Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Tired of not getting enough sleep?

by John Strand | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Wellness | January 25th, 2017

Sleep. We all need it, but nobody seems to get enough of it. SleepScore Labs reports over 60% of adults in the USA have poor sleep due to numerous health concerns and poor lifestyle choices. A lack of good sleep is linked to an increased chance of many different health problems; a good night’s rest provides us with repair and renewal of tissues due to the release of growth hormones. What lifestyle changes can we make to achieve a more balanced night's rest?

Cut down on screen time; in fact, make it a rule to have no screens in the bedroom. Bedrooms are for sleep! The blue light emitted from cell phones, tablets and laptops messes with our melatonin production. Melatonin is the hormone primarily produced by your pineal gland and regulates your sleep and wake cycle. Blue light makes our bodies think it is daytime, when in fact it is not.

Limiting screen time is a big factor in getting better sleep. But, we love our screens so there are other options. Download f.lux or a similar app for your computer and smartphone that adjusts the color and brightness of your screen based on timezone.

Second, consider wearing blue-blocking glasses when looking at screens at night. Also note that blue light isn’t harmful during the day, just at night when our bodies are prepping for sleep. Blue light during the day hours is beneficial and helps sync us up for creating a balanced circadian rhythm. Get enough daylight in the day, especially morning, but not after the sun goes down. It is all about balance!

Exercise! Consistent daytime exercise helps your body release endorphins which create a balance in mood and energy. Make sure not to do heavy exercise within three hours of your sleeptime. Light exercise such as yoga, stretching and walking are fine before bed, but no intense training. Exercising in late afternoon is best because your body temperature rises and has time to drop to a cool enough temperature before sleep.

Try cutting back on caffeine. Everyone knows too much caffeine during the day or too late in the day can keep you wired. Limit yourself to before-lunch coffee only or switch to a herbal tea like Rooibos, which has no caffeine. If you are caffeine-sensitive, dark chocolate or hot cocoa may keep you awake because they too contain caffeine.

Herbal teas and certain supplements can be supportive in creating healthy sleep, but they can’t do all the work. Make sure to also be trying other lifestyle changes that will contribute to good rest. Calming herbs such as passionflower, chamomile, and valerian taken in tea, tincture or pill form can be beneficial.

Other non-herbal supplements such as melatonin can be helpful for some people, I take it when I am feeling wound up and energized at night. Remember melatonin is also created naturally in the body when it starts to get dark out. As we age, our bodies produce less melatonin; and light interrupts your melatonin production, telling you to be awake.

How much melatonin should you take? Start out with a small amount, around 0.5-3mg 60-90 minutes before you sleep. You don’t want to overdo it with melatonin or you may feel groggy the next day.

Glycine is a pretty neat non-essential amino acid. Participants took three grams of glycine in a 2007 sleep study for efficacy. Volunteers noticed better sleep quality and less daytime sleepiness the following day. I love glycine as a sleep aid, I use three grams of powder in water. It is naturally sweet tasting so it’s very good. I am a light sleeper and notice my sleep is much deeper and sounder with glycine.

Create a sleep routine by going to bed at the same time every night. This helps your circadian rhythm stay balanced. Invest in an aromatherapy diffuser and use lavender essential oil to help with peace and calming. Set your room to have the optimal sleeping temperature between 60-73 degrees. A slightly cool room temperature will help you sleep better. Drink tea before bed or have a bath; your core body temperature dropping after the bath can help you sleep better. Establish a ritual that you will look forward to and stick to, and that works well for you.

Now that you have all these good tips for sleeping better, you can address any issues you may be having. Being chronically tired isn’t normal and you shouldn’t have to live your life frazzled. Small steps can make a big difference. Focus on your sleep and you will function at the top of your game!

Recently in:

FARGO – Expressing disgust over an interview with a local “pro-white activist” on Valley News Live “Point of View,” concerned citizens have started a campaign to pull advertising from the show.Concerned citizens are…

Culture

The pyramid of the prairie

by Sabrina Hornung

Nekoma tactical area purchased by the Cavalier County JDAPhotos by Sabrina Hornung“These have all been cleaned and filled with sand and concrete,” said Randy Mehlhoff, who serves on both the Langdon Chamber of Commerce Board of…

Sunday, August 20, noon-5pmND Horse Park, 5180 19th Ave N, FargoFood trucks from Fargo-Moorhead and all over the Upper Midwest. Soft drinks, alcohol, prize giveaways, kids jumpy gym, craft vendors, live band, live radio broadcast.…

Our opinion: We all breathe the same air, and we all drank the same beer.Last weekend I helped a pal plan a small festival in an even smaller town. In fact, you may find me bartending there once in a blue moon, flexing my…

Gadfly

Crazy like a fox

by Ed Raymond

Can we learn anything after we know it all?There’s a 100-page book written by a high school dropout that should be read by all high schoolers, college education students, teachers, and politicians. Michael J.Fox of movie and TV…

The moment of truth has arrived. After seven weeks of sampling and judging some of the finest libations in the area the results for this year’s Cocktail Showdown have arrived. Christopher Larson, Raul Gomez and Sabrina Hornung…

On Wednesday July 19, Luna had their first and very solid convergence with Junkyard Brewing. The beer dinner was comprised of five killer Luna courses with five stellar Junkyard beers. The results were extraordinary. Initially I…

Formed in 1988, The Supersuckers have gained the moniker of being “the greatest rock n’ roll band in the world.” In 2015 lead singer/bassist Eddie Spaghetti was diagnosed with stage 3 oropharynx cancer. Thankfully he…

Reteaming with his “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” leads Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, filmmaker David Lowery has a very compelling tale to tell in “A Ghost Story.” Somber yet funny, and comfortable with exclamations of…

Interactive Hive through Plains Art Museum goes to marketPhoto by Jerry ShervenThis summer, interns between the ages of 11 and 18 participated in Buzz Lab, a program through the Plains Art Museum that gives students the opportunity…

‘Heathers’ hits the Empire stage in Grand ForksBefore the pink-clad Plastics or Cher’s group of popular beauties in “Clueless,” the shoulder pad-wearing, croquet mallet-wielding Heathers ruled the halls of Westerberg High…

Humor

​Talking to strangers

by Sabrina Hornung

“I don’t have a tour, like, on the back of a sweatshirt,” comedian Paula Poundstone says. “I go out every weekend. This weekend I went out Friday, Saturday and Monday. Mostly it’s Friday/Saturday or Thursday through…

If you’ve never had Mankato’s Organ Grinder Amber Ale, you should probably put it near the top of your “must try” lists.If you are a fan of Mankato Brewery you may have been a bit confused the last time you went looking for…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

A few months ago I wrote about the long, strange saga of Jason Halek, the fellow who dumped 800,000 gallons of poisonous oilfield brine down an abandoned oil well south of Dickinson. Back in April of this year, he pleaded guilty to…