Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

A Few Health Tips During Corona Lockdown

This is a tough situation, but that does not mean we have to hit rock bottom in our health. Here are a few good tips for maintaining health during this period.

 

DECREASE CORTISOL LEVELS

High cortisol can wreck havoc on us physically and mentally, here are a few tips on balancing your levels:

DITCH THE ALARM CLOCK

Alarms immediately wake us up into a fight or flight state. This is the opposite of what we should strive for (waking up peacefully…) During a period like this, if waking up early for school or work are not a concern, this is a great opportunity to get on your natural clock. Aiming to fall asleep and wake up around the same times daily will generally allow your body to get in rhythm, and should decrease high cortisol.

BREATH.

Pay attention to your breathing (or lack thereof) especially during times of stress. When I am extra stressed, I will find myself almost naturally holding my breath and then taking short shallow breaths until I realize what is going on and I change my focus to full inhales and deep exhales. It’s amazing how I begin to feel better after 10-15 deep breaths. (TRY IT)!

Look for APPS like Headspace, follow a YOGA video on Youtube, or close your eyes and listen to your favorite songs while you focus on 6-10 second inhale and 6-10 second exhales. Meditation and stretching are both great ways to breath and maintain healthy cortisol levels!

P.S. – One of the reasons aerobic exercise is great is because IT FORCES YOU TO BREATH!

FASTING

Time restricted eating habits can improve immune function, improve blood glucose and insulin levels, cholesterol & triglyceride numbers, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones (to name a few). If you have concerns, talk to your physician about whether or not time restricted eating or intermittent fasting is a good option for you.

The most common time restricted eating practice is eating your full days worth of food in an 8 hour time frame. Calorie restriction is NOT the goal of fasting. The break you give your body from constantly eating on a regular basis (habitual) will pay off.

MODERATE EXERCISE

Exercise in the right dosage is one of the best ways to improve health and boost immune function. There is no debate here.

Chronic cardio -or- extreme amounts of exercise can compromise our immune health. So during a time like this, balance is key (150-300 minutes per week). If you are locked up in the house, over exertion should not be an issue, move as much as you can- to overdue it, you typically have to be going to the extreme day in and day out.

ZERO exercise | sedentary lifestyle in today’s world  is one of the best ways to guarantee health issues arise at some point. Not always, but the odds are against you. Get outside and sweat.

EAT THE RAINBOW

Aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods that are not in a package. This is a good time to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen!

SLEEP

Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep every day.  This is an excellent opportunity for many folks to create healthy sleep patterns and get our your proper biological clock.

Inadequate sleep is linked to shorter lifespan, hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, and just about every stress related disease you can imagine… if there is one most important lifestyle factor to focus on, sleep might be at the top.

NOTE: If you get 7+ hours of sleep regularly, but still feel exhausted then you might not be getting quality sleep.

Some things that can disrupt proper sleep patterns may include : more than 2 alcoholic beverages before bed, caffeine consumption after 1:00 PM (even if you think you can drink it and go straight to bed, try tracking your sleep patterns),  THC, too much exercise (it takes A LOT ) , not enough exercise, not consuming enough nutrients, WIFI in or near the bedroom, blue lights in the bedroom,  dehydration, stress, and… well maybe children. Some things are out of our control , most most are not.

GET OUTSIDE

Sunlight, fresh air, dirt, and the sight of earthly objects (like trees, grass, clouds, etc…) all have positive effects on our health. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself inside. You also do not have to go out in public if you are worried, your backyard is just fine 🙂   15-20 minutes of sun hitting as much skin as possible may do the trick.

If you are not getting regular sun exposure, adding in 2,000-3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with 100-200mcg vitamin K could be a great option.

 

In good health,

Kyle Flowers

 

Melatonin

Should you take melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Keep in mind exogenous hormones (of any kind) are not TYPICALLY the best choice for optimizing your health.

200-300mcg per day is an approximate amount the body would produce in a day. So when you supplement 5mg per day that is is 5,000 mcg. This means the 5mg dosage commonly found in sleep supplements provides you 2-3 weeks worth of melatonin in one night.

There are certainly more practical ways to improve sleep however if melatonin production is your focus then try to increase the amount of tryptophan in your diet.

The primary focus at KTX Nutrition with melatonin will stert wirh increasing seratonin and dopamine through diet and “happy thoughts.” Decreasing stress with (breathwork, mediation,prayer, and showing gratitude are great tools).

The power of the GUT cannot be underestimated. If you have a “leaky gut” the brain will not get the optimal level of nutrients like amino acids (tryptophan as mentioned), magnesium (promotes nervous system relaxation), and will most likely end up with DECREASED MELATONIN.

When are we fans of melatonin???

Time zones and travel etc. could prove melatonin to be beneficial as “cheat meal.” The body’s circadian rhythm can get all out of whack when traveling. 5-10mg melatonin taken to “trick” or “bio-hack” your body into falling asleep at an hour necessary due to work, sports, or times where cognitive and physical energy are important could be very effective. This is much different than taking daily doses of a hormone (in our opinion).