Back to Back Issues Page
Are you doing these 8 common sleep killers?
June 04, 2015

This is the everything-you-need-to-know-to-be-as-healthy-as-possible newsletter, brought to you by Kristy Russ, pharmacist and health consultant. I have over 20 years experience in helping people improve their health.

I help people get healthy, and more importantly, stay that way so they're not miserable and just slowly dying for the last 20 years of their lives, which IS the "norm" today.

For even more information go to


I'm pretty sure Mother Nature is menopausal this summer ;-) Seriously, there have been some serious temperature fluctuations over the last 3 weeks and my body is not adapting well. I'm sitting under a blanket as I type this right now- summer is welcome to stay any time please.

Ironically, I'm also a little sleepy because my hubby had to get up ridiculously early today and I couldn't get back to sleep. Thankfully that doesn't happen too often- sleep is sooooo important. Too often we sacrifice our sleep time to do other things. If you're regularly guilty of that, stop it and make it a priority.

Fix these 8 problems and sleep well again...

Last time I talked about the side effects of not getting enough sleep. Many were surprised to find out that there are such serious consequences from just a little sleep deprivation- everything from impaired memory to decreased life expectancy!

Most people would love to have more and better sleep. Am I right or am I right? The problem is how?

What's equally surprising for most are some of the things that interfere with a good night's sleep. Read through the following list and see if any of these sleep thiefs apply to you:

  • Stress
    I'm sure this won't come as a surprise to any of you that having an overstimulated mind is not conducive to a good night's sleep. Even minor things like a thought-provoking conversation or movie or video game are enough to get your mind revving to the point of disrupting quality sleep. Here's what to do:
    • Turn off all stimulating devices (including TV) an hour before going to sleep
    • Have a bedtime ritual. Yep, just like your kids. Doing the same thing every night before bed helps tell your body it's time to start getting ready for sleep.
    • Get your mind re-focussed on a non-stressful situation. Perform a relaxation technique like meditation or progressive muscle relaxation. There are many de-stressing techniques out there- find one that works for you. I find that keeping a fluffy, mindless novel by my bed and reading for 10 or 20 minutes until I can't keep my eyes open works like a charm.

  • Using the bedroom for anything besides sleep.
    Similar to the bedtime ritual, you need to make your body associate your bedroom with sleeping, so that your body starts preparing itself for sleep as soon as you walk in. So get rid of the laptop, cell phone, and especially the TV... Yes, the TV-really. It doesn't matter that it helps you fall asleep- you're not having as restful a sleep as you would without it. I know that's not going to win me any popularity contests, but it is what it is...
  • Having the temperature too hot or cold
    If your body is uncomfortably hot or cold, it signals the brain to wake up. For most people, cooler temperatures than normal are better, because your internal thermostat drops when you sleep. In fact, a slight drop in temperature helps induce sleep, which is why a warm bath often works wonder because of the drop in temperature when you get out.

    Sleeping at a comfortable temperature actually improves the quality of REM sleep, which is the most restorative part of sleep. Aim for cool enough that you need to cover your entire body with at least a sheet.

  • Not enough activity during the day
    What we refer to as "work" isn't really working our body- most people's work just gets your brain tired, but that's it. Physically working your muscles, combined with the increase in oxygen and blood flow that happens with activity actually improves the quality of your sleep. Just think of how rested you felt the morning after a day of physical activity...
  • Eating within 3 hours of going to bed.
    Digestion takes a lot of energy, so your body is doing that instead of repairing itself and storing energy for the next day.
  • Having more than 200mg of caffeine per day.
    And/or having it past 4 pm. 200mg is the equivalent of 2 cups of coffee. Beware of hidden caffeine in teas, sodas or foods like chocolate. If you're consuming more than 200mg, gradually cut back and you won't even notice the difference. Really. (Boy, my popularity is really taking a hit, isn't it?)
  • Drinking alcohol within 1 & 1/2 hours of bed.
    Sure, alcohol helps relax you and makes you kinda sleepy, BUT it interferes with your REM sleep so you won't have as restful a sleep than without it. Ditto for sleeping pills- they help get you to sleep, but they also wreck your REM sleep.

  • and probably the least known sleep thief (but the biggest culprit)...

  • ANY amount of light in the bedroom while you're sleeping.
    The hormone, melatonin, that is responsible for telling your body to sleep is completely regulated by light. When it's dark, it makes it- when it's light, it doesn't make it. Plain and simple. It's meant to put you to sleep 2-3 hours after sunset and wake you up shortly after sunrise. Now that artificial light is our main source of light, and our homes are overrun with "light pollution", our melatonin is all messed up.

    This is long enough already, so I'll save the lengthy discussion about how to stimulate melatonin production for next time.

    In the meantime tho, here's a quick tip.... get rid of ANY amount of light in your bedroom while you're sleeping. If you can see more than the slightest shadows when you're supposed to be sleeping, it's too bright.

    Until next time... sweet dreams!!!!

    Another Grateful Customer...

    "I have had rheumatoid arthritis for a long time. I was getting methotrexate injections for many years to control the progression of the disease but they were starting to cause problems and making me feel terrible. Plus, I was really worried about the long-term side effects of the injections (of which there are many). So I stopped them.

    Within a couple of months, I was so crippled with pain and inflammation in all of my joints that I couldn't even leave my house. I had lost all hope because nothing helped and I had spiralled into depression at the thought that this was what the rest of my life would be like.

    I was very skeptical that Kristy's recommendations would help me, but I had nothing to lose and I was desperate. Within 2 months of applying the changes that she recommended, I was back to my old self!

    I can't thank her enough for literally giving me my life back and I tell all of my friends to follow her advice."

    Barb L.

    Because Laughter Really IS Good Medicine...

    Funny Doctors' Notes

    These are sentences exactly as typed by medical secretaries in NHS (National Health Service) Greater Glasgow

    • Patient has left her white blood cells at another hospital.
    • Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.
    • On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it disappeared.
    • The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.
    • Discharge status: Alive, but without my permission.
    • Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
    • While in ER, Eva was examined, x-rated and sent home.
    • Skin: somewhat pale, but present.
    • Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.
    • The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of fuel and crashed.
    • Mrs Evans slipped on the ice and apparently her legs went in separate directions in early December.
    • Patient was seen in consultation by Dr Jones, who felt we should sit on the abdomen and I agree.

Back to Back Issues Page