Break the Insomnia Cycle: 10-Day Plan to Get a Good Night’s Sleep (0:30)
It’s the newest sleep crisis sweeping the country: feeling tired and completely wired. The culprit? Cortisol, the stress hormone, is sticking around in your body too long and keeping you up at night. Dr. Alan Christianson has developed a plan that will help you get back to sleep.
Step 1: Jumpstart Your Cortisol
Eat a half-cup of resistant fiber such as cooked navy beans, uncooked rolled oats and pea puree to get your cortisol going and stay at an ideal range throughout the day.
Step 2: Defuse Orange Oil
Morning commutes can trigger stress and cause cortisol levels to spike, making you feel edgy. Defusing an essence of orange oil in your car can help keep you calm during a chaotic time.
Step 3: Add Basil to Your Lunch
Basil is an ocimum genus plant that can help control the mid-day transition from higher cortisol to lower cortisol without causing an excessive drop. Add four to eight leaves or half a teaspoon of dried basil leaves to a green juice, salad, sandwich or wrap to get your lunchtime fix.
Step 4: Eat the Bulk of Your Carbs at Dinner
Eating carbs at night will keep cortisol levels where they need to be during the day, but come dinnertime, your insulin response is at it’s peak. If you don’t eat carbs at this time, cortisol will raise your blood sugar, which will prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Eat three servings of carbs at dinner to stay on track.
Step 6: Take a Negative Ion Shower
Negative ions have been documented to improve sleep cycles, elevate mood and lower appetite. Moving water generates ions, so relaxing in a warm shower an hour before bed will help to trigger your body that you’re ready to sleep.
Step 7: Dim Your Lights an Hour Before Bed
Dimming lights will cue your cortisol that it’s time to settle down and let your body let go of its excess wired feelings.