Here’s What Your Sleeping Problems Reveal

Your sleep issues may provide some clues as to why you are experiencing problems sleeping, and what you can do about it.

By Corina Tan

Photo Credit: Maiwolf Photography/ Getty Images

Sleep is an essential need, just as important as food and water.  The better your quality of sleep, the more productive and energetic you will be during your waking hours.  Sleep deprivation can make you feel irritable, fatigued and lead to changes in your mental health.  Depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder can be exacerbated by sleep disturbances, and lack of sleep can play a causal role in the development of various mental health problems. Your sleep issues may provide some clues as to why you are experiencing problems sleeping, and what you can do about it.

If you have no problems falling asleep, and drift off to slumberland quite easily but find yourself jolted awake suddenly in the middle of the night, this could mean that your cortisol is peaking at the wrong time.  Cortisol is a hormone produced by the body and released during times of stress.  As such, the right balance is essential to human health.  When cortisol peaks, it sends a signal to your body that you should be getting out of bed.  To combat a rise in cortisol levels, you may consider adrenal support nutrients like almonds, pistachios and cashews.  There are also supplements that assist in balancing cortisol so you don’t experience sudden elevated levels at the wrong time.


Photo Credit: LightFieldStudios/ Getty Images

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland to help regulate sleep cycles.  It is usually produced in response to darkness and it helps time the body’s circadian rhythm.  Exposure to light at the wrong time can shift the sleep cycles and cause disruption to this rhythm, as melatonin increases as the day slowly turns to dark.   As such, it is important to stay on point and not expose yourself to artificial light which can disturb the process.  Black out lights from windows, bathrooms, hallways and other sources to ensure your brain produces enough melatonin.  This is important as melatonin is not only a sleep hormone but also helps with anti-ageing and certain types of cancers.  If melatonin is taken as a supplement, the lowest possible dose is best so it does not leave you feeling groggy in the mornings.

Restlessness in bed can be a sign that your body is not getting sufficient magnesium.  Whether you suffer from twitchy eyelids, restless leg syndrome, feel like bugs are crawling on your skin, or you can’t calm down and stop thinking, all of these are signs signalling this mineral deficiency.  Magnesium is essential for 300 different reactions in the body, including nerve and muscle function.  Without sufficient magnesium, your body will find it difficult to calm down and fall asleep.  Natural forms of it are found in nuts, legumes or fatty fish.  Supplements are another way to get magnesium into your body, helping you relax, quiet down the nervous system and hopefully get a good night’s sleep.

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