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Morning Routine for Better Sleep

sleep Jul 02, 2020

 

Before you begin your routine, it's important that you set a bedtime and wake-up time. Aim to get to bed at about the same time each night. Getting up at the same time each day can also help you keep a regular bedtime. Remember to choose times that are realistic for you and that give you 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Goal: Complete These Practices Within Three Hours after Waking Up.

Wake Up On Time. Get up at the same time every day (or close to it). This is crucial to setting your circadian rhythm. Use alarms if you have to. It’s even more helpful to awaken with the light, either the natural sunrise or a dawn simulator.

Make Your Bed. Making your bed each morning improves the chances of a good night’s sleep by nearly 20% because it keeps you from using your bed for anything but sleep.

Eat Breakfast. Learn more from the Nourish practices in this Sleep section.

Get Some Sun. Get bright light in the morning, preferably within an hour or two of waking. That will...

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Evening Routine for Better Sleep

sleep Jun 25, 2020

Evening Routine for Better Sleep

Before you begin your routine, it's important that you set a bedtime and wake-up time. Aim to get to bed at about the same time each night. Getting up at the same time each day can also help you keep a regular bedtime. Remember to choose times that are realistic for you and that give you 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

1-2 Hours Before Bed

Stop Work, Turn Off Devices, and Stay Away From the Bedroom. Stop any work-related tasks and turn off your electronics including the computer, iPad, and smart-phone. Keep the bedroom for sleep. Remove work-related items, TVs, or other electronic devices. Keep the room simple and uncluttered.

Dim the Lights. Keep your lights as low as you can, or even use candles. Darkness before bed will do amazing things for your natural sleepiness.

Practice at Least One Soothing Activity. Read a book, journal, color listen to light music, or spend time in prayer or meditation. If you like to take a warm bath or shower in the...

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Create a Sleep-Friendly Space

sleep Jun 11, 2020

Your Sleeping Space Can Help You Sleep 

All of your daily movements and routines should be rewarded with the best sleep you can get. Simple changes to your bedroom can help make that happen.

Keep It for Sleep. Keep the bedroom for sleep. Remove work-related items, TVs, or other electronic devices. Keep the room simple and uncluttered.

Keep It Dark and Tech Free. Even small amounts of light can alter melatonin secretion, so shut out all possible lighting (including alarm clocks, cell phones and night lights). Get room-darkening shades for your windows if needed or consider using an eye mask at night.

Keep It Quiet. When you cycle into a lighter stage of sleep, even the slightest sound can wake you up. If your partner snores, consider using a white noise machine (e.g. a room air cleaner). If need be, consider sleeping in separate rooms—studies show that most couples sleep better in separate bedrooms.

Keep It Cool. You sleep best when your body is...

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Movements and Routines for Better Sleep

foundations sleep Jun 04, 2020

 

Movements and Routines for Better Sleep

Moving your body in certain ways while you're awake can prepare it for better, longer sleep. Specifically, there are two powerful strategies that can help you sleep better: 

1. Exercise During the Day

Exercise during the day will likely help you sleep better. Just remember to try and finish moderate to high intensity exercise at least three hours before you go to bed to keep your stress hormones down and your body cool at bedtime.

Don't have an exercise plan yet? In order to help you find a movement routine that works for you, we have created three resilient movement plans: the Basic Movement Plan, the Even Better Movement Plan, and the Ideal Movement Plan. Learn more and find the plans here.>>>

2. Create Evening and Morning Routines

Incorporating more meaningful movement throughout your day can play a big role in the quality of your sleep. One way to accomplish this is to create morning and...

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Valerian for Anxiousness and Sleep

calm sleep Mar 26, 2020

by Henry Emmons, MD

[adapted from The Chemistry of Calm]

p.s., You've read Part 1 of this series and the introductory article about balancing GABA and glutamate, right? If not, head to those posts first.

Valerian Benefits | Valerian and Anxiety

Valerian has been called “natural Valium.” It is not as effective as the prescription drugs, but it is also safer and non-addicting, and it may offer benefit for both anxiety and sleep. The plant contains some of the calming amino acids, like arginine and GABA, and it is believed to work via GABA and serotonin receptors.21 There was an older study combining valerian with St. John’s wort, and comparing that combination to the drug Valium for treatment of anxiety. The natural remedies actually came out on top.22

Valerian Dosage & Use*

I usually recommend valerian for sleep support, though sometimes for anxiousness. Calm Nights is a good option, take up to 3 or 4 times daily. If it's...

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Nourish Your Brain for Better Sleep

foundations sleep Mar 19, 2020

Nourish Your Brain for Better Sleep

What you eat--and when!--can have a significant impact on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. This may be more obvious for things like coffee and energy drinks, but there are other food items and the timing of when you eat them that may be helpful or detrimental to your sleep. 

The nourishment steps and food list below can help you refine your diet so that it supports your sleep. Pair these resources with The Resilient Diet and you'll have nourishment that fuels a good night's sleep.

Three Nourishing Steps to Support Your Sleep

Use the three steps below to change your food habits and improve your sleep. Don't feel obligated to put all of them into action immediately. Go step by step, take some time, and put each into action with confidence and commitment. You can do it!

First: Timing Is Everything

While eating balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day will support your sleep, it's not just the content of...

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Sleep, Resilience, and Mental Health

foundations sleep Mar 05, 2020
 

Good Sleep Is Non-Negotiable

Your sleep, mood, and brain function are intimately related. Scientific studies tell us that our emotional states affect sleep and that sleep affects emotions. The good news is that you can create better sleep with fairly simple strategies.

How Well Do You Sleep?

Think about how you would honestly answer the following questions:

  1. How many hours do you sleep each night?
  2. How well do you sleep at night? Do you feel rested after you've slept a full night?

Did you know that your answers to these questions are intimately connected to your mood and brain function? Difficulty sleeping is sometimes the first symptom of a mood disorder; 15-20% of people diagnosed with insomnia will develop major depression (1). Getting your sleep right is one of the best things you can do if you have a mood disorder. Studies show that improving insomnia boosts the chances of recovering from depression by a remarkable 50%! 

Recent studies have also...

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ADHD & Sleep: Using Melatonin to Reset Circadian Rhythm (Part 3)

calm focus kids sleep Sep 03, 2019

 Timothy Culbert, MD, IFMCP

[Read Part 1 of this series for more on melatonin and its relationship with ADHD.]

First: Is Melatonin Safe? 

I've found melatonin to be quite helpful for kids and teens with ADHD for both sleep onset and sleep maintenance issues. However, some concerns have popped up about kids and teens using melatonin for long periods of time (more than 6 months) or at high-doses. However, little has been substantiated through research studies. 

A recent systematic review of 13 RCTs assessed the safety and efficacy of melatonin for pediatric patients with ND disorders (e.g, ADHD and Autism). Studies included a total of 632 children who took either regular melatonin or controlled release melatonin. The review found that:

  • Kids who took the melatonin fell asleep faster and slept longer compared to those given a placebo pill (Abdelgadir).
  • No major side effect concerns were apparent in any of the studies.

Second: How Should You Use...

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ADHD & Sleep: The Whole Family Approach to Reset Circadian Rhythm (Part 2)

calm focus kids sleep Aug 29, 2019

 Timothy Culbert, MD, IFMCP

Good [and bad] Sleep Is Contagious 

Creating a culture of healthy sleep in a household requires a “whole family” behavioral approach to sleep. That means you'll need everyone in your home to opt-in to healthy sleep hygiene practices.

  • Sleep hygiene refers to sleep practices (I call them routines and rituals) that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis.
  • Sleep routines and rituals are done at the same time and sequence each night as a way of winding down and giving your mind and body time and cues to move into a more calm and quiet mode to ease the transition into sleep.

No matter if your family consists of just you, twelve cats, or lots of humans, you'll want to consider all the beings and environmental influences that can be optimized for sleep. Short-term assists like melatonin can be helpful, but it's really the establishment of healthy sleep practices that bring the lasting benefits. 

Some of the...

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ADHD & Sleep: Problems with Melatonin & Circadian Rhythm (Part 1)

calm focus kids sleep Aug 27, 2019

 Timothy Culbert, MD, IFMCP

The Connection Between ADHD and Sleep 

Many of the same brain regions that regulate sleep and arousal also control attention. You've likely felt that firsthand when trying to focus on a task after a rough night of [no] sleep. It's a losing battle.

The relationship between ADHD and sleep is becoming more clear as new research has identified that:

  • Between 55 and 75% of kids and adults with ADHD also suffer from sleep related issues.
  • Even just a little sleep deprivation can lead to mental fog, inefficiencies, and can mimic the symptoms of ADHD.
  • The symptoms of insomnia and ADHD may be related to the dysregulation of the 24-hour clock (AKA your circadian rhythm). 

Though not always done in usual care, it's vital that sleep issues are explored in any child, teen, or adult with complaints of inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity. If you're a patient or parent who can relate, don't be shy to bring up the topic of sleep with your...

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