Why can't so many of us sleep at night? Yeah, you're not the only one. I used to struggle to sleep and then I found out many of my friends and family have difficulty sleeping.
We know we need sleep because without good sleep we feel terrible, exhausted, drained, cranky, moody, can't focus and can't think clearly.
Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury and according to new research by Berkley University we absolutely need 7 to 8 hours of sleep if we want to function at our best and live a long and healthy life.
Our body needs sleep to repair and rejuvenate. For example: sleep helps heal and repair our heart and blood vessels. During the night our heart rate, breathing, blood pressure rises and falls - all of which are important for having a healthy and strong heart.
While we're sleeping our body also repairs damaged cells and controls how our body uses energy which have an impact on our weight. Researchers have found that poor sleep can also lead to an additional 15 pounds of weight every year.
When we can't sleep, we prevent our body from healing and repairing itself which impacts or our health including our mind, heart, blood pressure, memory, mood, sugar levels and weight.
Here's why we have trouble sleeping and can't stay asleep and more importantly how we can get the good sleep we need.
Reasons Why We Can't Sleep
So we know sleep is important, but do we know why we're having trouble falling asleep consistently? We aren't talking about the one off night when we had a rough day - but the on-going night-time troubles we have when it comes to sleeping.
There could be many reasons why we can't get a good night's rest - including sleeping too much during the day, not getting enough sunlight, having to go to the bathroom frequently, being in physical pain, jet lag, side effects of prescription medication, sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome.
However, for many people the main reason why they have trouble sleeping is because our body has too much Cortisol.
Why We Can't Sleep When Our Cortisol Levels Are Too High
Cortisol is released by our adrenal glands whenever we feel danger or threatened like if we're confronted by a wild animal.
Our body gives us a shot of Cortisol which boosts our energy and helps us decide quickly if we want to fight or run for our lives in that situation. When we escape that situation, we calm down and our cortisol levels naturally fall.
However, when we have too many back-to-back stressors, our cortisol levels do not have a chance to drop back down to normal levels. Our cortisol levels remain high. Cortisol also interferes with other hormones that support sleep and energy production.
So when we're stressed at work, when we're stressed in a relationship, when we're stressed over our finances or when ever we feel stressed our body produces cortisol.
Since most of us feel some form of stress every day that means our body is constantly producing cortisol and we never bring down our cortisol levels to a healthy normal level.
It's nighttime and we're trying to sleep but these high cortisol levels leave us awake and alert. Not an ideal situation and in most cases the extra cortisol is the real reason why we can't fall asleep.
Having high cortisol levels can really mess up our health and that’s why it’s important to reduce our cortisol, especially if we can’t sleep or feel stressed and anxious.
3 Natural Ways To Put an End to Our Sleep Troubles - And Get Better Sleep
1 - Allow The Body to Relax Before Bedtime
Life's busy and it's often hard to relax when we've had an overactive day. So it's importantt to set a sleep routine that works.
Here are some suggestions - try which ever you feel will hep you it could be one or it could be all of them:
- Have a warm shower or soak in a bathtub
- Work in some evening exercise (go out for a walk) before you settle down for the night
- A number of relaxation exercises have been proven to lower cortisol levels naturally - try some Yoga or Tai Chi
2 - Allow The Mind to Relax Before Bedtime
Our state of mind plays a big part in why we can't sleep and have trouble sleeping. Here are some suggestions:
- Play some relaxing music that puts you in a happy, relaxed mood
- Keep a journal of your daily events. Jot down issues you had during the day Keep a list of things to get done for tomorrow so these don't linger in your mind at bedtime.
- Watch light-hearted comedy. Try to avoid watching the news or watching an emotional show as you don't want these feelings to cause you trouble sleeping.
- If you have some unresolved stressful events - call up a friend to talk to and release them from your conscious the best you can or push yourself to think of something else - focus on something pleasant that happened instead.
3 - Try Some Natural Cortisol-Lowering Supplements
There are a number of natural remedies to lower Cortisol levels. Do the research and find one that is free of chemicals, proven to work and is non-addictive. Check out Shanti - it's made with an adaptogen (natural herbs that help reduce stress), it's all natural, has a proven powerful ingredient and is guaranteed to work. We back it with a 365 day guarantee.
Sleep plays an important role in allowing our body to repair and rejuvenate internally. If we can't sleep or have troubles sleeping, this can affect our health in serious ways. One of the main reasons ew can't sleep is because of our high cortisol levels. There are natural ways to reduce cortisol and solve sleep problems. These include techniques to relax our mind, our body and taking natural supplements that are proven to reduce cortisol.