Up all night and groggy in the morning? Here’s what you can do to feel more rested.

Sleep neurologists say it’s a new phenomenon.

There’s no better way to start your day than to wake up feeling fully rested and refreshed.  But for more and more of us, that solid night of deep, restful sleep is strangely becoming more of a rarity than a routine.  If you’ve been experiencing weird dreams, waking at 3 a.m., tossing and turning for an hour before finally falling asleep, you’re not alone. 

Sleep neurologists are reporting a new phenonomenon of sleep issues that range from insomnia to strange dreams and and hypersomnia (oversleeping) that they feel may be related to the pandemic. And it makes sense: with increased stress and so many people’s lives and schedules being turned upside down due to social isolation and working from home, we’re bound to see an effect on people's internal body rhythms. 

The reason experts are concerned about our lack of sleep is because it can affect not only our mood and attention but it also weakens the immune system. Did you know that people who sleep less than 5 hours per night are. 4.5 times more likely to catch a cold or virus than people who get the recommended minimum of 7 hours per night?  So if you’re tired of counting sheep or scrolling your phone at night, what can you do to help reset your sleep cycle?

Get Back into a Good Rhythm

“Sleep-wake patterns can quickly erode if people are spending their days indoors, socially and physically isolated, participating in video meetings and watching television at night,” says Dr. Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, FAAN, associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep.  “The lack of circadian cues from the sun during the morning and abnormal exposure to blue light from electronics at night severely disrupts their circadian rhythms.”

Experts recommend that we try to preserve our normal routines as much as possible, even when working from or attending school from home.  A lack of morning sunlight exposure that you normally would get from just a few minutes of walking or driving to your workplace can be enough to disrupt your internal clock.  To counteract this, if you know you’ll be spending most of your day inside, try sipping your morning coffee outside to enjoy the sunlight.  

Dr. Salas suggests: “The more consistent your schedule is, the better. If one night you go to bed at midnight, and another at 10, your brain is like, ‘What are we doing?’ Not being consistent can be just as bad or worse than sleep deprivation.”  

If you work from home, try to wake up close to the same time each day, and allow yourself time to get dressed, eat breakfast and prepare yourself for theday, just the same as you would if you were heading into work.  It’s also important to carve out time for exercise, even if you do a few basic stretches and exercises from your desk. 

As evening rolls around, avoid any activities that heighten your brain's arousal mechanisms.  The specific frequency of light, (especially blue light waves from electronic devices) can disrupt sleep, and watching a backlit screen combined with anxiety-provoking news or tv shows can create a cycle of insomnia. 

Sleep Boosting Nutrition: Eat these Sleep-Promoting Foods During the Day to Help you Get your ZZZ’s at Night

Breakfast: A morning smoothie with cherries and bananas is a great way to start your day. Cherries contain natural melatonin and tart cherry juice is known to relieve insomnia.  The added potassium and magnesium from bananas will help you get a better night’s sleep while boosting brain health! 

Dinner: Cold-water fish like Salmon are excellent sources of essential fatty acids that can reduce anxiety and improve your mood. Combine them with a healthy complex carbohydrate like sweet potatoes for a tasty dinner and you’ll be all set to drift off into a deep sleep by bedtime.

 

Before bed: If you find yourself getting a little peckish in the evening, nuts are one of the best snacks you can reach for as you wind down for the day. They contain protein to keep you full through the night without sitting heavily in your stomach, and walnuts in particular contain high values of tryptophan and natural melatonin.  Almonds are a great choice too because they provide sleep promoting magnesium to help you relax.  Warm up a cup of almond milk with a little cinnamon and cardamom and enjoy a soothing, sleep-promoting drink before bed. 

Natural Sleep Aids for Restorative Sleep Without Side Effects

If you've tried these diet and routine changes that Sleep specialists suggest but you still aren’t getting the rest you need, you may want to try some natural sleep aids.  Unlike sleep medications that leave you feeling groggy in the morning, natural sleep aids help you sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed.  

Here are three safe and effective, natural active ingredients that can help you get back on track, gently resetting your circadian rhythm so you can enjoy refreshing, restorative sleep again:

  • L-theanine is an amino acid made from tea leaves that helps calm the mind. It boosts the production of alpha brain waves, which are associated with state of relaxation. It also enhances the release of GABA (gamma-amino-butyric acid) a calming neurotransmitter that also promotes memory, and a healthy sleep pattern.
  • 5-HTP is an amino acid derived from tryptophan, the compound in turkey that causes that sleepy, satisfied feeling. Your body uses 5-HTP to make serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter that plays a key role in initiating sleep and regulating mood. 5-HTP can cross the blood-brain barrier to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which helps to promote REM sleep and regulate the circadian rhythm.
  • Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone. Your brain is triggered to produce melatonin by exposure to darkness.  Melatonin safely and effectively resets the body’s “biological clock” to promote sleep quality and a longer duration of sleep.  Melatonin and serotonin work together to regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

 

Stress-Relax® Tranquil Sleep® is designed to help you fall asleep quickly, sleep deeply through the night, and wake up feeling refreshed, without the potentially serious mental and physical side effects caused by pharmaceutical “sleeping pills.” It contains a blend of Suntheanine® L-Theanine, melatonin, and 5-HTP, making it a natural alternative that is completely safe, highly effective, and non-habit forming.

Here's what customers who've tried Tranquil Sleep have to say: 

I cannot believe it actually works and I don’t feel groggy in the morning and heavy headed. It is just brilliant.

Jo-Anne P., Sarnia, ON

This stuff is a game changer! I’ve always had trouble sleeping and this is the only solution I’ve found that both gets me to fall asleep and then stay that way. Thank you for this product!

Carlie D., North York, ON

Felt nervous about an upcoming exam and this really helped – took it two nights in a row and slept like a baby. Never felt groggy the next day, very good product.

Forrest S., Creston, BC

 

Tranquil Sleep is part of a full line up of Stress Relief Products available at Healthtree. Click here to view our Natural Sleep and Stress collection, all carefully formulated to improve mental focus, anxiety and racing thoughts. 


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