The Essentials of Building a Good Night's Sleep

The Essentials of Building a Good Night's Sleep
By Dr. Anna Gold

 

For many people, sleeping deeply through the night feels elusive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Sleep Association, insomnia affects 30% of adults, 10% of which are chronic and long-term. Although experts recommend adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours a night, 35% of adults report getting less than 7 on average. During COVID, the number of people who report having trouble sleeping increased to 40%.

Lack of sleep has become an epidemic in American society. This is important for our society to take note because not only is adequate sleep essential for basic functioning through our daily lives, as it affects cognitive decision making processes, but it also contribute to chronic diseases.  Sleep deprivation can also affect a person on a genetic level. Insufficient sleep alters gene expression and influences inflammatory balance, brain function, and neural plasticity. It also changes gene transcription responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm, which can then add to the effects of sleep deprivation.


People need to realize how the actions much earlier in the day can affect their sleep. Sound sleep is a state that needs to be built and supported. It needs to be prioritized as an essential part of well being, much like the quality of food we eat, the joy in our spirit or the health of our close relationships. 

 

Routine habits to cultivate rest in the evening can support a natural circadian rhythm and regulate the sleep-wake cycle, thereby contributing to better energy during the day and positively affecting overall health. Practicing good sleep habits includes following the same calming routines before bed, going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning, allowing for at least 7-9 hours of sleep. 

Here are more habits to encourage healthy sleep:

  • Keep caffeine consumption to a minimum and before 10 AM
  • Try a hot bath or foot bath in the evening
  • Turn off electronic devices at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • Eat dinner at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • Stop drinking at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol or stimulants in the evening.
  • Exercise at least three times a week
  • Be in natural sunlight in the morning
  • Aim to be asleep by 11 PM (Liver/ Gallbladder time in TCM)

When you first begin to prioritize sleep, you may feel anxious about falling or staying asleep. BUILD SLEEP Herbal Tincture has natural anxiolytic and soporific herbs that calms mental ruminations and relaxes the nervous system to help the process of falling asleep. This formulation is unique in that it also contains herbs that nourish systems depleted from chronic stress and insomnia. With regular nightly ingestion, your body’s natural sleeping rhythms will gradually improve as the depletions from chronic stress and insomnia become supported. To read more about the mechanisms of these ingredients, please visit our ingredients page