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5 Reasons You’re Sleeping Poorly (fix them now) – Thomas DeLauer
Okay, let’s go ahead and let’s dive right into these five things though. The first one is going to be one that’s a little bit obvious and that’s exercising in the evening time. Exercise in the evening time does a number of things.
Obviously, it gets your heart rate up, it gets your core body temperature up. But the Journal of Sports Medicine published a study that found that non-vigorous exercise would actually be okay all the way up until bedtime.
But anything above sort of that aerobic work, so if you’re doing some weight training or if you’re doing intervals or anything like that, that’s going to affect your sleep in a negative fashion and it’s pretty significant.
Again, it does this mainly because it increases your core body temperature. We’ll talk more about that in a little bit, but your core body temperature plays a very big role in what phase of sleep that you’re actually in. It’s harder to get into REM sleep if your core body temperature is always elevated or if it’s not at the rate that it should.
Sleep apnea is where you’re not able to really breathe and get a full breath, so you constantly wake up. Even if you don’t feel like you’re consciously waking up, you are waking up.
So what it’s been seen is that with vitamin D deficiencies or just low levels of vitamin D, we have an increase in Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha, which is an inflammatory cytokine in our nasal passages and in our tonsils.
So if you snore or if you feel like you’re just not getting good quality sleep, vitamin D could play a very big role. So if you supplement with some vitamin D or you get a little bit more sunlight, this could start to have an effect. I would recommend starting with like 2,000, 2,500 IUs of vitamin D and slowly increase your dose until you start feeling better.
The third thing that we need to talk about is, of course, being too hot. During the summer months, we don’t sleep as well when it’s hot in the room and we don’t want to just spend a bunch of money just running the air conditioner all the time.
But the sad truth is that we sleep best between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The reality is that what happens is our body’s always trying to create a gradient when we’re sleeping or when kind of getting towards sleep and we’re cooling down.
The next thing that we have to talk about is going to be blue light. This is talked about all the time and quite honestly, it’s kind of overdone. But it’s still worth mentioning because it’s so powerful. There’s a study that was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
It took a look at 20 subjects, exposed them to blue light, which is what we usually get from our phones, and TVs, and stuff like that. They gave half of them blue light blocking glasses and half of them not.
Well, low and behold, the group that had the blue light blocking glasses slept significantly better and had less instances of sleep deprivation-related symptoms. So they slept better and they felt better. Pretty powerful stuff.
The last thing I want to talk about is one that you’ve probably heard before that’s eating too soon before bed, but it’s a big one. When you add up all of these punitively, you really will have cruddy sleep. Okay, here’s the thing. If you eat too soon before bed, no matter what you’re eating, you’re going to have some change in your blood glucose and some change in insulin.
So what happens is you might feel good as you fall asleep because you’ve got so much energy just going into your digestive system to help break it down that you actually get tired. But what’s going to happen is your blood sugar’s eventually going to fall. When your blood sugar falls, that triggers cortisol to bring your blood sugar up.