Tired of living tired?  Fatigue is one of the top three reasons people seek nutrition and health coaching!  Getting to the underlying cause/s for fatigue is essential to restoring wellbeing.   Toxicity, gut imbalances, infections, thyroid and hormonal issues, autoimmune conditions, mitochondrial dysfunction are just a few reasons fatigue can control our lives.  But, also consider…how often do we actually stop and rest? Did you know that rest is more than just sleep?

We know that sleep is important to our overall health and wellness. Sleep is often one of the first things to get disrupted when dealing with health issues and the single most important thing needed to heal. Poor sleep quality and quantity can be the driver for the development and progression of inflammatory diseases. (2) IFM reports that adults who are short sleepers (less than seven hours) are more likely to report 10 chronic health conditions, including depression, arthritis, diabetes, and asthma. (3) On average, adults are not getting enough quality sleep but there are also other forms of rest we are missing as well. There are seven different types of rest we need to optimally function as identified by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith MD. 

TYPE 1 – Physical Rest

Is your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) working for you or against you?  

TYPE 2 Mental Rest

Do you have a time during the day that you mentally unplug from work, from projects, from studies?   

TYPE 3 – Emotional Rest 

Do you find yourself interacting with emotionally draining people? Is there a specific circumstance or person in your life that steals almost all your emotional energy? 

TYPE 4 Spiritual Rest 

Do you fill your spirit with truth, joy, and peace? 

TYPE 5 Creative Rest

Do you give yourself permission to rest from constant problem solving? 

TYPE 6 Social Rest

Do you spend time with people who don’t need anything from you? 

TYPE 7Sensory Rest

Do you notice all the sensory stimulation you often unconsciously process all day? 

It may be important to look at each type of rest listed above and identify if you need to make changes. With Type 1 (Physical Rest), optimizing circadian rhythm is going to be important. With Types 2-7, there may be a need for daily, weekly, seasonal and possibly even yearly steps to be taken so you can rest and restore. Examples some some ways to support Rest for Types 1-7 are shown below: 

TYPE 1 – Physical Rest

DAILY optimal circadian rhythms of rest for most people are generally from 10pm to 6am (8 hrs.). The hours of 1am to 3am are often referred to as LIVER time or DETOX time. Committing to get to bed by 10pm each night and waking at a consistent time can help RESET your natural circadian rhythm.

TYPES 2-7  – Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Creative, Social and Sensory, require a habit of:

  • WEEKLY: Adopt a 24 HOUR rest day each week. Make a weekly habit of setting aside one full day – either evening to evening or morning to morning
  • SEASONALLY: At the change of each season take an additional day or create a long weekend 
  • YEARLY: Commit to taking a FULL WEEK at least 2x a year for rest away from the normal responsibilities

As mentioned above circadian rhythm is important for physical rest, but it can be more than just getting the full amount of sleep we need. The body’s circadian rhythm and sleep hygiene play a critical role in immune system homeostasis; both innate and adaptive immune responses are mediated in a time-of-day-dependent manner. (2) Our bodies naturally follow a circadian rhythm, even down to the cellular level. During the day our bodies are awake, active and feeding, and our metabolism is working to produce and store energy. Dr. Axe reports, “during the night the circadian timing system promotes sleep and shifts metabolism to a state of mobilization of stored energy by favoring hormonal signals (e.g., reduced insulin signaling, increased leptin) and metabolic pathways that break down stored energy reserves and maintain blood glucose levels.” (4) Down to the cellular level there is rest, healing, and restoration being done during the night cycle. 

Historically the circadian rhythm followed the sunrise to sunset pattern. Thanks to technology and a society that never sleeps, our circadian rhythm is often disrupted. For example, “Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in a circadian rhythm: It rises soon after sunset (the dim light melatonin onset), peaks in the middle of the night, (between 2 and 4 a.m.), and decreases gradually thereafter, dropping to very low levels during daylight hours.” (4) We know that blue light (light is emitted by LED and fluorescent lights, as well as many electronic devices) suppresses melatonin production. (5) The use of smart devices, phones, and tvs, into the late evening can suppress the production of melatonin and therefore having an effect on the overall circadian rhythm. See the chart below for the normal flow of cortisol and melatonin throughout a 24 hour period: 

Cortisol that we mentioned last month in the article about stress, is important for signaling the circadian rhythm as well. Dr. Axe reports, “within the first hour after awakening, there is a sharp increase in the production of cortisol — the cortisol awakening response (CAR). Following this morning peak, cortisol production decreases continuously throughout the day. Cortisol production is very low during the first half of sleep and then rises steadily during the second half.” (4) The morning spike in cortisol helps to encourage our cells to get ready to process nutrients, our bodies begin to prepare for the day of physical activity and it initiates our biological day. We discussed last month how adrenal function and cortisol levels can be impacted by stress which can cause a disruption in the circadian rhythm. Disruption in circadian rhythm is just one example of common sleep issues others are: 

  • Insomnia – difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Sleep Apnea – pauses in breathing while sleeping
  • Circadian Rhythm Disruption – interruptions to a natural 24hr. sleep wake cycle
  • Narcolepsy – loss of control of sleep cycle

We mentioned above about melatonin and cortisol playing a critical role in maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm, but there can be other factors as well. 

These five factors and their resulting dysfunction can cause sleep issues: 


Quality sleep relies on nutrients like magnesium, B Vitamins, Vitamin D, Zinc, Omega 3 fats, and amino acids (like taurine and tryptophan) to produce the right amounts of relaxing chemicals like GABA, serotonin and melatonin. If your diet is lacking in these nutrients, you may not be producing the right amounts of these. 


Blood sugar imbalances can definitely disturb sleep rhythms. When blood sugar drops too low, the body produces cortisol and may wake you up or cause lighter sleep patterns.


Stress can make it difficult to fall asleep, and stay asleep.  Whether it be anxious thoughts keeping or waking you up or elevated cortisol levels shifting your circadian rhythms; lowering stress levels can be key to optimizing sleep


Certain diagnosed medical conditions can disrupt sleep like diabetes, and pain related illnesses.  Following a specific natural treatment for these conditions can greatly relieve symptoms and get to the root cause without the harmful side effect of disrupted sleep.


While certain medications are necessary at times, if sleep disruption is one of the side effects talk with your doctor to try an alternative medication or supplement.

With these factors working against a good night sleep, there are options of things to do to help have a good night sleep. Here are 10 Sleep Hygiene Tips: 

#1: Eat a light protein whole food snack around bedtime (boiled egg, spoonful of nut butter, handful of almonds) helps to keep blood sugar stable throughout the night.

#2: Keep your sleeping space as DARK as possible

#3: Avoid screen time 30 minutes before bed

#4: Avoid drinking (especially caffeine) an hour before bedtime

#5: Read the right type of relaxing, inspirational material before bed, and make a quick list of anything on your mind that you want to remember the next day, so your brain can shut down.

#6: 150 minutes of exercise per week has been shown to improve sleep quality (30 min. walk 5 days a week)

#7: Lower electromagnetic fields in bedroom (avoid charging cell phones, devices by your bed, use grounded sheets)

#8: Keep the room COOL. Temperatures for sleep should be less than 70 degrees fahrenheit

#9: Invest in a quality mattress

#10: Use minerals like Natural Calm in warm water or trace mineral blend supplement or Epsom salt bath to soak feet before bed

Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” The Lord will give Rest to those who seek Him. 

Hebrews 4:9 “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”  This promise is one of a future time when our work has ceased. But the example of God resting from his work temporarily still holds true as a model of living today.  A temporary rest one day a week significantly increases our productivity the other six days!! Take God at His word and commit to ceasing from work for one day a week. 

This month Eureka! Is focusing on all areas of REST. If you or someone you love is living tired, and would be interested in a comprehensive personalized protocol to get to the root cause of fatigue, complete our new client form and select REST as the area you would like to focus on. 

Need a Rest Rx? Join our monthly protocol!  Our Rest Rx Protocol focuses on habits, hygiene and hormone solutions for restoring sleep!

Join the Rest Rx Protocol Here!! 


  1. https://ideas.ted.com/the-7-types-of-rest-that-every-person-needs/
  2. https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/sleep-immune-crosstalk-exploring-links-between-sleep-quality-quantity-immune-health/
  3. https://www.ifm.org/news-insights/sleep-dysfunction-importance-relaxation/
  4. https://draxe.com/health/circadian-timing-system/ 
  5. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/blue-light#:~:text=Blue%20light%20suppresses%20the%20body%27s,we%20are%20trying%20to%20sleep
  6. Eureka! Nutrition Course

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