Sleep, Glorious Sleep

“Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heals hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing.”

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

 

Thoughts race. Sleep eludes. Again. 

 

Even in normal times, approximately 30% to 35% of the population experiences acute, or short-term, insomnia. Even before the pandemic, the National Health Institution found that sleep deficiency was a common public health problem. While sleep deprivation means that you did not get enough sleep, sleep deficiency means you have experienced one or more:

 

  • Did not get enough sleep
  • Sleep at the wrong time of day (out of sync with your body’s clock)
  • Don’t sleep well or get all of the different types of sleep that you need: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep (which has three different stages)
  • Have a sleep disorder, such as insomnia
Trying to sleep

Sleep is essential for survival. Amnesty International lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture. Social distancing and isolation, school closures, quarantines, working-from-home with the family at home, conflicting media reports, job losses and other challenges created by the pandemic are causing sleep deficiency for people who previously had no sleeping problems. 


Sleep deprivation is known to negatively impact blood pressure, heart rate, cognition, and more. In fact, research has found that the shorter the sleep one has, the shorter one’s life will be. Sleep offers wide-ranging benefits for physical and mental health.

Why Consistent Quality Sleep Is Important During a Pandemic

Cellular Repair

Sleep strengthens your immune system.

Sleep is one of your body’s defenses against infectious disease. During sleep, your body produces proteins that fight inflammation and infection.

Researchers have found that, while a lack of sleep can increase the odds of getting sick, consistent sleep helps your body to fight off disease and supports your overall health. Between seven to nine hours of sleep every night is recommended for optimal health.

 

 

Lack of sleep impairs your cognitive ability.

 

Research shows that sleep deprivation leads to poorer short-term memory, attention, and processing speed. During a time when complex information needs to be understood, mental acuity is imperative. Mental agility is required to address the challenges of working and attending school remotely. Good sleep helps to keep us mentally sharp.

 

Brain Power
Exhausted Man

Sleep improves your mood and mental health


Daily quality of sleep directly impacts your mood. Someone who is sleep deprived is more likely to be sad, irritable, frustrated, stressed out, fatigued, and/or similar emotions. Research at the University of California Berkeley found that without adequate sleep, parts of the brain that are related to anxiety tend to become more agitated.

 

 

Improving Sleep Through Sleep Hygiene

What is sleep hygiene? According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep hygiene is a variety of different practices and habits that are necessary to have good nighttime sleep quality and full daytime alertness. While there is not a single, best practice sleep hygiene for everyone, there are a number of daily habits that have proven to help most. Experiment with the following to find what helps you drift off each night. 

Sleep Schedule: Go to bed and wake up at consistent times, even during vacations or on weekends.

Get out in the daylight: Daylight affects your circadian rhythm.Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It’s also known as your sleep/wake cycle.

Be active during the day: Exercise can help reduce stress which can improve your odds of having a good night’s rest. Avoid strenuous exercise close to bedtime. Stretching, yoga or an evening walk around the neighborhood are good activities to do closer to bedtime. 

Avoid caffeine, too much food, and alcohol near bedtime: While alcohol can help you fall asleep, it can disturb your sleep cycles.

Take a nap: A short nap in the middle of the afternoon can improve your mood and cognition. Avoid napping in the evening so as to not interfere with your night’s sleep.

Create an evening routine: Design a ritual which works for you. It could include turning off devices an hour before bed, a warm bath, mediation, journaling, yoga, even washing your face and brushing your teeth. A routine creates an association in your mind that now is the time for sleep. 

Turn your bedroom into a sleep haven: Address the issues of light, sound, temperature, even your mattress, which could be disturbing your sleep. A small change such as blackout curtains or a white sound machine could make a marked improvement.

Find ways to still your mind and relax. Find what helps you to still your mind and relax such as soothing music, mediation, and deep breathing.

In addition to sleep hygiene, there are supplements which can help your body copy with the additional stress you are experiencing, possible adrenal fatigue, or which can help you relax naturally. Call our office at Calmglow to schedule an appointment to discuss what could help you now.

To your health.

Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

Sleep Hygiene
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WANT TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE? SPEND TIME IN NATURE!

 

Who has not felt better after spending time in nature, whether backpacking in the wilderness or eating lunch in a city park? Science confirms what we knew instinctively: being in nature heals. 

Being in Nature Improves Health

Research from the University of East Anglia found that being in nature reduced the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure. 

Walking along the shore

 

Exercise helps reduce various health risks. Being in nature encourages exercise (walking along the shore of the ocean, hiking through the forest, swimming in a lake). The research found that exercising in nature provides additional benefits by reducing the perceived levels of exertion.

 

Being in Nature Improves Brain Function

 

Reading beside the lake

 

 

A 2019 Frontiers In Psychology article reported on the positive effects of nature on cognitive performance. A study at Stanford, California supports the idea that being nature improves brain function. A recent review of hundreds of studies has found evidence of a cause-and-effect relationship that being in nature led to improvements in attention span. 

Being in Nature Improves Your Mood and Reduces Your Stress

 

In a research paper, scientist Ryan Lumber, Miles Richardson, and David Sheffield found that being close to nature evokes positive emotions and a recent study, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, found that even spending as little as five minutes outdoors was linked to significant mood boost. A study from the University of Exeter Medical School in En­gland found that, on average, the people in the study who moved to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health.

 

Joy being in nature

 

Being in Nature Improves Your Mood and Reduces Your Stress

 

In a research paper, scientist Ryan Lumber, Miles Richardson, and David Sheffield found that being close to nature evokes positive emotions and a recent study, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, found that even spending as little as five minutes outdoors was linked to significant mood boost. A study from the University of Exeter Medical School in En­gland found that, on average, the people in the study who moved to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health.

 

 

Hiking through waterfall

 

Being in Nature Improves Your Mood and Reduces Your Stress

 

In a research paper, scientist Ryan Lumber, Miles Richardson, and David Sheffield found that being close to nature evokes positive emotions and a recent study, published in The Journal of Positive Psychology, found that even spending as little as five minutes outdoors was linked to significant mood boost. A study from the University of Exeter Medical School in En­gland found that, on average, the people in the study who moved to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health.

 

Frisbee at the park

 

Now that you know that being in nature has so many positive effects on your health, let’s pack a picnic and go play frisbee in the park!

 

To your health.
Dianne Hinton NP, PA, IFM-C

 

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What our
patients
are saying

Always get clarity and understanding…

Dianne has always help me understand the complicated issues of hypothyroidism, understanding the symptoms and long term effects. She has helped with my dietary needs and overall well being. Highly recommend if you are still feeling the symptoms even if your on traditional medications.

—- MC

The best part of talking with new patients…

I have worked with Dianne Hinton at Calmglow for 4 years. I receive calls from new patients every day. I think the best part of talking with new patients is that I give them the knowledge and hope in knowing that I–like all of Dianne’s staff–was her patient before her employee. I think that says a lot about Dianne as a practitioner. She is very compassionate and caring towards each individual patient.

— Cindy Toste

Diane Hinton saved my life!

After over a year of traditional doctors misdiagnosing and mistreating my illness, Diane immediately got it right. She identified the root cause of my illness, and I went from being chronically ill to healed and healthy in less than a year. Diane listens to and cares for her patients like no one I’ve ever known. I highly recommend her for diagnosing the true health issues, rather than just treating your symptoms.

— Sarah Hayes

My husband and I just love Calmglow …

Just what is Functional Medicine?  Simply put…. I call it getting to the “cause” of a health issue. Rashes, High Pressure, Arthritis, Obesity, Insomnia, and Fatigue are a few of the issues she’s helped us with.  But what I really like best is; she doesn’t say “here, take this pill” and it’ll “treat the symptoms”.  She treats the “cause” of those symptoms so they truly go away without requiring “pills”.  Our bodies are healing, and the we feel we’re the healthiest we’ve been in a long time! What we’ve discovered about the manner in which our bodies “had been” functioning previously, from the in depth tests she recommends, was pretty astounding. We’ve learned so much since starting to see her as our practitioner, I would never choose to go back to an Allopathic doctor!