Bouncing Back After a Poor Night’s Sleep
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Let’s face it, most of us aren’t having a perfect night’s sleep, every single night. Whether it’s an impending deadline has you crunching out work til the wee hours of the morning, a racing mind keeping you up, or a night of tossing and turning, most of us know what it’s like to go through life the day after a crummy night’s sleep.
Today I want to outline the best ways to bounce back after a poor night’s sleep, as well as provide you with tips to optimize your sleep quality on a nightly basis. Let’s dive in!
How to Bounce Back After a Poor Night’s Sleep
Get Outside: The best way to set your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock) is to get outside! Sunlight signals to the photoreceptors in your eyes and skin that it is day time and boosts alertness (and improves mood, which helps with sleep deprived grumpiness!). Take your shoes off and let your feet touch the earth. The electrical exchange of free ions from the earth are scientifically proven to lower inflammation and help cellular health, which is much needed after missing sleep.
Hydration: Sleep is when the body repairs both physiologically and psychologically. Muscles, bones, ligaments, neurotransmitters, hormones, and more are recycled and repaired during the night to keep us functioning optimally. When we miss a night of sleep, it’s crucial to support cellular health. One way to boost cellular health is to hydrate while replenishing minerals. Add trace mineral drops or even a high quality sea salt to your water. This helps optimize the cellular environment, prevents effects of dehydration, and curves appetite.
Caffeine: When you miss a night of sleep, you may be extra drawn to the coffee maker. Be cautious not to overcome caffeine, or else you may suffer the consequences when you hit the pillow that night. Stick to one or two cups of coffee, tops.
Diet: Sleep deprivation does weird things to hunger hormones! Cravings can come on strong, while satiety may never seem to come. Don’t give in! Keep carbs low and eat protein and foods rich in healthy fats to assist your body during this time of physiological stress.
Immune Support: During a normal sleep cycle, the immune system fights to keep your body healthy. When you miss sleep, immune system function declines while inflammation increases. When you miss sleep, you’ll want to use supplementation to boost your immune system. Oil of oregano, probiotics, Immuno Supreme, and activated charcoal are all immune supporting supplements that can really support you when you’re sleep deprived!
What’s Keeping You Up?
Awareness of the cause of sleep deprivation is the first key to unlocking the door to a great night’s sleep. Physical factors such as sounds, temperature, and light are some of the easiest to resolve. You essentially want to be sleeping in a cool, dark, quiet cave. I recommend blackout curtains. You can use a white noise machine to help lull you to sleep if there are neighborhood noises that distract you from sleeping. Also, be sure the temperature is not too warm. It can be appealing to climb into a warm cozy bed, but biologically we need to be sleeping at around 65 degrees.
If your sleep disturbances are psychological or hormonal in nature, such as work stress of an autoimmune condition, I recommend a consultation with a functional medicine doctor who can help you address the underlying issue and help you fix things at the root of the problem.
Tips for Better Sleep
Get outside and move every day. Exercise can increase human growth hormone which has an excellent effect at blunting cortisol and increasing the repair of your body. As discussed, natural sunlight and grounding set your circadian rhythm, which tells your body when it’s time to be awake, and when it’s time to wind down.
Avoid blue light and reduce EMF at night. Blue light (emitted from screens and devices) signals to your body that it is day time, and keeps you up for hours after you last saw a screen. Limit screen time before bed, and if you must be on a device, look into apps that block or reduce the blue light they emit.
To calm down before bed, try a relaxing tea, like chamomile, which can increase neurotransmitters like GABA to help promote relaxation.
Do you have other tips for better sleep? Share down in the comments below!
The Benefits of Red Light Therapy
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
These days, we’re starting to realize just how important light is for our health. Humans need water and sunlight… we are basically plants with more complicated emotions.
I’ve previously written about light: How blue light wrecks your sleep, and why sunlight is crucial for your health. Today we’re going to focus in on the red and near-infrared (NIR) light spectrum, and learn the answer to the question: What are the benefits of these healing wavelengths of light?
What is Red Light Therapy?
Light therapy, or photobiomodulation, is the therapeutic use of a medical grade LED light device to deliver specific frequencies of red and near-infrared light. This light can penetrate through your skin, providing benefits at a cellular level.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Light therapy works on a cellular level, stimulating the mitochondria and the increasing the release of ATP (the “energy currency of life”). Beneficial frequencies of red light can be found in the mid 600 nanometer range and makes its way 8-10 mm into the skin, while healing infrared frequencies are concentrated in the mid 800 nm range and penetrates even deeper!
Benefits of Red Light Therapy
- Cellular Protection & Anti-Inflammation: By promoting antioxidant production, red light therapy can help protect your cells against oxidative stress. This can help reduce joint pain and lowers inflammation.
- Boosts Collagen Production: Collagen is the protein that makes our skin elastic, and its production tends to decline with age. Red light therapy improves cellular function, which regulates collagen production. Many people like to use photobiomodulation on their face, neck, and chest to strengthen the skin, and to prevent and reverse wrinkles.
- Weight Loss: Photobiomodulation has been shown to affect the cells that store fat, called “adipocytes,” causing the lipids to disperse, basically melting away fat! Other studies show that light may help control appetite by affecting leptin and ghrelin, the hunger and fullness hormones.
- Better Sleep: Melatonin is the sleep hormone produced by our bodies. If you read my article on blue light, you know that exposure to blue light at night can disrupt your circadian rhythm. Utilizing red light therapy during the day increases your melatonin output. The best light hacks for sleep would be combining red light therapy & natural sun exposure during the day, with blue light avoidance at night.
- Faster Recovery: Red light therapy stimulates the lymph system and increases circulation. More energy, circulated more efficiently, leads to better physical performance and faster muscle recovery.
- Expedited Wound Healing: While most dermatologists use lasers that intentionally damage the skin to trigger rejuvenation, red light therapy directly targets the layers within to promote wound healing, tissue repair, and cell regeneration at the source (without causing any damage).
There is also promising research that red light therapy can boost male fertility, increase circulation, and improve thyroid health.
Choosing the Best Red Light Therapy Device
There are many aspects to consider when looking to purchase a red light device for therapeutic and healing purposes, like size and light wavelengths.
I recommend the Joovv red light for many reasons. With the Joovv, you have the ability to treat an area as large as small as you want: they offer large light panels, and their red light panels also have the ability to connect together. If you decide down the line that you’d like a larger light panel, you have the ability to create it with your Joovv. It is also much quicker and more effective to treat a large portion of your body at once! On the other hand, the Joovv Go is small enough to travel with, without sacrificing quality.
Not all red light devices are equal: the red light wavelengths matter. If one company creates a red light that looks red, but it’s not within the healing range, it is essentially pointless! Joovv lights target red and near infrared wavelengths in the mid-600 & mid-800 nm range, which are not only healing, they’ve been proven to be the most powerful and efficient wavelengths for the benefits of red light therapy.
Joovv red light devices are both powerful and customizable, good for an at-home full body red light station, or portable on-the-go therapy for frequent travelers. I like to take my portable Joovv Go when I travel to help with circadian rhythm, for preventing jet lag, and boosting my immune system.
How to Get Started
Red and NIR light therapy sessions are quick and easy, all you need is a red light device. You can concentrate the light on specific problem areas (like on a painful joint, or on your face for skin appearance), or use photobiomodulation to benefit your whole body. It only takes 10-20 minutes for a session to provide healing benefits!