One of the best kept secrets to longevity

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 21 March 2017

sleep-quoteWhat do you think could age you faster? Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or not enough sleep?

If you picked sleep, you would be right.

Sleep is such an important building block for our health yet in today's modern world it is often considered an inconvenience. How often do hear people get praised for "burning the midnight oil" or consider it a badge of honour to pull an "all nighter"?

In Tom Rath's book, Eat Move Sleep, he likens the number of hours of sleep deprivation to the number of beers you might drink. Many people wouldn't want their child's teacher to have a few beers before coming to class, but missing a few hours sleep is not even considered, it might even be expected.

If you truly want excellent health, making sleep a priority is essential.

Here are some quick tips to take advantage of sleep as a potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and cost effective (actually it's totally free!) tool for longevity:

  • Best bedtime is 10 pm. Try to get as close to this as possible, even if it's in small 10 -15 min increments
  • Best time to wake up is 6 - 8am.
  • Set an alarm to go to bed.
  • Expose your eyes to bright light as soon as you can
  • Have protein for breakfast.
  • Make mid-morning your last call for caffeine.
  • Shut off all screens 30 -60 minutes before bed.
  • Take melatonin if you are a shift-worker.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Make early evening your last call for alcohol. The closer to bed you drink, the more likely your will have disturbed sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
  • Have a bedtime routine.
  • Dim the lights as evening falls.
  • Try guided meditation to help you fall asleep.
  • Check your blood sugar if you are having trouble staying asleep.

Now I would love to hear from you! What is your favourite sleep tip? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

5 Replies to “One of the best kept secrets to longevity”

Peter Whitehead

I have heard warm milk before bed helps sleep. Is this true?

How does one check for low blood sugar when not diabetic

Anna Matiowsky

Hi Michelle,
This is so true, I practice most of them. Stress is the only thing that upsets the routine so managing that can be a challenge at times.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

For some people it does – milk has sugar (lactose) in it as well as protein (caesin). If you are dairy-intolerant make sure you use dairy alternatives like coconut milk, or almond milk.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

It would be the same blood test Barbara, either fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1c. I will often do blood testing with patients for fasting or reactive insulin to pick up abnormalities sooner.
One of the most accurate tests for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is the oral glucose tolerance test but it is rarely ordered by medical doctors outside of pregnancy.

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