4 Ways to Get More Zzz’s

Get Better Sleep

You may think you have tried it all but here are 4 things to consider when you are struggling with getting better or more sleep.

If you are struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep I want you to first do an inventory of all the reasons you may not be getting good sleep. Make a list then correct them one at a time to be your own detective. Here are 4 ways that have shown to help improve sleep.

1. Ban Sugar

Blood sugar has a great impact on sleep. Experiment with eating zero sugar for 3 days and notice if your sleep improves. It may be that you are eating too much sugar or eating it too late in the day. Sugar gives you a burst of energy which is why we often reach for a sugary snack during that 3pm slump. It is also a good habit to stop eating 3 hours before bed. Eating anything at all will activate your digestive system. When your digestive system is awake, so are you!

2. Avoid Electronics 3 Hours Before Bed

Computers, cell phones, tv, fluorescent bulbs and tablets emit blue light. Sleep quality is affected by blue light exposure at night.

A recent study that compared the effects of using an e-reader before sleep for 4 hours versus reading from an actual book, gave some insight into the effect of blue light on sleep.

  • Exposure to e-readers caused a 10-minute delay in sleep onset vs. the book reading group

  • The experimental group spent less time in the restorative rapid eye movement (REM) sleep


  • The e-reader group felt more tired and less alert the following morning where the book reading group felt less tired and more alert the following morning.

I, too, am guilty of this behavior but when I make a conscious effort to avoid using my computer at night it actually makes me more productive during the day. Since I know I have computer work to accomplish I will get my nighttime computer work done early in the morning. It’s a great feeling to complete a majority of my work early in the day.

3. Do a Brain Dump

Your brain wants to put out fires. If you have a deadline, if you are worried about your kid, if you are arguing with your spouse….Your brain wants to solve all the problems that you currently have and that you have ever had. Worry and concern disturb sleep. A great hack for this is to do a brain dump. A brain dump is where you write down all the things on your mind. Everything. Even trying to decide what to cook for dinner two weeks from now. If it’s on your mind…write it down. Your brain will not need to try to remember all the things you have swirling around in your head since it is safely written down on paper.

4. Give Up Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant. It has a reputation for disturbing sleep. Even if you have been consuming coffee, tea, chocolate or energy drinks for years it is still worth the effort to see if it is now affecting your sleep. Our 10 day detox has proved to many participants how caffeine affects them. Some have resolved their headaches and some have resolved their sleep by removing caffeine. It’s worth a try.

Other factors to consider and possibly remove:

  • The need to exercise or when to exercise

  • Excitotoxins (MSG, Natural Flavors, Aspartame/Equal)

  • Alcohol

  • Inflammatory Oils (vegetable oils, nut oils, seed oils, trans fats)

  • Allergic foods

  • Medications


If you need help navigating all the options or want my help to get better sleep, make an appointment and let’s talk.

Dr. Stacey

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