A new study, published April 11, 2018 in Chronobiology International, found that folks who prefer staying up in the evenings have a 10% higher risk of dying, from all causes of mortality, when compared to those who prefer mornings.
Looking at those who strongly prefer activity in the evenings vs those who strongly prefer activity in the mornings in over 430,000 study participants over a 6 1/2 year time period, researchers found higher nighttime activity resulted in:
- an increase in diabetes of 30%
- an increase in psychological disorders (almost doubling the rate at 94% higher incidence!)
- an increase in neurological disorders of 25%
- an increase in respiratory disorders of 22%
- an increase in gastrointestinal disorders of 23%
- a 10% increase in death from cardiovascular events (in both men and women)
- and a higher all-cause mortality of 10% over all for ages 63 and older.
I’ve already blogged for you before about how short sleep at night can double your mortality rate, and this study today goes one step further in showing that even if you get long sleep times, if the sleep onset is later in the night, your mortality rate is still affected.
So… are you a night owl?
If so, winter time is the absolute perfect time to address adjusting your circadian rhythm to protect your health and possibly prolong your life.
Because the days are shorter and the nights are longer, your body naturally craves hibernating now more than ever.
Use this natural desire for earlier sleep onset in the winter to shift your routine from staying up late at night to an earlier bedtime — as I blog about here, literally shifting forward by just one hour — just one hour! — is enough to make a measurable improvement in how your body functions the very next day.
To that end, here is a list of my 10 favorite holistic ways
to help you get back into a health sleep/wake cycle:
1. Melatonin an hour before bedtime
The hormone that signals it is time to sleep for our body, our melatonin levels naturally decline with age. If you find it hard to naturally fall asleep, try boosting your own melatonin levels with a low dose melatonin supplement.
2. GABA/L-Theanine at bedtime
GABA is very soothing to the brain and if you are have trouble with anxiety or racing thoughts at bedtime, you might feel the calming benefits of supplementing with a product containing L-Theanine, which crosses the blood brain barrier and converts to GABA to help relax over active thoughts.
3. Probiotics daily
The mind/gut connection is completely underrated. Decreased gut flora has been linked with anxiety and probiotics are now shown to be a very effective treatment for both anxiety and depression, and as a bonus, they boost immunity. My favorite way to reestablish a healthy gut balance is to kick start any probiotic regime with a 7 day intensive probiotic inoculation with Innate Response Flora 200-14 Seven Day Intensive treatment, waiting for you in my online dispensary here:
4. Magnesium “tea” as part of a calming bedtime routine
Magnesium is very relaxing and because it helps your muscles relax and release, it is a wonderful nighttime drink. On nights when I am feeling tense (especially helpful for anyone who grinds their teeth at night or has restless legs!) I enjoy a hot cup of water with a teaspoon of Natural Vitality’s Calm magnesium drink, found in my online dispensary as well.
Decreasing the disruption to your health at night by decreasing your EMF exposures — removing those you can remove, decreasing those you can decrease, and shielding from those you can’t do anything about — will help your body truly restore it’s health during sleep.
I have a guide for you to help you do just that, without the overwhelm of “where to start!?!?!”
Hop over here for a blog post I wrote that gives you a free printable checklist on decreasing your body’s EMF exposures… especially crucial if you suspect you are EMF sensitive.
6. Use A Light Box in the morning
To easily correct your circadian rhythm, totally naturally, get into a habit of getting natural light on your face every single morning as early as possible outdoors… or simply use a light box when you wake up. I use my lightbox every morning — all fall and winter long — for 20 minutes each day while I am attending to my emails and drinking my morning coffee!
Effective to not only boost your daytime energy levels (making you more active during the day, when it’s healthiest to be active!) but a light box will also help you sleep better that night… naturally, without taking any mediations or supplements at all.
Perfect for those who don’t want to risk any untoward side effects from taking pills, a light box does more than just correct your circadian rhythm, light boxes have been shown to directly treat depression as good as a Rx medication and even boost libido.
7. Block Blue Light from reaching your eyes in the evening.
Ok I’m a mother of two teenagers (oh my how the time has flown) and it’s just completely unrealistic for me to expect them not to use their computers at night to complete homework assignments, or use their phone at night to arrange plans with friends, or to use their televisions at night to catch up on their favorite TV shows or (in my son’s case) watch their favorite sports teams play.
That said, you can make the glow from these screens less disruptive to circadian rhythm simply by the compromise of wearing blue light filtering glasses, like these.
8. Sleep Grounded nightly
To take your sleep resonance to the next level, you can combine your brain’s healing alpha sleep state with the Earth’s soothing Schulman frequency directly by grounding the body when sleeping with in indoor grounding product.
Increased time spent in alpha brain wave patterns equals greater time in the restorative healing phases of sleep and the healing processing time of sleep, which is when dreams occur. This is why dreams often increase in intensity when we sleep grounded. While we sleep, we cycle through alpha sleep states and REM sleep states and each time we do we are held in beautiful resonance with the Earth’s healing energy.
This is one of the reasons why getting a good night’s sleep impacts our entire body from head to toe… because high quality sleep does everything from preserve our brain volume and function to enhancing weight loss!
I have invested a great deal of time and research creating the highest quality, most reliable, washable, and ethically respectful (crafted by hand right here in the USA!) grounding healing tools. Tools like my eco-friendly organic hemp Grounding Mattress Panels. Or sleep right on top of my Grounding Organic Fitted Sheets, or even sleep warmly curled up with my Organic Grounding Hot Water Bottle on your tummy or by your feet… warm, comforting, reliable grounding… complete with a machine washable cover.
9. Re-examine your work schedule
Lower your stress at work in order to protect your sleep patterns. Not only be re-examining work hours and job responsibilities, but by lowering stress loads all together.
Hop over here to read my blog post on how to decrease the negative impact that job stress can have on your life and re-consider or re-negotiate your work hours, your job load, your career path, your commute, your training requirements, think of ways you can delegate or ask for help for routinely overwhelming responsibilities, and many more ideas here.
10. Address the Adrenal Fatigue that has you “tired but wired” and unable to go to sleep.
If you have been through any kind of stressful situation or big life transition or change (even fun, positive ones like marriage, a new job, a new baby!) chances are your adrenals could use some TLC.
In this healing online class I’m going to share with you exactly what causes adrenal fatigue and all the absolutely critical ways to address it. I run this class every winter because winter is the perfect time to finally go inwards and address your burn out. If you start to take care of your adrenal rhythm now, in just a few short months from now you can be fully recovered from Adrenal Fatigue and emerge this spring feeling better than you have felt in many many years!
Ready to eat lighter, sleep in a healthier pattern, lose weight, and move your body more.
Did you know that you can actually be in adrenal fatigue from birth? It’s true. But did you also know it’s fully reversible, no matter how long you’ve been living on fumes? That’s also true, and I will help you get there. Grab one of the last spots in this class, because it starts next week and I want to send your goodie bag out to you today!
(this short and sweet 5 day class starts next Monday, Dec 10th!)
I hope this information helps you positively impact your circadian rhythm, helps you boost your mood, remedy your sleep, even protect the longevity of your lifespan.
A good night’s sleep is absolutely crucial to maintaining wellness — one thing is for certain — your body needs good sleep to function over a lifetime!
P.S. For more articles I’ve written on sleep health, click over to read:
- Sleep and Asthma
- Sleep and ADHD
- Sleep and Cancer Recovery
- Sleep and Alzheimers
- Sleep and Weight Gain
- Sleep and Mood Disorders (Anxiety, Depression)
- Sleep and Mental Illness
- and watch this video I made on additional holistic ways to help you sleep!