Tags: sleep | deprivation | holidays | melatonin

10 Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep Without an Rx

10 Ways to Get a Good Night's Sleep Without an Rx

By    |   Monday, 05 December 2016 10:17 AM

It should come as no surprise that sleep deprivation — for whatever reason — significantly affects your daily routine, and can dramatically impair performance, health, even your safety. And the holidays have their own particular brand of stress — dashing through the streets at night to party after party. Never mind the preparations and crowded malls.

Fatigue/energy expert Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., says getting less sleep is associated with an array of serious health risks, including pain, fatigue, weight gain (an average of 6.5 pounds) and fibromyalgia. His research bears this out.

His is not the only study done on this unhealthy trend: A new study published in Sleep Health, the journal of the National Sleep Foundation, shows that getting only five hours of sleep can even affect the way you eat, with study participants consuming more sugary caffeinated drinks to stay awake. That means extra pounds before the holiday parties even begin.

Dr. Teitelbaum wrote a book on his important research, Beat Sugar Addiction Now! which lays bare America’s love affair with sugar and the dangers associated with it.

So if you find yourself losing out out on a good night's sleep, here's a list of 10 helpful tips, courtesy of Teitelbaum's hard work, you can use today — before your restless nights become unhealthy habits. 

  1. Teitelbaum says there's good news: There are health benefits to pleasure, so have dessert, but in small quantities: 85 percent of the pleasure you get from sugary sweets is experienced in the first few bites. Keep in mind it takes 15 minutes for the brain to experience satiation response, so wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds.
  2. Chocolate is a health food, but it’s of course it's loaded with fat and sugar, so go for quality, not quantity. Enjoy a small amount of premium chocolate and savor the sensation. Concentrate on holiday and friends as you eat, taking time for conversation, instead. It'll be all the more sweeter.
  3. Try sugar-free chocolates and desserts. If your host isn't planning on presenting them, pick up some in advance. Other guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness. There are some high-end chocolates to choose from as well: high-end Abdullah chocolates are just so good you won’t need much to feel satisfied. They also have an excellent sugar-free line.
  4. Stay away from sugary, caffeinated drinks that give a temporary boost but end in a crash, and often in insomnia. Let's face it: You'd much rather have a high-end chocolate anyway. Don't squander your pleasure on a sugary drink. They may provide a jolt of temporary energy but they then take away twice as much by dropping your blood sugar.
  5. You often can’t get enough energy-making vitamins and minerals from the standard American fare, especially B vitamins and magnesium, so supplement accordingly. Most people are amazed at how much more energy they feel after taking a high potency B vitamin with magnesium.
  6. A quick fix for getting energized is to drink 12 oz. of cold water. Most of us don’t drink enough water and actually function in a state of being dehydrated. So instead of reaching for a soda, try good old H2O.
  7. Make time for sleep by entering it in your appointment scheduler. Schedule sleep as a priority and you’re likely to take it more seriously.
  8. Cut out things you don’t enjoy — the stuff that doesn’t make you feel good. To that end, consider cutting back on the 24-hour news cycle that rehashes election and bad news. It's depressing. You’ll feel more relaxed and ready for sleepy-time. Plus you'll be in a better mood and the rest of us will be happier as a result.
  9. Try natural sleep supplements (think melatonin) before you go for sleeping pills or antihistamines that knock you out and often leave you feeling groggy the next morning.
  10. Avoid “energy vampires” who leave you feeling drained after speaking with them. They're probably sapping you with tidbits culled from the 24-hour news cycle. Don’t be afraid to say no. But be polite — it's the holidays, after all! 

“The good news — and just in time for the holidays — is it’s easy to get the destructive monkey off your back and start getting better daytime energy and a night’s deep, revitalizing sleep without medications,” Teitelbaum says. Remember — healthy daytime energy depends on the quality and depth of the previous night’s sleep.


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It should come as no surprise that sleep deprivation — for whatever reason — significantly affects your daily routine, and can dramatically impair performance, health, even your safety.
sleep, deprivation, holidays, melatonin
Monday, 05 December 2016 10:17 AM
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