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Sleep: Natalie Jurado of Rooted In On Why You Should Make Getting A Good Night’s Sleep A Major Priority In Your Life, And How You Can Make That Happen

Making sleep a priority helps impacts your health in so many ways but the single most important benefit of sleep is this: it strengthens your immune system.

Getting a good night’s sleep has so many physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Yet with all of the distractions that demand our attention, going to sleep on time and getting enough rest has become extremely elusive to many of us. Why is sleep so important and how can we make it a priority?

In this interview series called “Sleep: Why You Should Make Getting A Good Night’s Sleep A Major Priority In Your Life, And How You Can Make That Happen” we are talking to medical and wellness professionals, sleep specialists, and business leaders who sell sleep accessories to share insights from their knowledge and experience about how to make getting a good night’s sleep a priority in your life.

As part of this interview series, we had the pleasure to interview Natalie Jurado

Natalie Jurado is the founder of Rooted In, a line of therapeutic magnesium infused moisturizers that actively calm and relax your mood. She is a sought after thought leader, educator and speaker and has worked at the forefront of the wellness industry for over 8 years. She’s considered an expert in all things magnesium and her mission is to spread awareness of this powerful mineral to all who struggle to live their most vibrant lives.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you’. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your backstory?

I’ve always been a bit nutty about health and wellness. As a young adult, while most of my schoolmates were reading entertainment and gossip magazines, I’d have my nose stuck in scientific journals learning about the latest nutrition trends. And, I’m pretty sure I was the only child in the world who would actually ask for more vegetables on my plate at dinnertime.

That’s why I was completely floored when I began suffering with unexplained health issues like crippling anxiety, chronic pain and devastating insomnia. Afterall, I was doing everything you’re supposed to do: eating organic foods, exercising and using nontoxic products.

So, I did what any normal person would do — I went to the doctor. She ordered numerous tests and referred me to countless other specialists who all came to the same conclusion: there was nothing wrong with me. In fact, my bloodwork and test results were all perfect.

Looking back, it was the greatest thing that could ever happen to me. It was a divine tap on the shoulder, a wakeup call from God, telling me that I needed to keep digging for answers.

And after months of research, and thousands of dollars spent on various therapies, the answer came to me in the form of a little-known mineral that so many of us lack: magnesium.

I started using magnesium daily on my skin and my life changed! I began feeling calm and centered, had crazy energy, slept restfully through the night and felt years younger.

I reclaimed my life and I want others to have the same freedom and vitality that I do now. My mission is to share this miracle mineral with the world so they can be their most vibrant, healthy and energetic selves

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this particular career path?

Ironically, at the time of my health crisis, I owned a health store and was working in the wellness field as a Clinical Aromatherapist. All day I’d speak to people who were dealing with insomnia, anxiety and chronic pain and who weren’t getting answers from their doctors. It was so frustrating seeing so many people (including myself) suffer with no end in sight. I didn’t understand why this was happening, but I did know this: there had to be an underlying cause. Illness doesn’t just happen by chance, it happens because there is something lacking in the body. And I made it my mission to figure out the missing link to the vibrant health we were all craving.

After much trial and error and deep research, I discovered magnesium and started using it on my skin. I also started carrying it in my store and recommending it to customers. The results were incredible! People called me on the phone crying because they finally got relief from achy joints. Customers would stop in to tell me all about the wonderful night’s sleep they had.

I couldn’t believe what was happening and I had to learn more. This prompted me to look up countless studies and research articles all supporting the idea that magnesium is sorely missing from our diets. I became an expert in the mineral and have been educating people about it ever since.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the sleep and wellness fields? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Countless people struggle to get a decent night’s sleep and resort to taking prescriptions and over the counter drugs to finally get the rest they need. This can leave you feeling foggy headed and groggy in the morning. What most people don’t know is that magnesium deficiency is one of the main causes of sleep disturbances, affecting the amount and quality of sleep we get a night.

As a magnesium expert, it always surprises me that magnesium is not discussed as a treatment option for sleeplessness. My aim is to educate people about the pivotal role magnesium plays in sleep as well as how it benefits our health in general.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

“Eat Dirt” by Dr. Axe. This book completely changed my mindset on health. Sickness occurs when our body can’t keep up with the demands we place on it. We’re starving ourselves of actual nutrition, overindulging in processed foods, bombarded with chemicals and living high stress lives — there’s no wonder that 66% of US adults take prescription drugs.

And here’s the kicker, it’s completely our fault. We are in complete and total control of whether we become ill or stay healthy. This book helped me understand that the reason our health suffers is directly tied to the choices we make in life. It’s about taking full and total responsibility for our health and the way that we feel right now. Because when we admit that our choices are a big cause of our problems, then we also admit that our choices can be a big part of the solution.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

Life can be really scary at times and doing something new and different is oftentimes quite overwhelming. Anytime fear gripped me and kept me from moving forward, my mom would calmly tell me “The only things you’ll regret in life are the risks you didn’t take”. While I may not be successful at everything I’ve ever tried, and I may have failed miserably a time or two, at least I’ll never have to ask myself the question, “What if??”

The truth is, I’ve taken some major risks in life, like the time I moved to a country on the other side of the world without knowing a single person or when I took our life savings and invested it into a startup natural health store (which was even scarier than the time I went skydiving!) but, through it all I’ve never regretted any of those decisions because I’ve learned so much from them and they’ve all lead me to become the person I am today.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Let’s start with the basics. How much sleep should an adult get? Is there a difference between people who are young, middle-aged, or elderly?

Believe it or not, your sleep needs change over the years. Adults need 7 to 9 hours a night while teens should get slightly higher amounts, in the range of 8–10 hours. The elderly need a little less sleep, about 7–8 hours. Please note that sleep requirements do vary based on a person’s unique needs so use this as a suggestion and not a hard and fast rule. It’s more important to focus on how you feel after different amounts of sleep in order to find your sweet spot.

Is the amount of hours the main criteria, or the time that you go to bed? For example, if there was a hypothetical choice between getting to bed at 10PM and getting up at 4AM, for a total of 6 hours, or going to bed at 2AM and getting up at 10AM for a total of 8 hours, is one a better choice for your health? Can you explain?

Perhaps the single most important thing you can do to impact your sleep health is to go to bed before midnight. Sleeping in time with your natural, circadian rhythms makes for more restorative, rejuvenating sleep. And that means hitting the sack at least by 10:30 pm. Here’s why: Your sleep quality changes as the night progresses. Non-REM sleep typically occurs in the first part of your sleep cycle. This type of sleep is deeper and more healing, allowing for physical, mental and emotional replenishment. REM sleep is much lighter, less stable sleep and this dominates the closer you get towards daybreak. Therefore, if you’re a night owl who doesn’t get to bed until 2 am, your sleep will favor towards REM, reducing the deep, restorative sleep your body needs.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for our readers. Let’s imagine a hypothetical 35 year old adult who was not getting enough sleep. After working diligently at it for 6 months he or she began to sleep well and got the requisite hours of sleep. How will this person’s life improve? Can you help articulate some of the benefits this person will see after starting to get enough sleep? Can you explain?

Lack of sleep can you leave you flabby, foggy and fatigued. When you neglect sleep, your body produces a hormone that boosts your appetite, called gherlin. What’s worse is that your body also slows down the hormone that tells your brain you’re full, called leptin. This hormonal seesaw makes it nearly impossible to resist cravings for sugary, caffeinated foods that you’ll likely seek out to give you the energy boost you’re looking for to get you through the day. So it’s likely that you’ll notice a slimmer waistline and more control over your diet once you starting sleeping well. Additionally, you’ll have a sharper mind and be in a better mood. It’s because your brain processes emotions while you sleep, leading to a healthier outlook. Plus, sleep is linked to higher concentration, cognitive function and energy levels which can make you a real superstar at work and school.

Many things provide benefits but they aren’t necessarily a priority. Should we make getting a good night’s sleep a major priority in our life? Can you explain what you mean?

Getting good, quality, restorative sleep has a huge impact on your physical and mental health as well as your overall quality of life. The great thing about improving your sleep routine is that it doesn’t cost you a cent and you are in complete control over it. It’s quite simply the easiest, most impactful habit you can change to make a lasting difference in your long-term health. Sleep deficiency can lead to chronic health issues such as high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke as well as mental disorders like depression. Not to mention, lack of sleep also impacts your immune system making you more susceptible to viruses and germs. And in our current climate, anything you can do to strengthen your response to colds, flus and viruses — should absolutely be priority #1.

The truth is that most of us know that it’s important to get better sleep. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives? How should we remove those obstacles?

The truth is, the more you stress about sleep, the less likely you’ll actually fall asleep. That’s why I recommend making small changes to your nighttime routine and going to sleep a little bit earlier every night. Experts tell us that it takes upwards of 90 days to create a habit so don’t expect to fix your sleep issues in a week. It takes time and repeated effort to make lasting change happen.

The 3 things that keep us from making lasting change occur in our lives is this: noticing positive results, having enough support and cutting out the noise in life.

  1. In order to really notice the positive impact sleep can have in your life, consider keeping a sleep tracker. This helps you see the immediate benefits of a good night’s sleep. Track how many hours of sleep you’ve had at night and notice how you feel that day and write it down. This makes it easier to associate sleep with health benefits such as improved focus and increased energy.
  2. Having adequate support can be the difference between achieving your goals or failing miserably. If you’ve made sleep a priority in life but your friends and partner continually sabotage your efforts by inviting you to late night outings or keeping you up all night on the phone, then it’ll be really hard to make sleep a priority. Instead, make sure you have a support system in place of people who really want to see you succeed.
  3. Lastly, making sleep a priority requires you to stay focused. We’re faced with hundreds of distractions every single second that are all fighting for our attention. When you commit to making change, it requires dedication and determination which means you need to cut out all the noise and distractions that get in the way of your goal.

Do you think getting “good sleep” is more difficult today than it was in the past?

Absolutely! With the advent of cell phones, smart TV’s, streaming services and the internet, came a wave of entertainment and time sucking devices that compete with sleep. Think about it, how many times have you stayed up late finishing a binge session of your favorite show? There was a time that we had to wait a week to see the next episode and we literally had nothing better to do than fall sleep. But now, even after we turn Netflix off for the night, so many of us reach for our phones while in bed to scroll our social media pages and check just one last email. This makes it so much harder to signal our brains that it’s time to slow down and sleep. That’s why, now more than ever, is the time to make a conscious decision to make sleep a priority.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share “5 things you need to know to get the sleep you need and wake up refreshed and energized”? If you can, kindly share a story or example for each.

1 — Making sleep a priority helps impacts your health in so many ways but the single most important benefit of sleep is this: it strengthens your immune system. This is especially important considering the times we are living in right now. In fact, lack of sleep can actually make you sick. When you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Certain cytokines are needed when you have an infection or inflammation. When you lack sleep, your body doesn’t produce enough of these protective cytokines. In a nutshell: your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. And while there’s so much that’s out of our control right now, we can control how much we sleep each night.

2- Discover the underlying cause of your sleep issues. You see, study after study after study shows us that low levels of magnesium can cause sleep problems. You can try changing your sleep routine and cutting back on coffee, but these lifestyle interventions fall short when you’re not addressing the root cause of your sleep issues.

Magnesium regulates melatonin, which signals your body when it’s time to go to sleep. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for making you feel you calm and relaxed. So when you get enough magnesium, especially at night, your body goes right into “sleep mode”.

3 — Excessive stress during the day can lead to insomnia at night. Your body naturally produces cortisol, a stress hormone, throughout the day. In a healthy adult, cortisol levels spike immediately after we wake up and gradually decrease throughout the day, allowing us to rest and recover at night. When dealing with chronic stress, your system can go a little haywire and alter the natural rhythm of cortisol production. When this happens, sleep can become very difficult. Not surprisingly, magnesium has been shown in studies to decrease cortisol levels. This may explain why people who supplement with magnesium report sleeping better.

4 — Drinking alcohol to unwind is not doing you any favors. While many people find that alcohol relaxes you and may even help you initially fall asleep, it’ll also disrupt your sleep cycle throughout the night. Alcohol causes you to wake up several times and doesn’t allow your body the restorative sleep it needs. This is why you might feel less rested and groggy in the morning when you drink at night. And if that wasn’t bad enough, drinking alcohol depletes your magnesium levels. This key mineral plays an important role in supporting your ability to sleep.

5 — Don’t neglect your environment when it comes to sleep. Believe it or not, the light and temperature in your room could make the difference between getting a great night’s sleep and tossing and turning all night. At night, your body temperature naturally drops, signaling that it’s time to slow down and get some rest. But what happens if your body tends to run a bit too warm? Studies show that people who struggle with sleep tend to have a warmer core body temperature. By keeping your bedroom nice and cool, you’re telling your body that it’s time to wind down.

The ideal room temperature is between 60–68 degrees. At this temperature, your body naturally stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that encourages sleep. Melatonin is also a super powerful anti-aging hormone, which gives brand new meaning to the saying “get your beauty sleep”.

Any light you are exposed to during bedtime hours will halt your body’s melatonin production. Studies show that exposure to room light during sleep hours can suppress melatonin levels by more than 50%. That’s significant!

Protect the quality of your sleep by dropping your room temperature with fans and air conditioning. You can also invest in cooling sheets and blankets and try blackout curtains to block out light.

What would you advise someone who wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep?

If you’re regularly waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to fall back to sleep, it may be a sign of a bigger problem. You can try changing your sleep routine and cutting back on coffee, but these lifestyle interventions fall short when you’re not addressing the root cause of your sleep issues.

Nighttime waking could be a sign of many different underlying issues, including hormonal imbalance, cortisol dysregulation, blood sugar imbalance or even a nutrient deficiency. If you find yourself waking up several times a night, book an appointment with your physician or a sleep specialist to determine what’s really going on in your body. Sleep issues should never go ignored.

What are your thoughts about taking a nap during the day? Is that a good idea, or can it affect the ability to sleep well at night?

Napping can help you feel more alert and focused during the day. They can help improve your memory and your mood and some studies show they can even make you more creative. But keep in mind, naps are no substitute for poor sleep.

In general, short naps don’t affect your sleep quality. Aim for 20 minutes in order to reap the benefits without disturbing your nighttime routine.

Wonderful. We are nearly done. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. :-)

I would love to meet Jamie Kern Lima. She’s such a powerfully positive woman and her ability to overcome life’s obstacles with a smile on her face is so inspiring. I had the pleasure of seeing her speak live last year and was so encouraged by her story. I recently read her book “Believe It” and learned so much about her incredible journey.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Visit www.berootedin.com for loads of resources and positive inspiration. I can be found on social media at facebook.com/berootedin and Instagram.com/berootedin. Feel free to shoot me a message — I love to chat about all things health related and I personally answer every message.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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