Sleep: How to get a good night’s rest tonight!

Lack of Sleep Will Affect Your Health & Body!

The Health Effects of Poor Sleep

Insomnia and poor-quality sleep significantly affect literally every aspect of your health and well-being. Here are just a few ways that sleep problems can hurt your health.

A Weighty Issue

Weight gain is one of the more significant effects of poor sleep.

In one study, within two days of restricting sleep, healthy women significantly increased snacking between the hours of 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM, with a definite preference for high-carbohydrate foods (European Journal of Clinical Nutrition). This is due in part to an insomnia-linked drop in leptin (the "satiety hormone"), and a related increase in the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin.

Sleep impairment also scrambles the body's ability to metabolize glucose efficiently, increasing the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes, irrespective of age, weight, or body mass index.

In one study, restricting sleep to four hours per night for six nights in a row reduced glucose tolerance in healthy young adults by 40 percent—enough to mimic the impaired metabolism of the very elderly (Nature Reviews Endocrinology).

Increased Inflammation

Inadequate sleep has also been linked with increased inflammation, a known risk factor for health problems such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. In a study of more than 600 healthy individuals, sleep restriction caused activation of pro-inflammatory chemicals by, on average, 8 percent for every hour's reduction in sleep (Sleep). This has been associated with rising blood pressure and increased risk of cardiovascular death.

Conversely, reliably getting a good amount of quality sleep has been linked with less plaque buildup in the arteries—great protection against heart attack and stroke.

Breast cancer and, more recently, uterine cancer, have also been linked to sleep impairment.

Researchers believe this is due to reduced levels of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is a powerful antioxidant, a proven inhibitor of tumor growth, and a blocker of the formation of new arteries the tumors need in order to grow (Cancer Letters).

Concerns With Cognition

The health issue many of my patients seem most anxious about as they get older is dementia. That's why I was thrilled when, several years ago, studies showed that the brain tissue of adults, at any age, can undergo a process called neurogenesis—the growth of new brain tissue and formation of competent connections between the new neurons and the existing neural network to support the learning of new things.

However, the bad news is that, according to recent studies, chronically getting less than seven hours of good, rejuvenating sleep each night interferes with neurogenesis.

And, even worse, chronic sleep problems appear to block the very slow baseline neural regeneration that occurs when brain tissue is damaged or worn out, possibly accelerating age-related cognitive decline.

Studies have also shown that sleep deprivation impairs memory and the ability to regulate emotions. Add all these devastating impacts together, and you can definitely conclude that a good night's sleep is crucially necessary for any woman who wants to be sharp, clear-headed, and emotionally stable well into her 60s, 70s, 80s, and beyond.

Get Better Sleep Now

First and foremost, I recommend my posts on sleep inducing herb to promote sleep.

A relaxing amino acid researched in Japan, called L-theanine is derived from tea. L-theanine has been found to significantly improve sleep quality without acting as a sedative. It also helps you to unwind from the stress of your day.

For best results, take 100-200 mg of L-theanine before going to bed at night.

I also recommend trying the following therapies, which not only help you fall into a deep, restorative sleep, but also help to prevent sleep problems.

Try incorporating as many of these as possible into your daily life.

► Reduce stress. Stress of any kind can interfere with sleep, and poor sleep is a significant stressor. To break the cycle, I recommend meditating on the Word of God. The Bible is useful for all sorts of (BIBLE VERSE HERE)

As an effective stress reducer and sleep enhancer try these suggestions:

► Do 40 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise every day. Women who break a bit of a sweat for about 40 minutes have healthier sleep patterns, partly because the exercise raises body temperature, and the sweating stimulates the thermo-regulatory center in the brain to help reestablish a healthier diurnal temperature range. The result is a stronger sleep cue when body temperature declines in the evening.

► Take Magnolia bark. Its active ingredients, magnolol and honokiol, are believed to help balance age-related cortisol excess. Magnolia bark is available on Amazon and this one has no binders, fillers or excipients and is non-gmo, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free, sugar-free, yeast-free and free of harsh dyes or chemicals.

The typical dose is 100 mg half an hour before bedtime.

► Shut down your mind in bed with this simple but effective trick: Focus on relaxing the muscles that run from your chin to your jaw joints on both sides. Tension in these muscles acts as the control center for tension everywhere in your body, and relaxing them can induce profound relaxation of body and mind to help you drift off within minutes.

► Try grounding and de-charging exercises. (You can read my post on grounding and de-charging here.)

Grounding and decharging are two wonderful exercises for stress relief and for balancing your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. An excellent grounding method is to simply walk barefoot and feel the intimate connection with the earth's powerful force.

To decharge, start with a prayer of gratitude to God. Then, state a specific intention—meaning, ask HIM to eliminate all negativity and stress within you.

Stop worrying!

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

God will go before you and make your path!

And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.

~Exodus 33:14

Here's to a refreshing and rejuvenating night's sleep—tonight and for many nights to come! I

Dr Susan

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About the Author

Best selling author and national speaker Dr. Susan has sold over 2 million books on health & wellness. She has appeared on numerous national and regional radio and television shows and has been featured in hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. She has Served on the clinical faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine and taught in their Division of Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Richards became an ordained Christian minister in 2009 and, within a year, she began doing hospital ministry in the ICU's, critical care and rehabilitation units in the San Francisco area community three times a week. Her ministry is based on the supernatural healing power of God and Jesus Christ and she has seen many miraculous healings of seriously ill patients. The ministry receives over 20,000 prayer requests for healing each week which are answered by their faithful and devoted prayer team. She is currently developing the first Medical and Health Ministry Training Program of Supernatural Healing in the United States. Her medical ministry is at