Like every busy mom, I crave a full night’s rest, but the first half of 2015 was scattered with sleepless nights. At the time, I was writing a book proposal, and my brain kept turning on around 3 am. Instead of wasting time in bed, I’d get up and write. Just me and my computer. No one called, “Mom, can you…” or “Mom, I need…” 3 am was peaceful. Unfortunately, my eyes would droop a few hours later. Instead of crawling back into bed, I’d have to start the day as mama…tired. Waking up in the middle of the night became frustrating and exhausting.
I knew then, as I know now, the reason you wake up in the middle of the night ready to start the day is STRESS.
Chronic stress imbalances a hormone called cortisol, which not only disrupts sleep but compromises metabolism, increases insulin resistance and fat storage, lowers energy and muscle mass, leads to premature aging and cardiovascular disease, even sexual dysfunction. Yikes! Not good.
If I wanted quality sleep, I’d have to tailor my diet and lifestyle to reduce stress and balance my cortisol. Easier said than done, right?
Thankfully a friend shared a nutritional system she was using to sleep through the night, and I gave it a go! This system gave me the sleep I craved (priceless). It also helped me avoid the pitfalls of chronic sleep deprivation, including slow metabolism, low energy, and premature aging.
I was so relieved having a simple, repeatable system to reduce my daily stress. As my cortisol rebalanced, my 3 am wakings disappeared, and my ENERGY skyrocketed.
Quality sleep improved every aspect of my life – at home, in the office, and at the gym.
Your 3-Step Plan to Better Sleep:
Pace protein throughout your day. For example, I eat around 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm, 6 pm, and 9 pm just before bed. Research supports eating healthy protein before bed improves sleep, rebuilds lean muscle mass, and even burns calories while you rest. Switch your afternoon coffee to an adaptogen tea; you can drink it any time of day. Add “sleep spray” – sustained-release melatonin combined with a proprietary nutrient complex of L-theanine, tart cherry, chamomile, and valerian root extract – to your bedtime routine.
Your goal is 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night. Schedule your sleep like you schedule your workouts. For healthy hormonal balance, be asleep by 10pm and start doing whatever relaxes you around 9pm. Maybe it’s stretching, yoga, meditation, journaling, prayer, reading, or a short walk outside. You choose, but set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
Regular physical activity has significant health benefits, including better sleep. Studies show you want to “Run and Hit the Weights” to sleep better, so include both cardio and resistance training to improve your sleep quality.
This 3-Step Plan works. I eat, rest, and move my way to full night’s sleep daily and have been for years!
Give it a try! Quality sleep is one of the best things you can do for your physical, emotional, and mental health.
P.S. Don’t allow sleepless nights to hijack your health! Lack of sleep affects your mood, your job, and your relationships too. Schedule a call with me so I can help you sleep through the night again! #WeAreInThisTogether for #HealthyChange
About the Author: Dr. Sue McCreadie
Sue McCreadie, MD (aka Dr. Sue) is a board-certified pediatric physician and mom of three, with two decades of experience helping thousands of families achieve vibrant health naturally. In her pediatric practice, she helps children achieve health naturally by adapting their diet and lifestyle to optimize their genetics. Since transforming her health and wealth through a science-backed nutritional system, Dr. Sue helps other women and healthcare practitioners live their best life fit and financially free. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, Dave, and their three children, Kaitlin, Elle, and Addison. www.FitFemFree.com