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I just started a new job and my sleep schedule is all messed up.

Q. Dear Terry, “I just started a new job and my sleep schedule is all messed up. I really like the job, but need to get good quality sleep when I can. I’ve tried sleeping pills in the past and do not want that groggy feeling the next day. Do you have any suggestions?” — Thomas D., McKinney, TX

A. Dear Thomas, Starting a new job is exciting, but can require adjustments to our lifestyle. Sleep is incredibly important for our overall health and wellness. Disruptions in sleep can lead to a variety of chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular issues, and more.

When sleep troubles arise, I believe narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifoliae) can be of great benefit. Researchers have discovered that when taken at the correct dosage level, compounds in coneflower can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. These compounds have been shown to attach to certain brain receptors, which help invoke a sense of calm and relaxation. I recommend taking this coneflower extract once or twice before bedtime. When choosing a formula, make sure you look for a clinically studied, narrow-leaved coneflower root extract that is standardized to echinacosides.

Additionally, you could also try lemon balm, lavender, mandarin, and ravintsara. When combined, they can help us enjoy a more restful and sound sleep. These four botanicals have been used medicinally for centuries and are known for their ability to calm our minds and relax our bodies so we can sleep more soundly. I would take these botanicals 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.

You may also find it helpful to turn off electronics several hours before trying to sleep (bright screens can suppress the production of melatonin), avoid caffeine at least 4-6 hours before bedtime, exercise regularly as it can help you sleep more deeply, and do your best to maintain the same bedtime and wake up schedule, to help regulate your body’s internal clock and adjust to your new work schedule.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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