26 How To Optimize Your Sleep To Optimize Your Brain – By Dr. Tanvi Tijoriwala, ND

Summary

Recently in my practice, I have come across a common theme that I have been hearing from patients and that is – I wake up feeling extremely tired.

I have been seeing many patients who have to drag their feet out of bed every morning, force themselves to pay attention at work and rely on tons of coffee to get through the day.

Now we all know that sleeping well is important for our health.  Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep

–  Have a difficult time focusing at work

–  Feel more agitated and irritated

–  Are not able to focus appropriately at the task on hand

–  Take longer to complete a task – so something that can be done in 30 mins takes 2 hours.

An important part of getting good sleep is getting adequate hours of sleep (typically 7-8 hours a night). However, a huge part of sleep health is getting GOOD QUALITY of sleep. If you are having inadequate sleep at night, it doesn’t matter if you sleep 8 hours or 10 hours, you are going to wake up feeling tired.

So, how can we get better quality sleep?

One of the most important habits to change when trying to optimize sleep is not using screens before bed. If you are someone who scrolls through your phone or laptop or watches netflix before going to bed, your sleep can be negatively impacted.

This is because screens emit blue light which blocks the production of melatonin in the brain. Melatonin is our sleep hormone that allows us to initiate and maintain our sleep. Research shows that utilizing LED based devices, such as phones, computers and TVs, an hour before bed can lead to sleep problems and reduced quality of sleep.

Many people would argue that watching TV before bed allows them to fall asleep. However, even though you are falling asleep, the quality of sleep will be poor and can cause you to wake up multiple times throughout the night.

In order to get good quality sleep, it’s a good habit to ensure that all LED based devices are turned off an hour before bed.

Some effective ways to spend the hour before bed would be to:

–  Read a book

–  Journal

–  Plan your tomorrow

–  Listen to a podcast

–  Or do some bedtime yoga.

If you absolutely have to use screens before going to bed, I always recommend investing in blue light blocking glasses. These glasses block out the melatonin suppressing lights and help you get better sleep at night so you can be refreshed and awake during the day.

Do you want to work on optimizing your sleep or brain health in natural ways? Email Dr. Tanvi Tijoriwala, ND to see how naturopathic therapies can help you get better sleep and a sharper brain – dr.tanvi@muscleandjoint.ca

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