3 Common Causes of Poor Sleep (and How You Fix Them)

We all know poor sleep can make you crankier than your very worst bout of “hangry.” (Am I right?!) But it can also cause serious health issues if left unaddressed for too long.

Chronic diseases such as diabetes, autoimmunity, depression, cancer and obesity have all been linked to poor sleep.

If you have difficulty sleeping and counting sheep just isn’t working, you’re not alone. An estimated 50 to 70 million adults in the United States have sleep disorders. But isn’t the reality that we all have nights where we just don’t sleep well, no matter what we do?

Sure, that can be true. It happens to everyone because let’s face it, life happens. Random stressors come up, the baby is having a tough time sleeping, you’re worrying about the big meeting you have coming up, etc.

However the lack of sleep thing is officially worth your attention once it’s been an issue for more than 10 days. Reaching the 10-day mark is a sign that it’s time to get proactive and work on putting the sleep struggle to bed. Your health and your happiness depend on it!

 

Ways to Fix the Common Causes of Poor Sleep

 

Let’s look at the three of the most common causes of poor sleep that I see from my patients and some of my favorite ways to resolve them.

1. Stress

While we all have stressful events that can interrupt sleep from time to time, when stress  remains too high for too long it wreaks havoc on the sleep cycles. We can only handle a few nights tossing and turning hour after hour. More than a few nights of poor quality sleep and our immune system suffers, our hormone system starts to be affected and our detoxification system becomes sluggish.

Sleep Solutions:

It’s essential to calm cortisol in order to allow the sleep hormone (melatonin) to ramp up. Try this:

  • Right nostril breathing combined with essential oils: In the yoga tradition it’s called surya bhedan, or right nostril breathing. This technique increases Pranic energy to revitalize the body. Add Serenity blend by doTERRA or Balance blend by doTERRA to your diffuser and the stress will melt away.

  • Take a bath with Epsom salts and two drops each of essential oils Vetiver, Lavender and Balance. . .PURE HEAVEN!

2. Blood sugar

When you find yourself awake between 1-3am, most likely it’s your blood sugar to blame. Well, let’s be fair, it starts with what you put in your mouth and a sure sign that you need to lower your sugar and up your intake of lean protein and healthy fat.

Sleep Solutions:

  • Eat a small portion of protein about 1 hour before bed. I don’t mean a rare steak; instead go for a small handful of almonds or a light smoothie with chia and protein powder. (If you’ve never tried Trim Shake by doTERRA, it’s excellent especially if you’re a DIY natural medicine gal!)

  • Cinnamon oil is fab for supporting healthy blood sugar. Rub cinnamon essential oil or doTERRA’s metabolic blend Slim and Sassy with a little bit of coconut oil for dilution over your liver.

  • Apply a grounding oil of some kind (Vetiver, Cedarwood, Forgive blend or Balance blend) onto your wrists and bottoms of feet to help calm your mind and squelch your stress levels.

3. Light pollution in your bedroom

Even if your eyes are closed, your pineal gland “sees” light. Although this sounds like a super power, it can impede adequate melatonin release throughout the night, resulting in poor quality sleep.

Sleep Solutions:

  • Purchase inexpensive black-out blinds at any home goods or improvement store to turn down the light.

  • Cover up your glowing alarm clocks with a cloth.

Chronic sleep issues are such a problem, I’m launching a 7-Day Sleep Education event at the end of this month! I would love for you to join us! We will be talking about all the different aspects of sleep and why it’s SO important to treat it like you do your morning make-up routine, as top priority. As a member of our challenge, EVERY day you’ll get to learn some clinical pearls for amazing sleep, the chance to win a raffle prize, participate in our Facebook live and learn from our daily posts. Sign up here to be a part of our 7-Day Sleep Education Online event!

Melissa Esguerra