body rests and restores itself when you sleep. While you’re sleeping, growth hormone is released, and will have done its job correctly if you wake up hungry for breakfast. If you wake up “full”, it’s reasonable to assume you are not receiving the deep, recuperative sleep needed for optimal health.
I have read statistics suggesting up to one-half of those over fifty years of age experience some type of sleep impairment, requiring an “outside-in” chemical aide. Sleep products do not chemically provide an optimal environment for deep sleep. Some of my patients who discuss their sleep patterns tell me they wake up all hours of the night with major challenges, preventing them from going back to “dream land”.
So, how can you achieve an optimal eight hours of sleep per night? These are my suggestions and observations:
1. It is best to be in bed by 10 PM. The hours before midnight are required by the body for glandular restoration. If you go to bed physically exhausted but mentally alert, you may be have excessive copper with low levels of zinc (wheat and soy products create this ratio). Instead of wheat-based products, try using coconut flour or brown rice flour for possible alternatives.
2. Individuals who go to bed at 10 and wake up and hour later may be experiencing a B vitamin deficiency. Other body signals of a vitamin B deficiency include crying easily, sore muscles after exercise, and mood shifts. I would limit sugar consumption, which antagonizes vitamin B’s role in your body. Adding a variety of vitamin B supplements to your health strategy could be helpful.
3. Waking up at 3 AM (when you don’t want to) is quite common in individuals who have sugar-handling stress challenges. Patients of mine who consume more than eight ounces of juice in the morning, several pieces of fruit, and/or pastries during the day, tend to experience this challenge. A chromium supplement and eating protein can help those daily sugar cravings.
4. Finally, a common, yet rarely talked about occurrence involves individuals who seem to stir around 1 or 2 AM and often consume sushi, wild game, pork or have recently visited a third-world country, have young children who attend daycare centers, and those who have a cat. The challenge is an overgrowth of unfriendly organisms called parasites.
Parasites tend be more active at night, and are quickly becoming a common conversation topic with my sleepless practice members. Adding sulfur-based foods including cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower disturbs the environment parasites enjoy. A sulfur supplement and a protocol to eliminate parasites including garlic, peppermint leaf and or grapeseed extract also can stop parasite growth.