My motto for years has been “nothing in a pill or a food replaces a good night’s sleep”.  There is so much research coming out these days on the importance of getting enough high quality sleep.

Here are three areas you might want to focus on if you’re not falling asleep, staying asleep and waking rested:

  • Blood Sugar – Our blood sugar might be too high when we fall asleep. One way to counter this is to have healthy fats at supper. An example of this would be to add MCT oil to your food, which is food for your brain and it helps you burn fat as you sleep. Add protein to you dinner to help with muscle repair and growth.  If you emphasize these two foods you will likely be eating fewer carbs at dinner and will help keep your blood sugar lower as you fall asleep.

  • Bed Time – Falling asleep when we start to feel sleepy can help keep us asleep all night. We’re going to be wide awake after our second wind kicks in. If we don’t fall asleep when we naturally feel tired, we could get a second wind, which can keep us awake as late as 2 am because of a rise in the hormone cortisol. When we go to sleep before 11 pm, we allow our cortisol levels to naturally fall.

  • Magnesium – Magnesium supports our sleep quality by regulating our sleepy hormone called melatonin. It also activates certain brain chemicals that calm our brain and body. Magnesium bisglycinate is great to supplement for better sleep, because it is a form of magnesium that more easily reaches the brain.

Written by: Dr. Jacqui Fleury, ND