We're back with Pharmacist and Natural Wellness Expert Gina Ruffa, and today we're talking about one of many people's favorite routine necessities: sleep. For those who struggle to fall and stay asleep, what can natural supplements like CBD do for not only a better night's rest, but also for long-term health outcomes? Gina fills us in.
Farmulated: So what’s the deal with sleep? How much do we really need?
Gina: Adults require anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep so optimally about 8 hours. Unfortunately, the aging population suffers to both fall asleep and stay asleep.
As we age, our hormones start declining, including DHEA, our growth hormones, estrogen, testosterone and even melatonin.
What steps can we take to counteract this decline?
Pay attention to what I call your “sleep hygiene” and consider some of the things you can do to get better sleep.
For one, everyone looks at their screens a lot so if you do wear glasses, invest in blue-light-blocking glasses. When going to sleep, if you can’t put your phone in another room or shut your Wifi off then at least turn on Airplane Mode or Do Not Disturb. Try to sleep in a completely dark room and minimize light exposure in general to maximize melatonin production.
A lot of people also exercise too late at night, which causes a surge of endorphins. Also, if you eat dinner right before bed, your digestive system will need to keep working on digestion. This interferes with the body’s ability to do its repair work at night which may lead to insomnia. There are so many risk factors that contribute to a poor night’s sleep.
What is the impact of not getting enough sleep over time?
Getting insufficient sleep compromises your metabolism and will make you feel groggy and fatigued. Over time, this leads to more agitation and depression. People who don’t get enough sleep also report more pain and less productivity. Eventually, inadequate sleep leads to long-term thyroid and endocrine issues and overall makes people more prone to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even cancer by suppressing the immune system.
What can be done for people who feel like they’ve taken all the necessary steps to combat insomnia?
Sleep-wake cycles are not always completely under our control. You want to follow a natural circadian rhythm by waking up at sunrise & falling asleep just after sunset. Remember the old saying, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Some people work the night shift and don’t have that option so they must be extra diligent about getting proper rest.
One thing you can do is try natural, non-addictive supplements. CBD comes into the picture to not only induce better sleep, but also to aid with anxiety. If you can help lessen anxiety, you can promote better sleep. There are over 100 cannabinoids, or chemical messengers that interact with cells, which ongoing research shows are somehow responsible for affecting the sleep and wake cycle. Further, your endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps with your circadian rhythm.
Beyond CBD, another favorite supplement of mine is L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea which also reduces anxiety and fights insomnia. It actually increases the alpha waves in the brain and induces a state of relaxation and calmness. Other supplements that can improve sleep include chamomile, valerian root, hops, skullcap, passionflower, GABA and lemon balm.
To summarize, what health impacts will a person who prioritizes sleep gain both instantly and over time?
A higher functioning metabolism, more energy, a better mood, improved cognition, balanced blood sugars and enhanced immunity. Sleep is one of the important eight laws of health for a reason. Currently, one-third of Americans get less than six hours of sleep, and if we improve that statistic, we will improve overall health.
Sleep is truly an essential ingredient to better wellness. Thank you for such an insightful chat, Gina!
To learn more about Pharmacist and Natural Wellness Expert Gina Ruffa, visit what-supp.org