Sleep Better, Faster & Longer – Invite Health Podcast, Episode 37
Invite Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
On today’s episode, I am going to be talking about sleep! Often times people take its importance for granted and that we need at least seven to eight hours every single night.
Did you know that 35% of Americans do not get adequate sleep? This has been shown to have a direct link to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. I will be giving you some tips in terms of dietary changes and nutrients that can help support and maintain healthy circadian rhythm.
Importance of A Healthy Sleep Routine
The CDC performed a sleep questionnaire to determine self reported sleep quality, investigating how poor we do as a nation with getting adequate sleep. The National Health and Nutrition Examination study showed that African Americans and Hispanics seem to have the hardest time.
Fifty million Americans report having a hard time with concentration, focus and memory. So, why aren’t we doing more to address this?
Getting adequate sleep is vital to overall health. It impacts learning, memory, mental health, immune system health and even heart health. The long term risks of insufficient amounts are linked to chronic disease starts like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety to name a few.
Impact on Your Heart
Trying to decipher the exact cause of your sleeping issues may be complicated. But we know that there are very common factors that can impact it. The University of North Carolina reports that only 12% of Americans are metabolically healthy so we know our diet plays a huge role.
The journal of the American College of Cardiology came out with their findings on the correlation between sleep quality and heart health. Researchers looked at overall sleep duration and the coronary artery. They were able to determine that lower sleep time was independently associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. This shows that healthy sleep directly benefits a healthy heart.
The European Heart Journal studied the baseline data on insomnia – problems with falling and staying asleep. In this study, researchers assessed people over an 11 year time span and looking for correlations between sleep disturbances and cardiovascular risk. They found it is indeed associated with an increased risk of heart failure.
Separately, women have a greater likelihood tvo struggle with this more than men, due to the impact of their hormones during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
You have to make sure your brain is getting essential nutrients like Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin D3, following a Mediterranean diet antioxidants fro foods alone. Everyone should focus on this as a healthy foundation, but especially those who do shift work.
Other modifications are:
- For many, too much light impacts your sleep like from your TV or cell phone. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet.
- Keep a sleep schedule, even on the weekends.
- Limit daytime sleeping
- Stay physically active
- Avoid caffeine
Nutrients for Healthy Sleep
5-HTP (or 5-Hydroxytryptophan) is an amino acid that contributes to healthy serotonin activity in the brain, helping to boost your mood and promote a feeling of wellbeing. Studies have shown this amino acid may be beneficial for an overactive brain.
Melatonin is a hormone naturally found in the body that signals the body to prepare for sleep and supports healthy sleeping patterns. For individuals who have trouble falling asleep, this hormone may reduce the length of time it takes to fall asleep. For those who wake up frequently, Melatonin has been shown in studies to induce deeper, more refreshing sleep.
L-Theanine is an amino acid derived from the tea plant that safely promotes relaxation and natural stress relief, without the side effects. It works by offsetting cortisol, the stress hormone.
Thank you for tuning in to the Invite Health Podcast. You can find all of our episodes for free wherever you listen to podcasts or by visiting www.invitehealth.com/podcast. Make sure you subscribe and leave us a review! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Invite Health today. We’ll see you next time on another episode of the Invite Health Podcast.