I’m so excited that the medical community is finally starting to recognize sleep as a parameter of good health.
I know, I know… it sounds ironic since sleep, for me and most doctors, often comes secondary to our career choice.
Even our medical school training taught us to stay awake—and to be ready and alert at the drop of a hat!
But, as I often write—and as I touched on yesterday—prioritizing good sleep is often a life or death matter. So, let me help YOU achieve better sleep, night after night…
What time is it?
If you have trouble sleeping, you’re not alone. Insomnia affects up to 22 percent of adults and has links to chronic health problems—like heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
This makes it vital to get your sleep under control. But now, a new study sheds light on what NOT to do…
Researchers analyzed questionnaires from nearly 5,000 patients from a sleep clinic. The survey measured the severity of insomnia, use of sleep medication, and time spent monitoring their behavior while trying to fall asleep.
Ultimately, they found that the more time subjects spent monitoring their inability to sleep—aka, watching the clock—the worse their symptoms became.
What’s more, this led to using more sleep medication. And you already know how I feel about that.
But let’s take a step back—because this finding points toward a relatively simple behavioral intervention that might help…
Simple, drug-free solutions
Do you often dwell on the fact that you’re not getting enough sleep? In fact, you worry about how long it might take to fall asleep… and then over what time you have to be awake?
I know it sounds silly, but these thoughts are quite common. So common, in fact, that researchers looked toward a behavioral intervention…
Remove any device that shows the time!
If you still have an alarm clock, turn it face down. If you use a smart device—phone, watch, tablet, etc.—cover it up. (No need for added distractions and blue light, either!)
I know it sounds silly, but it can’t hurt to give it a try.
Of course, I also recommend some lifestyle changes that can help prompt better sleep. Those include:
- Moving your body. It shouldn’t be hard to see why regular movement can help your body to rest.
- Seeking out sleep-inducing supplements. I recommend a few, but I especially like melatonin and CBD oil. You can also try 5-HTP, SAM-e, L-theanine, GABA, valerian root, or saffron.
- Investing in room-darkening shades or curtains. Even a small amount of ambient light can disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Eliminating blue light exposure. Blue light blocks the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin and essentially tricks your body into thinking it’s time to be awake.
For more details behind achieving better quality and more regular sleep, check out my Perfect Sleep Protocol.
“Clock-Watching Worsens Insomnia.” Neuroscience news, 05/16/2023. (neurosciencenews.com/insomnia-clock-watching-23258/)