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Denver Nutrition, LLC
Transformation Through Nutrition
with Nutrition Therapy

Debbie Allen, MNT, CHHP
Master Nutrition Therapist

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Why Can't I Sleep?
Could It Be Nutrition?

Sleep is one of the most important nutrients that our body desires. You can eat all the right food, take all the best supplements, exercise regularly - but if you can't sleep - you are missing a very important componenet to your helathy lifestyle. Sleep is one of the cornerstones of health.

How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Six to eight hours per night seems to be the optimal amount of sleep for most adults, and too much or too little can have adverse effects on your health. Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health.

    How Does Interrupted or Impaired Sleep Effect Me?
  • Decrease brain activity
  • Affect learning
  • Impair memory
  • Decrease your problem solving ability and concentration
  • Impairs our ability to think or handle stress
  • Dramatically weaken your immune system
    Optimize Your Sleep "Space"
    It is something we have to do every night but what happens when you just can’t fall asleep! If you’re having trouble falling asleep, waking up too often, or feeling inadequately rested when you wake up in the morning, try some of my tips below.

  1. Sleep in complete darkness
    Close your bedroom door, and get remove the night lights. Cover your windows with blackout shades or drapes. Refrain from turning on any light at all during the night, even when getting up to go to the bathroom. Cover up your clock radio.

    Our bodies are very sensitive to light, and any light shining on any part of our skin makes our body think it is morning, resulting in the hormone cortisol being released to help give us the energy we need to begin our day. Even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland's production of melatonin and serotonin. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep.

  2. Circadian Rhythms
    All life evolved in response to predictable patterns of light and darkness, called circadian rhythms. The circadian rhythm, present in humans and most other animals, is generated by an internal clock that is synchronized to light-dark cycles and other cues in an organism's environment. This internal clock accounts for waking up at the same time every day even without an alarm clock. Modern day electrical lighting has significantly betrayed your inner clock by disrupting your natural rhythms. Little bits of light pass directly through your optic nerve to your hypothalamus, which controls your biological clock.

  3. Electro-magnetic Fields
    Check your bedroom for electro-magnetic fields (EMFs). EMF's can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and may have other negative effects as well. To do this, you need a gauss meter. You can find various models online, starting around $50 to $200. Move alarm clocks and other electrical devices away from your bed. If these devices must be used, keep them as far away from your bed as possible, preferably at least 3 feet. If you find that your computer is located directly under your bed, you may want to move it. This could be robbing you of your precious sleep!

  4. Room Temperature
    Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees. Keeping your room cooler or hotter can lead to restless sleep.

  5. Reserve your bed for sleeping
    If you are used to watching TV, listening to the radio or doing work in bed, you may find it harder to relax and drift off to sleep, so avoid doing these activities in bed.

  6. Consider separate bedrooms
    Recent studies suggest, for many people, sharing a bed with a partner (or pets) can significantly impair sleep, especially if the partner is a restless sleeper or snores. If bedfellows are consistently interfering with your sleep, you may want to consider a separate bedroom.

  7. Stay on schedule
    Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday, even on the weekends. Keeping a regular schedule will help your body expect sleep at the same time each day.

  8. Bedtime routine
    Listening to soft music, take a hot bath, sipping a cup of herbal tea, etc., cues your body that it’s time to slow down and begin to prepare for sleep. Spending quiet time can make falling asleep easier.
Many of us take sleep for granted, so it can be shocking and dismaying when we just can’t fall asleep. Usually there are reasons we can’t fall asleep, however strange and seemingly unrelated they may be. Insomnia is the sensation of daytime fatigue and impaired performance caused when you just can’t fall asleep.
    Insomnia is classified as:
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Waking frequently during the night
  • Waking too early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep
  • Waking feeling unrefreshed
Insomnia will affect your hormone levels and accelerate aging, and may also play a role in diabetes, depression and cancer. While it may be tempting to look for a pill to quickly help you sleep, these will not address the top underlying causes of such sleep disorders, which include:

Stress: All types of negative emotions, including worry, fear, anxiety, etc., can keep you up at night. Stress tops the list when it comes to pinning down the cause of insomnia and other sleep disturbances.

Overactive adrenals: Increased levels of stress hormones in your body can lead to a hyperaroused state that makes it difficult to sleep.

Eye problems: People with damage to their optic nerve can have problems sleeping, including difficulty falling asleep, waking up at strange times, sleepiness during the day and insomnia at night.

Cell phones: Using a cell phone before going to bed could cause insomnia, headaches and confusion, and may also cut your amount of deep sleep, interfering with your body‘s ability to refresh itself.

Eat Right To Sleep Right
The relationship between your diet and good sleep doesn't end with caffeine. There are several other ways to choose foods to sleep better.

Avoid heavy or spicy foods
Or any foods you know that may cause heartburn, making it difficult for you to sleep at night.

Limit alcohol consumption
Although alcohol may make you drowsy, over-consumption of your favorite adult beverages may cause a very restless uncomfortable night.

Eat cherries
Cherries contain melatonin and are very rich in vitamins. Melatonin is a substance also found in the human body that helps regulate sleep. Eating fresh or dried cherries before you go to bed at night may help you sleep better.

Avoid eating excessive fats
People who eat a lot of fatty foods may also have more difficulty sleeping. Be sure to get enough omega-3 fatty acids each day, however, because eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA - one type of omega-3 found in fish, especially tuna, salmon and trout) has a role in sleep induction in your brain.

Avoid Sugar
People who don't get enough sleep tend to overeat by adding extra sugary and carbohydrate-rich snacks to their diets. All the extra calories from the snacking can lead to obesity, so not only do the foods you eat affect how you sleep, but the amount of sleep you get also affects the foods you choose to eat.

Sleep is something we do everyday but is often overlooked when it comes to better health. If you can’t fall asleep there are certain steps you can take to address this problem. When you can’t sleep it can be detrimental to our everyday activities and overall health.

Therapeutic Options
Magnesium is present in most cells and plays an essential role as a cofactor, assisting enzymes in catalyzing many necessary chemical reactions.

WHERE you obtain your magnesium is just as important as where you obtain your whole foods. My personal choice is to buy whole food supplements from Standard Process.

Magnesium Lactate
Users of Standard Process' Magnesium Lactate report feeling better, getting better sleep, and relief from their cramps. Magnesium Lactate capsules offer relief from the negative impacts of magnesium deficiency.

Min-Chex contains a combination of mineral complexes, including magnesium citrate which help promote healthy function of the nervous system. Standard Process' Min-Chex® helps induce a natural, moderate calming effect due to its influence on specific parts of the central nervous system.

Melatonin can only be used temporarily.

Are you, your partner, spouse or family member having trouble sleeping?
Do you simply want to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep?
Please give me a call to set up Nutrition Therapy to help you sleep.
Call: 303-782-4842 today!

Good health begins with taking responsibility for our own body.
Contact Me Now to Begin Your Transformation.

If you have questions, need more information or would like to schedule
a FREE 30 minute phone consult: Call Debbie Allen, MNT at 303-782-4842.

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