CAFFEINE Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime. Sometimes even 10-12 hours may be needed. Many teas, chocolate, medications and other products contain stimulants such as caffeine.
EVENING EXERCISE Exercising in the evening can make& it hard to fall asleep. In general, try to avoid it. For me the effect is variable – intense cardio can make me tired and fall asleep easy, but not stay asleep.
ALCOHOL Even though a glass or two of alcohol may make you sleepy at first, you tend to wake up an hour or two later. Studies have shown that alcohol affects the sleep cycles, and people wake less well rested.
AVOID TV OR COMPUTER USE Avoid watching TV for any extended period of time, which goes for other electronic stimulation as well such as your tablet or computer. Electronic stimulation has been shown to negatively impact your ability to fall asleep. The bedroom should also be dark, quiet and stress-free.
NIGHT TIME STRESS Try to clear you mind with something relaxing – meditation, prayer, or a good book. Stress can keep you up at night and you’re likely not going to solve any of them while in bed anyway.
PROLONGED SEXUAL ACTIVITY I know what you are thinking—what about sex? The natural endorphins from sex help us relax and generally help one fall asleep. Once again though, an hour long session of sexual activity is similar to exercising before sleep – which can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep.
NATURAL SLEEP SUPPLEMENTS The two most common over-the counter sleep aids are Melatonin and Valerian. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by our Pineal Gland which regulated our sleep cycles. It is regulated, to some degree, by exposure to light, and is thought to be partly responsible for hibernation in animals. Melatonin is readily available and has been shown to help one fall asleep quicker and perhaps stay asleep. It is commonly used by travelers for long airplane flights. A does of 0.1-0.3 mg is generally effective, and Melatonin is considered to be very safe. As with all sleep aids, some people report grogginess the next day or despite falling asleep, it does not keep them asleep all night. Valerian is a herbal extract that has been reported to induce sleep, or decrease the latency period-time to fall asleep in many people. Less information is known about its long-term use, and it may work better in those with chronic sleep problems compared to using for an overnight airplane flight. 5-HTP, a derivative of Tryptophan, increases the production of Serotonin, which is the building block for Melatonin. As such, it has been used successfully as a sleep aid and may help promote positive feelings and relaxation.* (Most of the common prescription anti-depressants used today work through serotonin.) FYI – Turkey is high in tryptophan—and I for one, cannot keep my eyes open after a turkey dinner. Other natural supplements or foods such as non-caffeinated tea such as Chamomile, your grandmother’s warm-milk, and a hot shower or Jacuzzi, may all promote sleep. Of course, there are many OTC and prescription medications to help with sleep- the most common are anti-histamines which have the ‘side-effect’ of drowsiness, or the prescription drug Ambien. While perhaps helpful as a one-time use such as for a long plane flight, or a stressful life event, these are not recommended for habitual use and can have significant side-effects.
Optim Nutrition Advanced Sleep Formula with Sensoril is an advanced sleep formula featuring Sensoril®, an adaptogen that has been shown to increase the body's ability to resist and recover from stress while stimulating an overall feeling of balance.* L-Tryptophan, an essential amino acid has been shown to support sleep and relaxation.* You'll find even more sleep-promoting or stress-easing nutrients in this herbal formula, including Melatonin, Valerian and Theanine.* See what's inside:
Dr. Jeff is a trained general, pediatric cardiac, and transplant surgeon. Nutrition has always been an important concern for surgeons in regards to patients healing from surgery. He has had a longstanding interest in health, nutrition and supplements, and been an advocate of the use of nutrition and supplements in the hospital setting to aid in his patient’s recovery. He has a history of basic science and clinical research and a keen ability to interpret studies and statistics to determine their true significance. He is the father and step-father to several teenage athletes and knows firsthand the challenges they face in balancing their time, eating habits and use of supplements. He is adamant about trying to educate our youth about better nutrition. Dr. Jeff recognizes the challenges that healthcare faces and the need for people to take charge of their own health and disease prevention. He loves being outside and is one of those crazy few seen hiking or biking in the middle of the day in summer.
- Sensoril® Sensoril is a patented, all-natural standardized extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an Ayurvedic herb found to he helpful for reducing the effects of stress, including chronic psychological stress, according to a double-blind study.
- L-Tryptophan L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid has been shown to support sleep and relaxation.*
- You'll find even more sleep-promoting or stress-easing nutrients in this herbal formula, including Melatonin, Valerian and Theanine.*