Today we're sharing the second half of "Beating Burn Out" with Dr. Kalli. She's giving us some tips on healthy sleep hygiene! We posted the first half yesterday, and you can find that here: Beating Burnout Part 1.

Getting good sleep is important in supporting your body’s recovery from stress, physical or emotional. Remember, the body can’t tell the difference between you running a mile or having a horrible day at work, rest speeds up recovery in all areas of the body but especially in the adrenal glands.

In fact, sometimes sleep is actually disrupted because the adrenal glands have undergone excessive exposure to stress. Your sleep and wake cycles are set by your adrenal glands - remember, cortisol should be at its peak in the morning and it is the hormone that wakes us up. In fact, when the sun comes up and the light hits the skin on our eyes, cortisol release is stimulated.

Opt for books over screens near bedtime.

Do you know another type of light that stimulates the release of cortisol? Blue light, from screens like the ones on the computer or phone you are likely reading this from right now. This is why it is crucial to stop screen exposure time before bedtime by 1-2 hours as part of good sleep hygiene.

Other things that support better sleep hygiene are having a bedtime routine to signal to your body that it is time to relax before bed, exercise during the day, and limiting caffeine intake for some people is also crucial. Reading books before bed can also be helpful, but remember to avoid using screens, tablets or e-readers because of the blue light. 

Supporting sleep with supplements comes in a variety of ways.  Many people choose to do herbal teas with valerian, chamomile and even lavender as part of their nighttime routine. Melatonin is well known for helping people with getting to sleep easier, whereas Valerian or Passionflower extracts can help with more restful and prolonged sleep. Homeopathy is a great option as well if you feel like you can’t shut your brain off.

Supporting good quality sleep means you’re not only supporting your adrenal gland function, but it is a time for repair throughout the organs of the body and helps optimize brain function. To learn more about how to support your body through stress, see Dr. Kalli Prater at one of her in-store lecture events.