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5 Reason’s You Don’t Sleep Well and What you can Do About it

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5 Reason’s You Don’t Sleep Well and What you can Do About it

sleep

Sleep is likely the most undervalued health practice in the Western world.

In my clinical experience, when laying out a health plan for patients, getting good sleep (and sometimes exercise) is what they shun most.

When times get tough, deadlines to meet, kids are acting up or uncertainties arise, you (and I) sleep less. Are we paying a heavy price for snoozing less?

We might be.

Recent research from the United States and Iceland, studying over 900 men, suggest’ a good night’s sleep could protect against the development of prostate cancer.  Higher levels of melatonin in men’s morning urine were associated with a decreased risk for prostate cancer, particularly advanced disease.

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced exclusively at night. Higher levels have been tied to longer, more restful sleep.
If melatonin is only released at night, does that mean that night shift workers  are at an increase risk of cancer? Yup.

A study published at the American Journal of Epidemiology looked at over 3100 Canadian men Compared with men who never worked at night, men who worked night shifts had an increased risk for prostate cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, pancreatic cancer , rectal cancer , colon cancer , bladder cancer and lung cancer. (Parent et al. 2012)

Poor sleep also leads to more car accidents, irritability and decrease work performance.

5 reason’s why you can’t sleep and what to do about it.

1. Sleep procrastination

Sleep procrastination is a term used in a recent study from Utrecht University where they studied the sleep habits of 177 participants. Night-time TV watching (i.e. nighttime news) , staying up  connecting on social media, or surfing through the internet is all part of sleep procrastination.

What to do: Have discipline. And practice transition time. Transition time are practices between your daytime and nighttime life. Transition time includes; shutting down all electronics at, say 9pm. Taking a warm bath. Drinking relaxing tea like chamomile. Meditating before bedtime. Most importantly, resist the temptation of watching TV, Netflix or surfing the net.

2. You have too much going on.

Two or three days of sleeping less due to upcoming deadlines or preparing for “big event” is no big deal. We all do it. Chronic sleep deprivation due to everyday challenges, however, is a big problem.
What to do: Write it all down. Rest your brain on paper by writing down your concerns and next day to do list.

3. Uncomfortable sleeping at night – tossing and turning.

What to do: You might need a new bed. The right bed makes all the difference in the world. Some beds like the tempurpedic can be expensive. Friends and family who have the Tempurpedic love it. ( I am not financially connected to this product) All mattress’ don’t have to be as expensive. Just find one you like, try it for a month and send it back if it does not work for you. Most bed companies allow you to that.

4. Urinating all night

What to do:  Getting up once a night to urinate is not a big deal, although not preferable. Getting up two or more times a night is. In men, prostate enlargement (or BPH) maybe the problem where urine flow is obstructed. A clinically tested prostate formula that works extraordinarily well is Prost-P10x. I admit to being a bit biased here since I formulated Prost-P10x but I clinically seen this formula work very well for prostate health.  On Amazon there are over 240 reviews with 4 ½ stars on Prost-P10x.
If a natural approach is not good enough to control prostate size then harsher treatments like surgery may be necessary. The gold standard surgical treatment for an enlarged prostate is a TURP and Green light laser.

5. Mind racing.

What to do:  Practice meditation. It works well. It does take time to get used to. The guru in this area is Jon Kabat-Zinn. Get this book if you find you need to calm your mind. Meditative techniques are essential to managing stress and controlling pain, even bladder pain, and nighttime urination.

 

 

Reference:

Parent MÉ1, El-Zein M, Rousseau MC, Pintos J, Siemiatycki J.Night work and the risk of cancer among men. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Nov 1;176(9):751-9.

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by Dr. Geo

4 comments… add one

  • seth ,

    Hi Dr Geo,

    You say “higher levels of melatonin in men’s morning urine were associated with a decreased risk for prostate cancer,”

    Besides reducing risk for prostate cancer, can higher levels of melatonin be beneficial for men already diagnosed with PC? Is there any evidence to show it can help slow growth of cancer cells?

    Finally, would you recommend taking a small dose of melatonin before bedtime to add an extra “boost’ to natural melatonin levels?

    Reply
    • Hi Seth, there seem to be numerous benefits to melatonin including stronger immunity and anti-tumor benefits in animals – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21062352. About 3mg of melatonin at 30 – 60 minutes before bedtime makes sense for most, particularly if sleep quality is an issue. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  • david C ,

    Melatonin: where can I buy the dose that you recommend 3mg

    Reply
    • Hi David, I don’t know the rules or where you can buy melatonin in the UK (assuming that’s were you live.) But I think you can find it in any health store there. Let me know how you do. Thanks GE

      Reply

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