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Searching for a Solid Night of Sleep?

I just had a long talk with a patient about sleep. Sleep is crucial to our well-being, crucial to our ability to function. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain, weakened immune system,, mood, depression, auto accidents and dementia. We all know it’s important.

Do you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or both? Sometimes it might be a simple fix.

Trouble falling asleep may be linked to stress, a busy mind, higher levels of cortisol. If this is the case, limiting activities that raise stress, and therefore raise cortisol. No exercising at night, no long driving trips, alcohol, noise, caffeine in the evening. These are common factors that raise cortisol and we want to avoid that as we head for bed.

Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamin A deficiencies also increase cortisol, so having those levels checked or considering supplementation.

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can cause cortisol to jump, so eating good balanced meals on a regular basis is helpful. While intermittent fasting is showing some benefit for many, it’s not always the best for those with blood sugar problems.

General inflammation causes cortisol to be high. So, getting our diet right with anti-inflammatory foods can go a long way in helping our sleep.

When people wake in the middle of the night and struggle with falling back asleep, blood sugar may have dropped and eating a snack of nuts or other protein can be very helpful.

Chinese Medicine tells us that the acupuncture meridians run in two hour cycles, so if you wake between 1 and 3 pm, your liver may be working overtime. If you tend to wake between 3 and 5 am, it may point to lung concerns. Find an alternative care practitioner to work with on these organs.

Some may be low in melatonin, but that doesn’t seem to be the issue in most cases. We can also reset or retrain our circadian rhythms. We do that by limiting bright lights, blue light from computers or phones in the few hours before bedtime. There can be other hormonal imbalances that can affect sleep as well and these can be checked.

Start here, but pull in help to improve your sleep and the quality of your life!

Who We Serve

The Gut Doc is located in Kirkwood, Missouri, and serves clients throughout the St. Louis Area and surrounding areas, including St. Louis City and County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Illinois counties of Madison, St. Clair and Monroe.

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