There are only 2 things you need to worry about when you want to get a good night’s sleep and that’s…
- reducing cortisol
- ramping up melatonin
And every sleep tip out there basically focuses on doing one, or both, of those things without, usually, even knowing it! We’re going to unpack this in an easy way that you will understand and then give you our Top 10 Tips To Help You Sleep Like a Baby.
First what are cortisol and melatonin? They’re both hormones. What are hormones? They are chemical messengers in the body that provide instructions. A little bit like a project manager on a building site. Project managers instruct the workers to do work. The project manager, cortisol, instructs the body to get wound up ready for action and is highest first thing in the morning, when you’re exercising, and when you’re stressed. The project manager, melatonin, tells the body to wind down, get ready for bed, and let the healing begin. It peaks in the evening and is lowest first thing in the morning.
Usually when melatonin is high, cortisol is low and conversely when melatonin is low, cortisol is high. They are night and day, loud and quiet, fire and water, yin and yang.
What is Cortisol
Your adrenals glands create cortisol which...
- increases blood sugar
- suppresses the immune system
- suppresses inflammation
- sends blood to periphery
- suppresses melatonin
- wakes you up
- catabolic / destructive / yang
What causes high cortisol?
The following are the big drivers of high cortisol...
- low blood sugar
- morning / circadian rhythm
- physical stress
- poor health
- lack of sleep
- mental and emotional stress
- current lifestyle stressors
- repressed emotional stressors
What is Melatonin
Your pineal gland creates melatonin which...
- controls circadian rhythm
- controls blood pressure
- helps fight bacterial infections, viruses, cancer
- makes you sleepy
- anabolic / building & repair / yin
What Causes Low Melatonin?
There are only 2 things that cause low melatonin...
- high cortisol
- sunlight / blue light
So to get a good night’s sleep you want cortisol at it’s lowest when you get into bed and melatonin at it’s highest. Sure you can pop a bunch of melatonin pills but if cortisol is high at the same time you now have 2 project managers screaming at your body. Project Manager Cortisol is saying, “Get to work, do something, get cracking, get a move on.” and Project Manager Melatonin is saying, “Put everything away, go to sleep, relax.” The result? Confusion and imbalance.
|Top 10 Tips To Help You Sleep Like a Baby||Hormonal Effect|
|1. Avoid late night exercise READ MORE||raises cortisol|
|2. No caffeine after 3pm READ MORE||raises cortisol|
|3. No evening alcohol READ MORE||raises cortisol|
|4. No sugary foods (particularly in evening) READ MORE||raises cortisol|
|5. Lifestyle coaching (to reduce stress or anxiety) READ MORE||lowers cortisol|
|6. Reduce environmental toxicity (mold, aircon, pollution, lack of oxygen) READ MORE||raises cortisol|
|7. Avoid evening laptops, PCs, phones, TV, ipads, strip lights, street lights, house lights etc. READ MORE||suppresses melatonin|
|8. Take tryptophan, magnesium, zinc, omega 3s rich foods||boosts melatonin|
|9. Avoid Wi-fi, EMF, MF, dirty electricity particularly at night READ MORE||suppresses melatonin|
|10. Try evening meditation (start with 3 to 5 mins on Headspace app) READ MORE||lowers cortisol|
To Your Health, Happiness and Longevity
The Levitise Team
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