Sleep is Your Built-in Life Support System

With Dr. Ron Ehrlich…

This is a function of quantity and quality and you are meant to wake up feeling refreshed. For 90% of the population that means 7-9 hours sleep each night and breathing well while you are asleep.

Prioritize
If you don’t prioritize sleep and take it seriously, it’s unlikely you’ll take the necessary steps to change your habits. Sleep is your built-in life-support system.

Routine
As humans, we naturally love routines, partly because our bodies and minds respond well to them. Going to bed and waking at the same time helps to establish a better routine for a consistently good night’s sleep.

Food and Drink
Don’t eat for two hours before going to bed and avoid eating heavy or spicy foods. Caffeine is a stimulant and counter-productive to a restful sleep. Avoid or limit alcohol. While it may help you to fall asleep more easily, it doesn’t allow for a restful and regenerative sleep.

Light and Electromagnetic Radiation
Exposure to light affects the hormone melatonin, which prepares your body for sleep. That includes blue light from electronic devices. Your bedroom should be dark and you shouldn’t have a digital clock sitting by your bed with a green light. TVs or electronic equipment, especially your mobile phone, which should be at least within two meters of the bed.

Noise
This poses a challenge in our urban environment with noisy neighbors, street noise, or even housemates. The most common and annoying sleep-disturbing noise is a snoring partner, often dismissed or trivialized. It’s serious and can have a profound impact on your health, too.

Sleeping Position
Stomach sleeping is a problem for head, neck, jaw, and lower back muscles as well as affecting your airway. Sleeping on your back may result in your lower jaw and tongue restricting or blocking the airway. Side sleeping is the best.

Temperature
Feeling too hot or too cold affects the quality of your sleep so choose bedding that’s appropriate.

Environmental Toxins
Mold can be a serious issue with one of the first symptoms being fatigue that is not improved by rest. Dust mites are the most common cause of childhood asthma and allergies worldwide and affects adults too. The regular use of a high-efficiency particulate air filter vacuum cleaner and placing the bedding in the sunshine are great ways to control this common problem.

Be Positive
Finish the day by describing or journaling three positive events, no matter how small or insignificant. Don’t try to solve the problems of the world just before going to sleep, and don’t check email or Facebook — these are far too stimulating.

Sex
Sex has a positive effect on sleep. It lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, and increases the ‘hugging’ hormone, oxytocin. Sex is a wonderful release of energy and even counts as exercise! It increases estrogen levels, which can enhance a woman’s REM cycle for a deeper, better night’s sleep. Men’s ability to sleep better after sex is legendary.

Dr. Ron Ehrlich, author of “A Life Less Stressed; The 5 pillars of Health & Wellness“, delivers keynotes and wellness workshops. He has a weekly podcast Unstress with Dr. Ron Ehrlich.
BIO
Dr. Ron Ehrlich, BDS (Syd Uni), FACNEM, is one of Australia’s leading holistic health advocates with over 35 years of clinical experience. He is the author of “A Life Less Stressed; The 5 pillars of Health & Wellness “and wellness host of the weekly podcast Unstress with Dr. Ron Ehrlich and gives keynotes and runs workshops on understanding stress and wellness.

He has been featured in: The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, and more.Dr. Ron is in clinical practice and continues to see patients at his group practice, Sydney Holistic Dental Centre in Sydney CBD. In 1996, Ron gained his fellowship in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (FACNEM) and is a board member of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) and is also chairman of their Advocacy Committee. He is a board member & co-founder of Nourishing Australia, a non-profit dedicated to informing people about the critical importance of healthy soils, nutrient-dense foods, and sustainable farming.