The Sleep Trick Everyone Over 40 Should Know About
Last year, several studies were published linking lack of sleep to an increased risk of long-term brain issues, sparking much buzz around the importance of getting deep restful sleep on a regular basis. And researchers aren’t hitting the snooze button on this matter as the evidence continues to mount.
Trust me when I say that diving into this research was both a blessing and a curse. While I found it fascinating, and became eager to educate our readers and customers, it was also pretty scary.
You see, for years I had struggled getting a full night of restful sleep between the stresses of life and the inability to unwind after a long day at the office. The sad thing is that I had spent those years telling myself that getting 4-5 hours of sleep each night was sufficient.
What Your Body Does When You’re Asleep — And Why It’s More Important Than You Think
Unfortunately, we can’t deny the science: While we may think we’re able to function on too little sleep, behind the scenes our bodies and brains are crying for help, breaking down due to lack of repair time.
And the brain fog is hardly a figment of your imagination. While in a restful sleep, brain cells shrink in size, allowing fluid to enter the brain and flush away harmful toxins. The importance of this process was seen in a recent study published in JAMA Neurology, which found that when study participants got less sleep, there were visible signs of it in their brains.[1, 2]
And sadly, Big Pharma’s solution to sleep trouble misses the mark in a big way.
If you ever discussed your sleeping problems with your physician, he or she probably suggested a sleep or anti-anxiety medication. These prescriptions are handed out way too routinely in my opinion. And despite what you’ve been led to believe, these medications are not without risk.
Not only do most people wake up feeling spaced out and drowsy in the morning, sleep medications also carry the risk of dependency and addiction. Worse, they can actually hinder your body’s ability to rejuvenate and restore a natural sleep cycle – which is significantly more important than most people realize.
The way you feel after a night of poor sleep is a symptom of your body’s internal struggle. When quality sleep is lacking, your body can’t repair itself as efficiently, causing your cells to literally age faster. Conversely, re-setting your sleep-awake cycle to one that trains your mind and body to experience better sleep on a consistent basis can lead to some health perks might surprise you. Research has found that getting enough sleep can:
- Boost energy, focus and concentration 
- Keep your brain functioning optimally as you age 
- Increase your capacity for dealing with stress 
- Support a strong, healthy immune system 
- Keep your cardiovascular system healthy 
- Promote muscle repair and healing throughout the body 
- Fight wrinkles and keeps skin looking youthful 
- Help to keep blood sugar balanced 
Needless to say, between the wealth of research underscoring the importance of deep, restful sleep, and the known health perks of getting enough shuteye, I was eager to find a way to ensure a good night of sleep every single night.
After trying a few alternative solutions with little success, I revisited some of the basic facts about the sleep-wake cycle, and was surprised to learn that with age, there can be a dramatic drop off in the amount of melatonin our bodies naturally produce.
You’ve likely heard of melatonin, the “sleepy hormone” that regulates your biological clock by being released in the darker hours of the night, and suppressed during the day, when the body is exposed to light. It’s also known for being a powerful antioxidant, helping to ward off free radicals as your body replenishes and repairs while asleep.
By the time we reach 40, our melatonin production can be less than half of what it was in our twenties. And when we’re in our sixties it’s about half of that!
The natural solution sounded easy to me: boost melatonin levels for better sleep. Unfortunately, this didn’t work. Turns out, I was taking the wrong kind of melatonin.
If you’ve tried taking melatonin in the past with little success, you’re going to want to hear this, because what I learned about this hormone has been a godsend.
Typical melatonin supplements peak in your body within 3-4 hours. It is very common for standard melatonin to help you fall asleep, but then within a few hours, you find yourself wide awake, tossing and turning in bed until it is time to get up in the morning. The result: you wake up feeling no more rested than you did without taking melatonin.
The key to getting a full night of restful sleep is to make sure you are taking a slow-release melatonin supplement. This way, instead of having all of the supplemental melatonin entering your blood stream at once, and quickly peaking, the slow release action provides you with a steady supply of melatonin throughout the night, just like when you were in your teens and could sleep soundly for hours and hours.
So if you are having trouble falling asleep, or staying asleep, I strongly suggest you give slow-release melatonin a try. Because a full night of restful sleep is one of the best ways to protect your health.
Right now Live in the Now readers can take advantage of a special offer on DreamWell® Melatonin Slow-Release Formula for as low as $16.95 per bottle.
1. Xie et al “Sleep initiated fluid flux drives metabolite clearance from the adult brain.” Science, October 18, 2013. DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224
2. JAMA Neurol. 2013;70(5):587-593. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.2334.
3. Lim J, Dinges DF. Psych Bull. 2010 May; 136(3): 375-389.
4. Leproult R, et al. Sleep. 1997 Oct; 20(10):865-870.
5. Irwin M, et al. FASEB J. 1996 Apr; 10(5): 643-653.
6. Hans KM, et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004;43(4):678-683.
7. Adam K, Oswald I. Clin Sci. 1983; 65: 561-7.
8. Kahan V, et al. Med Hypotheses. 2010 Dec; 75(6): 535-7.
9. Donga E, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Jun; 95(6): 2963-8.
image courtesy of Huffington Post
Joshua Corn -Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.