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8 Holistic Nighttime Rituals for Better Sleep

Do you feel tired in the mornings? Do you feel awake late at night? Do you get a mid afternoon slump?
In this Facebook Live session, Dr. Michele Burklund, our Chief Science Officer will be discuss the importance of sleep on ALL aspects of our health, how to balance our circadian rhythm, and daily rituals that will help you thrive!

If you want your questions to be included in our future FB live sessions write a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.

Transcript:

(00:01) – Dr. Michele Burklund: Hi, everyone. So do you ever feel tired in the mornings? Do you feel awake late at night and you can’t get to sleep? Or do you ever get that mid-afternoon slump where you just feel tired in the middle of the day, and you feel like you need a little pick me up? Well, we are going to be discussing sleep today and rituals to enhance it so you can feel energized at the right times and then sleepy at night too. So my name is Dr. Michele Burklund, I’m the Chief Science Officer here at Puriya. And this is Friday at 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time. So this is our weekly wellness topics where we discuss lots of different things on health and how we can help you live a better life. So also if you do have questions, feel free to write them in the comments below. Let me know where you are watching from in the world too. And if they’re not live, if you’re catching us on the replay, we will be sure to get back to you as soon as we can too with those questions and give you an answer.

(01:02) – DB: So today we’re gonna be talking about the importance of sleep. How it regulates the immune system, lots of different rituals to help balance it out and all about your circadian rhythm and keep that in the balance with cortisol and melatonin at the right time. So sleep can affect everything from our skin, to our mood, to how we feel during the day and also how often we get sick as well. So studies have shown that sleep deprivation not only affects your cognition, but you get more colds and it can affect your memory too. A great study that I’m gonna talk about today, it was published under the journal of physiology review, a study published in 2019 in Germany. And what it did is it looked at the sleep… People’s sleep cycle and the immune system and how they interrelated. And it looked at all these different factors from how it can affect inflammation, and then how chronic sleep deprivation can affect chronic low grade inflammation too. So I thought it was a great study. Let me pull that study up right now. I highly recommend it if you guys wanna take it to another level, to kind of look at the study and see how many components of our life are so greatly affected by sleep. It’s something that needs to definitely take priority in our lives to keep us healthy and keep maintaining that balance as well.

(02:36) – DB: So two pictures that I actually really liked from this study. I won’t go too far into the science but I wanna give you a visual too. So if you take a look at this, this is how sleep and lack of sleep affects the immune system and can increase risk for chronic diseases too. So many studies have looked at sleep and how it can increase the risk from cardiovascular disease and diabetes. So I thought this was great. Just looking at the underlying physiology of it too. And another picture from the same study, which I like is all about how your brain takes all the information you get during the day and what it does to kind of create those long-term memories. And if you look at the blue part of that picture, it’s consolidation and that actually happens during a specific part of your sleep. So when you don’t get enough sleep and you can’t remember things, and you’re a little off your game during the day, I mean, there’s a clear reason why. So I thought this was a great article to start to give you a visual of how many components, and how many areas sleep really does affect in our lives.

(03:53) – DB: ’cause I think when we all get busy sleep is one of the first things that gets limited but it’s so incredibly important to keep it at a certain level. Now, the National Sleep Foundation advices adults on average to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night and teenagers need a little more from eight to nine and a half. But I also want to remind everybody, this is very general. Pay attention to your body. And pay attention to when you’re tired and start listening to that too. ’cause I think today everybody gets so busy and we don’t have time for sleep. But making time for sleep can have profound effects of our life, especially in the long run too.

(04:40) – DB: And speaking of listening to our bodies, so our bodies have a natural circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour rhythm that goes up and down based on the cycles of the earth. You know, why it’s when the sun comes up and when the sun comes down, your melatonin which is your sleep hormone, typically, you start producing more and your body stimulates it at night. And then when the sun comes up your melatonin production goes down and your cortisol levels can increase. So this graph, the blue is melatonin and the red is cortisol, and you want your cortisol higher in the morning ’cause that gets you out of bed, that wakes you up and gets you going and you want it lower in the evening so you can get to sleep at night. So pay attention to those little things. If you feel like you can’t go to sleep at night or if you’re too anxious, your cortisol level can be imbalanced or your melatonin. So this is just a great visual of how important it is to keep that balance.

(05:45) – DB: And we have this natural energy cycle. Where we’re supposed to have low energy in the evening. It’s that natural response before we go to bed. And many things affect our natural circadian rhythm from darkness to light, an artificial light, medications, food, drinks, caffeine and stress. So all these things can disrupt our sleep pattern. But our goal today is to get that back on track and to give you some rituals so you can integrate different things into your life. And then start paying attention to those times when you are more tired or when you are more awake and that might help you get more information on where those levels are in your body and how you can balance it too.

(06:32) – DB: So that’s my quick intro on the importance of sleep and your circadian rhythm and how we wanna keep that balance. And I’m gonna talk about some ways that we can help keep that in balance and integrate new rituals into your life. The first one I want to talk about is stopping caffeine every day by noon. I know that said stopping caffeine in general is impossible. But after noon it raises cortisol. Caffeine can stimulate that and it stimulates you in general. But the thing is it can continue a little too late and that can really disrupt your sleep. So caffeine in the morning and if you’re hitting that afternoon slump then maybe it’s because that cortisol is out of balance and we wanna rebalance it in a different way instead of pushing more caffeine and then creating that vicious cycle that you can’t sleep at night. So first thing to do is to stop drinking caffeine everyday by noon.

(07:38) – DB: Now, another one which is much harder to do than to actually say is to put electronics away one hour before bed. So having your laptop open, looking at your cell phone, watching television, all of these things bring more light and artificial light and it can disrupt the melatonin production and it can disrupt your sleep cycle. So the goal is to create an environment at night that’s soothing and that relaxes you. So we want less light, we want more dark, we want a different kind of light too instead of that bright artificial light. So all of those things can really help relax you too. So it’s helping stimulate melatonin, decreasing the cortisol and putting you in that relaxed state. So stopping caffeine by noon, putting electronics away one hour before bed and another one that can be very beneficial is putting your phone and computer in the other room while you sleep. So sometimes when you’re charging your phone and the light comes on in the middle of the night or you have all these different lights around your bedroom that could really disrupt your sleep and disrupt your melatonin production.

(09:00) – DB: So by putting all of your electronics in another room that can really help your body relax on so many different levels too. Like taking all the electronic energy, all that things that everything you need for work and other things in a different room and having your bedroom be an area of relaxation. Another one is creating relaxing activity before you go to bed. And you can do this by reading a book or writing in a journal. So different things instead of working up until the last minute before you have to go to bed really doesn’t help in the long run. It can affect your memory, the next day you can wake up tired. So even though you think that you’re being more productive, and you’re getting more things done, in the long run, it might actually just be the opposite.

(09:54) – DB: So another thing you can do to relax before bed is taking a bath. So I’ve talked in previous sessions too about the amazing benefits of hydrotherapy which we could have an entire other session on that. But just the relaxation of taking a bath and putting yourself in a comma state at the end of the day. And just reflecting on the day and relaxing, it can be incredibly beneficial and it puts your body in that state to want to go to bed and to want to relax too. One of my favorite things to do especially in the evening is drinking a cup of herbal tea like Chamomile tea or Valerian root. A calming tea or what we call in botanical medicine a nervine. So it relaxes the nerves. Chamomile is considered a nervine or passion flower. All these great tasting teas can also help relax you and get you ready for bed.

(10:50) – DB: Another one, and we talked about this a little bit, is creating a dark environment that is optimal for melatonin production. So when you go into your bedroom and you take a look around and you notice all these little blinking lights that are going on, or if you have your television, look at all these areas and find a way for you to cover up all those additional lights. Consider getting a darker curtain for the bedroom. If you live in the city, and you have lots of artificial lights coming in at night, all of these things can help you in the long run get a better sleep, have a better immune system and have a better memory. So these little things over a long period of time can really help rebalance your body. And we’ve had many sessions on meditation and buying body medicine, but amazing thing to do at the end of the day is to sit down, reflect on your day and take some time for yourself to relax, focus on your breathing, clear your mind out of everything and all of your to-do list and just let your body relax, focus on your breath, and that can really put you in a relaxed state to help you go to sleep. And not only does it do that but it reduces your stress and helps improve your immune system on different levels too, by engaging and tuning into your body.

(12:16) – DB: DB: So that’s what I really wanted to cover today is it’s incredibly important to get sleep and even if you don’t think you have time for it in the long run, it’ll really pay off. Start paying attention to your circadian rhythm. And notice how you feel when you get up in the morning, and how you feel when you’re about to go to bed. And kind of see, could your cortisol be a little too high at night and a little too low in the morning? So all these rituals, can help create more melatonin at the right times and help balance those cortisol levels so you feel vibrant when you wake up in the morning too.

(12:56) – DB: Now I hope you guys have an amazing weekend. And of course, feel free to reach out. If you have any questions or comments leave them below. And please sign up for our newsletter because we have so many amazing topics we’re going to be talking about every Friday and you can get upfront knowledge ahead of time of when we’re gonna have them and what we’re going to be discussing and also all the people that we have scheduled for our living well interview series. So this week, later today we have Dr. Priya Walia who’s going to be talking about Ayurvedic medicine, which I’m super excited about. And so by signing up for our newsletter, you can watch all of these interviews live and if you have any questions or anything we can discuss them during the interview. And you also get our clean living e-book for free when you sign up. So don’t forget to do that. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and have an amazing weekend and remember to tune into your body and get more sleep, take care.

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