Something happened to all the links in this one during one of my many updates. I must have copied and pasted the displayed text rather than the html. I'll try to get them redone. Damn. there were some good ones.
Good Things for Sleep and Circadian Cycle
So much is timed by a proper wake sleep cycle, including hormone production and release, all kinds of hormones which are what control how your body functions. Affects melatonin/seratonin, insulin sensitivity, carb metabolism, hormone production and release, stress/mood/adrenal health, digestion... Lack of sleep plays just as important a role in developing diabetes as diet and obesity. You need to sleep well. And it requires regular exposure to bright light and to darkness.
Sunlight stimulates the pituitary and hypothalamus and thus influences the levels of nearly every hormone in your body. Thyroid, Seratonin/melatonin, D, sex hormones... I've seen lots of articles on this, but none specifying whether they mean you need to be in direct sun or just outside in bright light. But you need both so get a little direct sun, and a lot of bright outdoor natural light.
How much light? Indoor lighting is rarely bright enough. You may think your office flourescents are bright, but they are nothing compared to sunlight. Take your notebook or tablet outdoors. Can you read it? That's because it's brighter out there.
Indoor lighting is not bright enough to stimulate the necessary effects on your hormones and neurotransmitters. Brightness is measured in lux - with 1 lux being the equivalent of the light from 1 standard candle. Living room light in the evening is between 100 lux to 500 lux. Bright indoor light might reach up to 700 lux.
Compare that to natural lighting. Outdoor light at twilight is around 100 lux, a cloudy, rainy day around 2,000 lux, a sunny spring morning around 10,000 lux, a an a bright sunny day 60,000 -100,000 lux.
On the other hand, even very dim lighting during your sleeping hours will stop your melatonin production. Try to sleep in near total darkness. If you must have a nightlight, try an orange or red bulb
-A regular sleep schedule.
-Plenty of bright light, preferably sunlight, during the day. Get outside. Do it in the morning, before lunch and before you get that afternoon slump. At some point after lunch we experience a dip in core temperature that triggers melatonin production unless you are in the bright light.You could also go with it and take a brief siesta if that works for you and the length of the day, but get out in the light again after.
-Slow down and relax in evenings. No exercise within 3-4 hours of bedtime.
-Darkness at night. Dim lighting in evening. No light for sleep. Mimic nature as much as possible. Avoid the blue light from electronics. There's software that changes the color tone of your PC if you must use it late into the evening.
-Early bedtime. Again, mimic the natural pre-electricity age as much as possible. Ideally go to sleep around 10-11pm.
-Don't turn on lights if you get up during the night. Get dim night lights for bathroom if you must.
-Exercise during the day to very early evening. Not within a few hours of bedtime. But do stretch and try some deep breathing before bed.
-Wear socks to bed. Something about overall body temp and circulation....
-Shower or bathe before bed. Also about body temp, but also just plain makes you feel better. I can't sleep without bathing. Even if I'm so tired I easily fall asleep, I'll wake in the middle of the night feeling icky.
-Eat dinner early and have only a very small snack of some sleep enhancing food near bedtime. see below for foods.
-Healthy adrenal function - so manage stress, exercise and sleep!
-Supplement - a couple of milligrams at bedtime may be helpful for those with sleep problems.
-Habits to improve melatonin production:
--Boosting seratonin production in the daytime via bright light and the necessary nutrients will improve melatonin production. Seratonin is converted to melatonin when triggered by darkness. That process stops when you are exposed to light. And the whole process is muddled when you spend your days in dim indoor lighting. What you want is a surge of melatonin at night for sleep.
---Nutrient precursors to seratonin are methionine, folate, B12, B6, TMG (betaine) and zinc, C and maybe some calcium and magnesium. And of course, amino acid tryptophan. From here (lost the link, sorry)Potassium is involved in conversion (one of the missing hyperlinks).
---Bright light exposure.
--Darkness triggers conversion of seratonin to melatonin in preparation for sleep.
--Omega 3 EFAs
-Magnesium - relaxes muscles as well as being precursor to seratonin
--SAMe - methionine and magnesium supplement
--ZMA supplement - zinc, magnesium, B6 supplement
--Epsom Salt baths - full of magnesium and sulfur, absorbs through skin
-(I've also seen thiamine (B1) and taurine recommended. Didn't find reasons for the thiamine, only that a deficiency is found in people with sleep problems and supplementation helps. The taurine has a sedative affect despite being in all kinds of energy drinks, due to it's role in the production of GABA a neurotransmitter linked to sleepiness)
-Foods containing tryptophan or melatonin: banana, milk, oats, rice, pumpkin/sunflower seeds and any complete protein. Early in the day to produce seratonin.
-Foods containing seratonin (and the right ratio of other stuff) - plantain, banana...
-10 foods to help you sleep and more good info in the next few posts.
-A little glucose/fructose - And I do mean a little. Teaspoon of honey, small banana, etc. Does many things. Releases a little insulin to get tryptophan to the brain where it's converted to seratonin. Fuels liver which is part of that process as in the hibernation diet.
-Calcium and potassium containing foods.
-Camomile Tea- enhances your calm
-Valerian Root - Ditto
-Green tea - richest source of L-theanine supports the production of GABA and helps deal with stressors, but it has some caffeine, so quit drinking it in the afternoon onwards.
Pretty good paragraph on wikipedia seratonin article:
Serotonin levels can not be increased by diet or supplements of tryptophan alone. For example, increasing foods rich in tryptophan (eg, meats, proteins) does not increase serotonin levels, due to competition with other amino acids. What is required to increase serotonin production is an increase in the ratio of tryptophan to phenylalanine and leucine. Fruits with a good ratio include dates, papaya and banana. Foods with a lower ratio inhibit the production of serotonin. These include whole wheat and rye bread Much research has indicated that vigorous aerobic exercise improves mood, believed to be facilitated by an increase in serotonin levels. Research also suggests that eating a diet rich in whole grain carbohydrates and low in protein will increase serotonin by secreting insulin, which helps in amino acid competition. However, increasing insulin for a long period of time can sometimes onset insulin resistance, which is related to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and lower serotonin levels. It is also believed that muscles use many of the amino acids except tryptophan, allowing men to have more serotonin than women. Bright light therapy is another popular method which prevents the conversion of serotonin to melatonin. A similar effect is obtained by spending more time in natural sunlight. Recently, acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of serotonin in lab animals. Myo-inositol, a carbocyclic polyol present in many foods, is known to play a role in serotonin modulation.[55"]
Myo-inositol, a carbocyclic polyol present in many foods (whole grains, nuts legumes and other seeds and many fruits), is known to play a role in serotonin modulation.
DHEA - steroid hormone that keeps us asleep. Produced in the adrenals and stimulated by melatonin.
Avoid progestin - synthetic hormone in birth control, inhibits seratonin production.
Note exposure to light also affects carb metabolism
Article on sleeps effects on glucose metabolism and endocrine system, in other words, hormones:
http://www.scienceda...91025075844.htm And you'll find links to plenty of related articles.
Interesting related threads:
Edited by alternativista, 18 February 2013 - 06:58 PM.