What’s Stealing Your Sleep?

6 to 8 hours of sleep seems impossible for many of my patients. Many have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, and have tried over-the-counter or prescription sleeping drugs. They don’t like the way it makes them feel.

Obvious culprits should be addressed as the basics of quality sleep:

• Cut back caffeine consumption. Keep coffee, black and green tea down to 1 to 2 cups a day and only in the mornings and definitely before 4pm.

• Switch off all electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Go to bed close to the same time every day of the week.

• Don’t eat in bed, read in bed, or watch television in bed, these are sleep disruptors. Get in bed only when you’re ready to sleep.

• Sleep in absolute darkness. If you can’t get it completely dark then sleep with an eye mask. For some people even the alarm clock light can alter sleep patterns.

• If you live in a noisy area, wear ear plugs. Noise pollution disturbs your nervous system.

• We sleep better in a cooler temperature. Set the thermostat between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit, the optimal sleeping temperature.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, there could be a hidden reason. It’s called Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue may be stealing your sleep. The adrenal glands, 2 glands on top of the kidneys, produce adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones. They can disrupt your sleep. For example, adrenaline will wake you up when your blood sugar level gets too low or if you drink coffee after dinner or if you’ve had a stressful day.

I offer labs that will test your adrenal gland function. I use herbal medicines to restore and replenish the adrenal glands. These plant medicines help us to adapt to stress.

It’s time to get a good night’s sleep and wake up in the morning refreshed and with energy.

I’m Dr. Tim Kuhlman, Naturopathic Physician. Now accepting new patients at ChehalisNaturopathic.com, phone (360)-996-4761.