Dr. Aggarwal’s Health Tip of the Week

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Sleep is extremely important to the body because it allows your organs to relax and rejuvenate themselves. Some people have trouble sleeping and this can be sign of chemical or hormonal imbalance, especially cortisol and melatonin level imbalances. Melatonin is a hormone which helps promote sleep. Cortisol is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands which controls inflammation in the body, however, cortisol also suppresses melatonin levels. Ideally, you want cortisol levels to be minimal at night.

People who are stressed have higher levels of cortisol in their body, which suppresses sleep. Staying up late at night watching TV also increases cortisol levels and reduces melatonin levels. Having lights on at night or not enough darkness in your room (for example, thin curtains which do not block street light) also decreases melatonin levels.

Eating protein at night helps stabilize your blood sugar levels during sleep, which prevents sugar cravings which might keep you up at night.

Drinking chamomile tea or soothing teas high in minerals (e.g. Nettle) also encourage better sleep. Drinking caffeine during the day might actually interfere with sleep at night, and this includes normal black tea.

Drinking alcohol late at night also interferes with sleep because alcohol suppresses certain hormones in your body which help with deep and restful sleep. So, even though you might feel “knocked out”, you ain’t really sleeping.

Acupuncture and Bowen Therapy really help to regulate and calm down the nervous system. These therapies also detoxify your liver and other organs, all of which are essential to help you sleep better.

I hope you sleep well tonight.

Goodnight.

Ameet Aggarwal ND is a naturopathic doctor, advanced Bowen Therapist and practices Gestalt psychotherapy in Nairobi and Nanyuki. Book your appointment through +254 727 701002 or email ameet@fimafrica.org. Read more about naturopathic medicine on http://www.healthretreatsafrica.com and stay engaged with health tips on www.facebook.com/healthretreatsafrica.

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