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Signs that you need more sleep...

27 Oct 2013 7:18 PM -
This little possum needs his sleep

Do you know how much sleep your body needs to function at its best?

There is no one correct answer.  Some people may function perfectly on 5 hours a night while others may struggle on anything less than nine. It’s whatever is right for you and you need to work out a way to tailor your lifestyle to ensure you schedule enough hours in your evening to meet your sleep needs.  Otherwise you risk accumulating a "sleep debt" which can be hard to pay back. 

Some of the signs of insufficient sleep are:
  • falling asleep on the couch after dinner

  • regular reliance on caffeine or sugary foods and drinks for an energy boost

  • difficulty waking and getting up in the morning

  • daytime fatigue and lack of energy

  • clumsiness

  • poor memory or forgetfulness

  • poor concentration, focus or decision making

  • irritability

  • slow reaction times

  • low mood or lack of joy

  • depression

  • poor recovery from infections

There can be other reasons why these problems might arise (read Why am I so tired?) but lack of sleep can certainly be a factor and should be ruled out. 

You also need to ensure your sleep is of good quality.  Difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep can be part of the picture (see my tips for better sleep).

There are many possible causes of poor quality sleep but stress is one of the more common ones.  Prolonged or excess stress can play havoc with your hormones, specifically cortisol and melatonin.  If these are out of balance then sleep will suffer. 

Critical nutrients for a good night's sleep include magnesium, calcium and iron. 

A naturopathic consultation can help to identify if you are deficient in any of these vital minerals.  Perhaps they are missing from your diet or maybe you are not absorbing them well.  Furthermore, I have a wide range of herbs at my disposal which can help support the nervous system and regulate sleep patterns.  I can tailor a treatment plan to match your unique needs.  The benefit of natural therapies such as herbs and nutrients is that they are not addictive and don't cause morning grogginess.  They can also go more to the heart of the problem.

So, do you think your body is trying to tell you to sleep more?  Yes? Then give yourself permission to sleep more, don't compare yourself to others, look at your lifestyle and see whether there are things you can re-organise to give you more time for sleep and if you need some help, give me a call on 9620 9503.

 

In good health,


Kaye Wright
Naturopath
Melbourne CBD

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