By: Dr. Meghan MacKinnon, ND
Markham Naturopathic Doctor
This is a very common question that many people have, because insomnia and poor sleep have so many causes. While we sleep, our bodies recharge so that we are able to do all the things we need to do in our daily lives. Poor sleep may be due to many things such as hormone imbalance, stress, sleep apnea or anxiety so it is important that you work with your Naturopathic Doctor to figure out why you are not getting a deep sleep. Sometimes poor sleep is simply a result of what we call ‘poor sleep hygiene’, referring to your sleep environment and what you do before you go to bed.
Here are some naturopathic health tips to improve your sleep hygiene.
Stick to a Schedule. Going to bed and rising at the same time, even on weekends and holidays can help improve sleep.
Keep your bedroom cool. A drop in body temperature can stimulate sleep.
Keep it work free. The bedroom is for sleeping. Remove all other distracting items like the TV, computer, phone and exercise equipment.
Start winding down an hour before bedtime. Do some light reading, quiet conversation, gentle exercise or listen to soft music and avoid watching the news or stressful interactions after dinner.
Keep the room completely dark with good blinds/drapes and no lights. This will help with the production of melatonin, the main hormone for balancing sleep cycles.
Recognize when you need something more. There are many simple things you can do to help with you sleep but sometimes using herbs and nutrients such as melatonin, Valerian and Passionflower to help with sleep is appropriate. If supplementing, it is important to make sure you are taking something that is right for you and to be monitored by your naturopathic doctor.