Do You Wake Up Refreshed, Or Tired & Exhausted? Blog # 47
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to another Friday blog. Are you tired all the time? Feel exhausted, even after a “good night’s” sleep? You are not alone! Here in the US:
- only 1 in 7 wake up feeling refreshed every day of the week. WHAT?!!
- 45% fatigued/tired up to 3 days/week getting 7-8 hours of sleep.
- 27% fatigued/tired 4+ days/wk - 7-8 hours
- 54% fatigued/tired 4+ days/wk - 6 or less hours
This is stunning! It must have a dramatic effect on our alertness while driving, as well as our performance at work. So, nearly everyone is tired. This explains a lot. Research shows that the number of hours awake can be similar to blood alcohol levels. Here are the results of a recent study:
- 17 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.05
- 21 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.08 (legal limit in Canada)
- 24-25 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.10
40% of workers “regularly operate at three times the risk due to fatigue.” They further report most accidents and injuries at work occur during the hours when people want to sleep the most, 12-6am, 1-3pm.
- reducing mental and physical functioning
- impairing judgement and concentration
- lowering motivation
- slowing reaction time
- increasing risk-taking behaviour
*Source: Fatigue, Extended Work Hours, and Workplace Safety, February 2017. Government of Alberta, Labour.
So, what is sleep, and why is it so important? Sleep is a complex biological process controlled by the central nervous system. Our body basically does a cleaning cycle in our brain. It is necessary for proper cognitive, metabolic, and immune function. We spend about 1/3 of our life asleep because sleep is vital to everyone. Studies show a direct link between the amount and quality of sleep and our abilities the next day. Sleep disruption, especially ongoing problems, affects our quality of life and can have a bad effect on our health and general well-being.
“Direct biochemical measures show that ATP (energy for cell) levels increase during sleep in areas of the brain that are most active during wakefulness. This finding provides direct support for the hypothesis that sleep serves a restorative function.”
There are 4 stages of sleep, 3 non-REM and REM (rapid eye movement). During non-REM, our body repairs and regenerates, builds bone and muscle, makes proteins and neurotransmitters, and strengthens the immune system. REM sleep is when we dream. There is an increase in brain activity, muscle relaxation, increase in blood pressure and heart rate and both a production and uptake of dopamine. Interestingly, babies spend 50% sleep time in REM. The older we get, the less time we spend in REM phase. Studies in animals show getting deprived of REM sleep shortens the life span. **check out Blog # 30**
Let’s look at some contributing factors:
- quality of sleep - good is being able to fall asleep within 30 min, sleep through the night, wake up no more than once, fall back asleep in <20 min, wake feeling restored, rested and energized
- Alcohol/caffeine - stay away from alcohol 3 hours before; caffeine 5 hours
- lack of exercise - physical activity helps all systems of the body. Exercise in the morning, or not too late. Listen to your body.
- Sleep apnea - temporary lapses in breathing result in gasping, choking, snoring. Even if you don’t consciously wake, brain has to kick start breathing again, disrupting sleep quality.
- chronic health conditions - COPD, diabetes, cancer and others - contribute to poor sleep (body’s out of balance) and can lead to insomnia.
- vitamin deficiency - vitamins involved in sleep: D, E, C, B6, B12
- dehydration - 300-400ml are lost daily just from breathing! Our bodies require water for all functions. Symptoms include extreme fatigue, lethargy, headaches, dry mouth and nasal passages, muscle cramps. Lack of sleep contributes to dehydration! They feed off each other. “In a study of nearly 20,000 adults in both the United States and China, people who slept only six hours per night were found to have significantly higher rates of dehydration2 than people who slept eight hours.”
- pain/inflammation - chronic pain can prevent you from getting to sleep and staying asleep.
- Depression - stress/worrying/can’t shut off brain
- high carb diet/poor nutrition - “Consuming complex carbs throughout the day can make it easier to wind down at night. According to a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the more refined—or processed—carbs you have in your diet, the higher your risk of experiencing insomnia.”
- EMF - electromagnetic frequency. “Roosli in 2004 reported that among symptoms attributed to electromagnetic field exposure, sleep disorders (58%), headaches (41%), nervousness or distress (19%), fatigue (18%), and concentration difficulties (16%) were the most common complaints.” “Fifty participants were exposed to electromagnetic fields for 30 min prior to sleep. Results showed a decrease in rapid eye movement sleep latency and increased electroencephalogram spectral power in the 11.5-12.25 Hz frequency range during the initial part of sleep following exposure.”
So, what can we do to enhance sleep, wake to feel restored, well-rested, and energized? **check with your doctor before taking supplements**
- Set up a good sleep/wake schedule for yourself. Go to bed on time!! Allow down time to relax, wind down and get prepared for sleep, lie in bed, relax and read/meditate/journal…
- Avoid blue light from phones, electronics at least 30 min before bed
- unplug or move EMF devices away from your bed.
- Take a hot relaxing bath (or shower), lower lights, listen to relaxing music
- Exercise early in the day, or not close to bedtime
- Eat organic. Pesticides and herbicides (such as glyphosate) play havoc on your microbiota and endocrine system
- Stop ingesting plastic! It leeches into your food and disrupts your endocrine system, upsets hormone balance and more…
- Vitamin D is involved in activation of 2 circadian clock genes, helps control inflammation, bone health and calcium absorption, lack is linked to short sleep duration, low levels linked to poor sleep quality and sleep apnea.
- Vitamin E powerful antioxidant, protects the brain and memories, supports immune, protects testosterone production, reduces sleep apnea
- Vitamin C powerful antioxidant, protects brain and memories during sleep deprivation, reduces sleep apnea, protects cardiovascular system and endothelial tissue.
- Vitamin B6 aids in sleep and affects dreams, aids in ability to remember dreams. Lack is linked to insomnia and depression, involved in production of serotonin and melatonin.
- Vitamin B12 important for brain function, cardiovascular health, red blood cell formation, and DNA activity, lowers risk of depression
- Himalayan sea salt - can enhance sleep by increasing the breakdown of foods, normalizing stomach pH and electrolytes in the body. It is lower in sodium and contains lots of important trace minerals. This sea salt was formed before the use of plastics. Other sea salts, depending on their origin, contain micro-plastics that are endocrine annihilators!!! Try a couple granules under the tongue before bed to enhance sleep.
- Take a good pre/probiotic to enhance gut health. Gut microbes make and enhance uptake of a host of vitamins, neurotransmitters and enzymes. 90% of serotonin is produced here. Your gut has the highest concentration of neurons in any organ system, except the brain.
- Try an organic herbal tea (sleepytime is my fav)
- Taking antidepressants may be necessary if you suffer from depression. However, they disrupt your natural microbiota, which interferes with production and absorption of vitamins and enzymes provided by our gut microbes. This can lead to a host of vitamin insufficiencies, hormone imbalance and generally poor gut health. Talk to your MD about what to supplement.
- Pain relieving - Oleocanthal (polyphenol in EVOO) relieves pain similar to ibuprofen (without the side effects), due to its powerful anti-inflammatory action. There are many polyphenols that perform in a host of other ways. EVOO is a powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory, soothes joints and muscles.
- Protects cardiovascular system - improves vascular pliability, slows heart rate and blood pressure. In the blood vessels, it has anti-platelet aggregation, vasodilation , hypotensive, anti-rheumatic, antipyretic and diuretic effects. It exerts its ability to prevent free radicals by chelating metal ions, such as Cu and Fe that catalyze free radical generation, therefore preventing oxidation of LDLs (low-density lipoproteins). It inhibits oxidative stress and hyperglycemia (Type2Diabetes).
- Protects Brain - crosses BBB (blood brain barrier) to stimulate the ‘glymphatic’ cleaning system in the brain, removing amyloid proteins, mis-folded proteins, tau tangles, preventing Alzheimer’s and dementias. The portion of the brain lymphatic system is being termed “glymphatic system” (due to glial cells). “The glymphatic system is like a ‘dishwasher’ for the brain. When we sleep, the brain cells actually become smaller, forcing more fluid out through the glymphatic vessels.” “Sufficient sleep, especially REM sleep, facilitates the brain’s processing of emotional information. During sleep, the brain works to evaluate and remember thoughts and memories, and it appears that a lack of sleep is especially harmful to the consolidation of positive emotional content. This can influence mood and emotional reactivity and is tied to mental health disorders and their severity, including the risk of suicidal ideas or behaviors3.” **check out blog #42 on Alzheimer’s** In fact, stimulating the brain’s ‘lymphatic’ system is crucial in the prevention of AD. When sleep is disturbed, this system isn’t going to function right. Why do you think you feel “out of it” if you didn’t sleep very well during the night?
- Protects Memory - improves memory - A study was done comparing coconut oil, butter and EVOO on Alzheimer mouse model. “Our findings suggest that EVOO has beneficial effects on learning and memory deficits found in aging and diseases, such as those related to the overproduction of amyloid-β protein, by reversing oxidative damage in the brain, effects that are augmented with increasing concentrations of polyphenols in EVOO.”
- Prevents Type2Diabetes - normalizes blood sugar - Oleic acid signals the hypothalamus (in the brain) that the body doesn’t need any more nutrients to be dumped into the circulation, providing a signal of “nutrient abundance”, producing an anorectic effect.
- Improves Digestion - EVOO does amazing things for your entire digestive tract, protecting the lining and reducing inflammation preventing cancers, diabetes, fatty liver disease, weight-gain, acid reflux, ease of bowel movements, enhances absorption of vitamins and much more!! It also supplies a good bit of vitamins E and K!
- Protects Liver - improves liver function - DRINKING a large dose (approx 4T) of EVOO signals the liver to open bile ducts.(Global Healing Center, Oct 2017) Whatever has been previously stuck can move out much easier. This sludge and bile is literally removed from your body via poop. And…everybody poops! LOL. Some people have reported liver and gallbladder stones released from their body. (If you suspect you have issues, or you don’t have a gallbladder, you may need a lower dose. Consult your MD)
- Enhances Gut Microbiota - EVOO is rich in polyphenols that are selectively antimicrobial! Enhances good microbes, while destroying bad.
- Anti-Cancer - EVOO’s polyphenols induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells, while protecting our good cells.
Okay, there are so many things to consider when trying to get the most out of our sleep. The whole goal is to wake up refreshed and ready to meet the day. I drink 4T (1/4C) EVOO every morning. Sooo many things have improved including sleep, digestion, energy level, weight, cholesterol level, blood pressure and heart rate! When you give your body the tools it needs to heal, it can do amazing things and you feel better!!
So, until next time my friends, drink, drizzle, digest high polyphenol EVOO, eat wild-caught fatty fish rich in Omega 3s, eat foods high in lutein for your eyes, drink lots of water, get a good pre/probiotic, exercise your body and mind, add a few minutes of mindful meditation to your day to combat stress, get plenty of sleep and...turn off the light!! #EVOO