Hey guys, Dr. Axe here from DrAxe.com. One of the most common things I’ll hear from my patients, is they’ll say, “Dr. Axe, I can’t sleep.” And if you’re one of those people that have trouble falling asleep, or struggle with insomnia, or you wake up during the night, that’s very common. In this video I’m going to go through the exact steps you need to follow to get better quality of sleep and to help you fall asleep fast. Step number one in overcoming sleep deprivation is to change your diet, surprisingly. And, for a lot of people, their diets are keeping them from falling asleep. Before you go to bed, you need to really drop your carbohydrate consumption.
If you’re consuming too many sugars and carbs, your body is burning those, it’s getting warm. And so, lowering that sugar, and grain intake, and carbohydrate intake before bed is important. And get some good quality fats before you go to bed. Something like an avocado is a great food to actually help you fall asleep at night, either avocado or some organic yogurt. So again, avocado and organic yogurt, are the best foods to help you naturally fall asleep. The reason they work is those foods are high in magnesium and potassium. Magnesium and potassium are two crucial nutrients you need to help relax the body and to help you fall asleep at night.
So remember avocado and yogurt, the top two foods you can consume just a little bit here or there in the evening that will help you fall asleep at night. The second step you need to do to overcome insomnia is to reduce stress. And for most people, along with diet, this is the big thing that’s keeping you up at night, is your mind starts racing, you keep thinking and you can’t shut your brain off. And there are several reasons for that. One, is you watched TV up until the point that you went to bed. That visual stimulus you’re watching constantly, especially the blue light, and that doesn’t just include the TV screen, it also includes your computer, your iPad, or your phone. And that light is blue light, which actually tells your pineal gland in your brain that it actually needs to keep running, so it messes with your circadian rhythms and cortisol levels.
It keeps you from falling asleep at night when you were looking at that bright blue light in the computer screens and TV screens. So, about 30 minutes at least, ideally, an hour, but at least 30 minutes before bed, you need to shut off all electronics, and you need to start reading something that helps you relax. Or start journaling. So you can get out a journal and start writing things down. You can look at your schedule for the next day and write that down. But I really recommend reading a novel that you enjoy, reading a devotional, your Bible, or just something that helps you relax and wind down at least 30 minutes before bed. And that’s going to help, and in general reducing stress. And if you have something that’s really stressing you out, that’s keeping you from sleeping at night, I recommend you start writing down those things that stress you out. Work on addressing those the best you can, and then start scheduling things into the week that you love to do.
It is so important. If you’ve had a great day, and you’ve been happy all day, it actually creates certain hormones in your body known as endorphins that actually help you fall asleep at night. So actually, having a good mood throughout the day can help improve your sleep at night. So step number two, shut down the computers and read a book before bed. As well as just add some joy into your life. Reduce stress; it’s very important for falling asleep at night.
Step number three, is take quality supplements, especially a magnesium supplement. And taking a magnesium supplement, about 400 to 500mg a night before bed, can help you naturally reduce stress, and really improve sleep. And so I recommend a high quality magnesium chelate or magnesium citrate before bed. So taking a magnesium supplement can help you fall asleep. Also supplements like melatonin can help, or valerian root. But I don’t recommend doing those on a long term basis. Now, if you have jetlag, or you’re not able to sleep just for a day or two, taking melatonin on occasion, about 3gms is fine. But you just want to do a small amount of melatonin on occasion, not on a regular basis.
But again, consuming magnesium can actually help you fall asleep at night. The next thing, and I think this is a great thing for helping you improve your sleep, is using essential oils, especially lavender essential oil and chamomile essential oil. So again, lavender oil, you can diffuse that by your bed at night, or just take a few drops of lavender oil and rub it on your neck. Also, you can actually take a warm bath with lavender oil and Epsom salts. Epsom salts work because they have magnesium. Additionally, lavender oil actually has certain aromatic compounds that help relax your body. So doing a detox bath, if you’re going to go to bed at 10 or 10:30, get in the bath at around and soak in there for 30 minutes with your Epsom salts and lavender oil.
Just take about 20 drops of lavender oil, rub it all on your body, get in a warm/hot bath, and relax there 20 to 30 minutes. Get out, and then, go and read a book for 30 minutes while you wind down, something relaxing and then fall asleep there at night. But again, lavender oil and Roman chamomile oil are great essential oils to help you overcome insomnia, and to help you fall asleep at night when you can’t sleep. And last, but not least, just in general, changing your lifestyle. I recommend a few things to do around your home to help improve your sleep. Get the temperature in your house cold, definitely below 70 degrees, often times, upper 60s to mid 60s for some people is necessary. So again, get your house nice and cold. That improves sleep. The other thing you want to do is make sure your bed is comfortable. If there is a big dip in your bed, it’s time to get a new bed.
Also, making sure it’s dark in your room, getting some dark curtains can help you fall asleep at night as well. So if you follow those tips, and if you’re saying to yourself, “I can’t sleep.” I guarantee that these tips will help you fall asleep faster and help you overcome issues like insomnia. If you want to learn more tips on how to naturally fall asleep at night I have an entire article on, I believe over 20 ways and steps to help you naturally fall asleep. If you want to check that out, you can go to DrAxe.com, that’s D-R-A-X-E dot com and learn those top steps to naturally fall asleep.
So guys, this has been Dr. Axe, addressing your question of people saying to me “Dr. Axe, I can’t sleep.” Those are your natural steps to fall asleep at night fast..
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