3 ways to better sleep and health

Protecting the quality of your sleep is one of the most healing and rejuvenating things you can do for yourself.

By simply resting, you provide your mind and body critical space to self-repair. You allow the body and brain to get rid of wastes and toxins. You even give your brain the opportunity to process information without distraction. How many times have you woken up with a solution to a seemingly intractable problem? In many ways, sleep is a gift.

On the other hand, lack of quality sleep can have long-term consequences. It’s more than just being groggy in the morning, or feeling the afternoon slump. Sleep deficits can impact mental and emotional wellbeing; metabolic, hormonal and cardiovascular health, and the process of aging, among other areas. That doesn’t even count the many accidents caused by ‘drowsy drivers.’ In short, lack of sleep can be devastating.

Fortunately there are natural solutions that can help support a good night’s sleep. By combining sleep-promoting habits, the right foods and targeted supplements, you can get the rest you need.

Your waking hours impact your sleep

In the quest for better sleep, small changes can go a long way. Let’s start with exercise, which can metabolize stress hormones that are most unwelcome at bedtime. Even small amounts of activity – a brisk 30 minute walk – can help the body process these hormones and improve health on a number of levels, including sleep quality. While some experts have stated that exercise right before bed can hinder sleep, recent studies suggest that regardless of what time of day it’s performed, exercise plays a critical role in promoting restful, rejuvenating sleep.

Diet can play an important role. Reduce caffeine and alcohol. In addition, rich meals, or foods containing gluten, dairy or other potential allergens, can cause inflammation in the GI tract and make sleep difficult.

While some foods detract from quality sleep, others can support it. The amino acid tryptophan, famously found in Thanksgiving turkeys, helps us relax. Lentils and bananas also contain tryptophan, as well as magnesium and potassium, minerals that also support sleep.

Set up a nighttime routine. Give yourself time away from devices: phones, tablets, televisions. Sleep isn’t a switch we can turn on at will. We need to ease into it. Dimming down the lights helps synchronize circadian rhythms – the body’s internal clock system — with the natural day/night cycles and signals to the body that sleep is approaching.

Supplements can help

Melatonin, which is produced by the pineal gland and found in a handful of foods, can be an excellent sleep aid. The hormone helps to balance circadian rhythms and is also a potent antioxidant. Foods with highest amount of melatonin include tart cherries, mustard seed and walnuts.

There are a variety of botanicals and nutrients that also support quality sleep, such as passionflower, lemon balm and vitamin B6. In addition, pure honokiol extract from magnolia has long been prized for its ability to support relaxation among other critical benefits.

For optimal sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and energized upon waking, ecoSleep®, which contains magnesium, HonoPure® purified honokiol and other botanicals, along with a small amount of melatonin, may be helpful. This formula helps support the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps us relax. It also contains unique blends of traditional Asian botanicals that work together to support key organs and systems while we sleep, helping to optimize our natural rejuvenation and repair processes.*

For those who are having chronic sleep troubles, please consult a physician. Sometimes sleeplessness comes from a frenetic lifestyle, but it can also be linked to serious health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.

For most people, however, a few minor lifestyle changes can make a radical difference. Sometimes we have to relearn how to sleep. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult lesson.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Dr. Isaac Eliaz

By Dr. Isaac Eliaz

Dr. Isaac Eliaz is a renowned integrative medical doctor, licensed acupuncturist, researcher, product formulator and frequent guest lecturer. He has been a pioneer in holistic medicine since the early 1980s, and has published numerous peer-reviewed research papers on several of his key integrative health formulas. He is the founder and medical director of Amitabha Clinic in California, an integrative health center specializing in cancer and chronic conditions. Dr. Eliaz is an expert in using highly strategic, synergistic protocols to address numerous areas of health including metastatic cancer, immunity, digestion, detoxification, diabetes, cardiovascular health and more. His approach integrates modern science with traditional healing wisdom for optimal health and wellness. To download any of Dr. Eliaz's comprehensive wellness guides, click here.