Thank you to Gina Bruno, Daytona Beach, Florida for her assistance with this article.
Every wish you could sleep as well as your pet? We do! Are you having trouble sleeping? Then join the crowd!
In a Consumer Report 27% of 4.023 US adults surveyed stated that they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights, and 68% of an estimated 164 million Americans struggled with sleep at least once a week.1 Off all the things we need to survive and thrive, food, water and sleep are primary. While we sleep our bodies regenerate. Each of our cells has a set time that it regenerates. Many of the cells that make up the organs in our bodies do this at night when we sleep our bodies’ muscles are relaxed. If we are tossing and turning it is harder for our cells to regenerate. This creates physical strain on our bodies leading to mental exhaustion because our brains have not had the down time needed to recharge. A vicious cycle continues until we collapse from mental and physical exhaustion.
Clearly, we need sleep but how can we achieve it? Advice is varied and includes everything from teas to exercise. Here are the ones our clients have found helpful.
- Find time to a short nap. Some of our clients have found taking a 20-minute nap mid-day leads to a more restful night of sleep.
- Develop a regular sleep schedule our bodies enjoy a routine. Set an alarm for going to bed to sleep and rising in the morning. Do this for 12 weeks to form a habit. It may be difficult at first but staying with it will help.
- Limit computer or phone use an hour prior to bedtime. Allow your brain to unplug and start the preparation for sleep.
- Keep computers, television, or other electronics in places other than your bedroom. The EMF levels of electronic equipment stimulate the body as well as the brain making it difficult to sleep.
- Read a book before bedtime to get your mind off your day. Something uplifting and positive will help relax you and give you a positive focus to hold in your mind as you fall off to sleep.
- Quietly meditate for 30 minutes before bedtime. Find a basic and easy style that will work for you.
- Sound machines or soothing play lists can be relaxing and distracting to the mind. These can be white noise, nature sounds, or instrumental music.
- A simple breathing exercise can be helpful. For example, close your eyes. Direct your attention to your breath. As your mind wanders (and it will) redirect your attention back to your breath. At first you will have to redirect your attention many times but with practice you will be able to nod off to sleep quickly.
- “Super Foods” can help with sleep. For example, Carrots have alpha carotene which is associated with better sleep. Tart cherry juice has high levels of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which can increase melatonin levels. Raw walnuts increase melatonin. Greek yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin B-12 that can help with sleep. Pumpkin seeds have tryptophan as well as zinc and both promote the increase of serotonin which increases melatonin. Coconut oil contains high amounts of lauric acid which has been linked with more restful sleep as opposed to fats, like butter, which were linked to impaired sleep. 
- Vitamins, supplements, dairy products, and teas also may assist with sleep. We favor high quality supplements such as QScience products. QSLEEP is an all-natural formula that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. QREST, with a 1500mg pharmaceutical grade, full spectrum hemp oil that helps you rest and stay asleep while easing muscle tension. Both help you achieve a good night’s sleep and allow you feeling rested and rejuvenated in the morning both are non-drowsy and non-addictive.
Sleep is essential to our well-being at every level of our functioning. Making sleep a priority is the key to having a healthy and positive outlook on life, making good decisions, communicating, and working as our best. If you find that you are still not sleeping after using these skills for 12 weeks or more consider talking to your doctor about having a sleep study completed to rule out any further issues.
 Contact Dr. Ferrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-865-4907.