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:

MANDAN – Hundreds of trials for activists who stood against the Dakota Access Pipeline have seen the judge’s gavel, but only two, so far, received jail time.Mary Redway, 64, a retired environmental biologist from Rhode Island,…

When asked what sparked her interest in tattoo culture, Danielle Colby, star of the hit reality TV show ‘American Pickers,’ replied, “I think that came from my grandfather. He was in the Navy, so he was heavily tattooed. I…

Thursday, October 26, 4pmCopper Ridge Event Center, 21 18th St S, FargoWhile working on his beloved pickup truck, Fred Lassonde sustained a traumatic brain injury, ending his 8-year career as a Fargo Police Officer. Benefit to…

Editorial

You too? Me too.

by Sabrina Hornung

Our opinion: We’ve all been there, been followed, stalked, or worse...On Sunday night, Alyssa Milano tweeted: "Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we…

God didn’t save six million Jews from the Holocaust eitherWe have become so used to mass killings by firearms in the “United” States that they are generally ignored, except for the really unusual or big ones like Texas Tower,…

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…

Friday night we were burning the midnight oil, carousing, drinking, and rambling about. The downtown dogfight has been stirring for a while, biting at my heels and barking in my brain. It was time for this idea to come to fruition.…

“Experiences like these are a reminder why I have chosen the right career path; it is my hope that the things I do on stage as a speaker or a singer are able to lift someone’s spirits, help them through a tough time, or serve…

In 1948, George Orwell predicted a dystopian future in his pinnacle work ‘1984.’ Orwell died before he could see if the future was plagued by unending war, a totalitarian government and rigorous loyalty rituals as he’d…

Arts

​Beau Thiege, Guitar Man

by Sabrina Hornung

The High Plains Reader ran into Beau, master craftsman, who works with what the Minot Daily news called “junk repurposed into musical masterpieces.”High Plains Reader: How did you get into luthiery?Beau Theige: I came across a…

Ted Larson introduced me to Chris Jacobs one evening at Weld Hall in the late 1980s. I was in high school then, but Chris recognized fellow film fanatics, and we would chat a little bit each week. I learned quickly that he loved…

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…

Dipping into your cellar to pull out a special bottle is something that used to be fairly exclusive, wine connoisseurs only. These days, cellaring is gaining more and more traction among hardcore craft beer consumers, who continue…

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…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to…