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Hormones, Stress, and Not Enough Rest, Oh My!

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​THE NATURAL HISTORY OF SLEEP

It is already proven that naps enhance performance, energy, learning, memory and alertness. And yet, in our culture it has become taboo to take naps as an adult. “A study at NASA on sleepy military pilots and astronauts found that a 40-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness 100%.” via National Sleep Foundation

If we observe the natural world, our animal counterparts and the Long-Living cultures, we see how biologically normal it is to take naps. Our bodies are designed to sleep twice in a 24-hour period. Circadian Rhythm, when in balance, creates a flow that keeps our bodies asleep for 8 hours at night and a possible quick nap in the afternoon; best if you can plan it.

The circadian rhythm is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (in our brain) that receives information from environmental cues and communicates the timing information to the peripheral clocks in every cell, every tissue and every organ through the endocrine and autonomic nervous system. Desynchronization of these rhythms and disease is now pervasive in our society, given exposure to light at night and disruptive sleep schedules.*
 –MD Prescriptives

OUR SLEEP HABITS HAVE CHANGED

We not only skip naps when our bodies are telling us we may need it, and we have also, collectively as a society, decreased our average night time sleep length. We are on average, getting 6.8 hours of sleep every night.

Experts typically recommend seven to nine hours sleep for adults. Currently, 59% of U.S. adults meet that standard, but in 1942, 84% did.
 –JEFFREY M. JONES via Gallup

SOME FACTORS THAT DISRUPT NATURAL SLEEP CYCLES INCLUDE:

  • Night time exposure to “blue-light” from computers and cell phones
  • Exposure to excessive light in the evening
  • excess water intake after 7 PM
  • pets, children, restless partner
  • Habits such as staying in the “work mode” until late
  • too little natural light during the daytime

WITHOUT QUALITY REST, WE DEPLETE THE HORMONE AND NUTRIENT STORES IN OUR BODIES.

Our bodies do not get the optimal time to restore and this creates a viscous cycle for depletion and imbalance. Some symptoms of hormonal imbalance include, bloating, fatigue, irritability, hair loss, palpitations, mood swings, problems with blood sugar, trouble concentrating, and infertility. Some hormones needed for quality sleep include: Melatonin, Magnesium, DHEA, and Pregnenolone.

​THE IMPORTANCE OF HORMONES IN OUR SLEEP CYCLES

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium for calming the nervous system. We first need to calm stress in order to experience deep rest. To promote the production of energy (ATP) and to effectively promote eradication of the most difficult expressions of stress.

MELATONIN

Melatonin aids in proper balanced command over our internal body clock. Melatonin plays an important role to both induce good restful sleep as well as to awaken us in a timely manner in good spirits. Darkness stimulates the release of melatonin and light suppresses its activity.

PREGENOLONE:

Pregnenolone is the starting material in the production of testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, estrogen and other hormones. Given lab results, if your adrenals need support, along with Pregnenolone, other musts for your health include: reducing physical and mental stressors, optimizing all hormones including thyroid, assessing nutrient status and detoxifying with 100 ounces of mineralized water. Balance creates peace and in peace, we rest well.

DHEA

DHEA helps to balance out stress since it assists many of our body’s natural steroids to do their job of maintaining stress. Highly stressed individuals usually show low levels of DHEA. Remember, when you reduce your stress, you are then most able to experience deep rest!

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