When it comes to autoimmune disease, sleep might be the key (or the obstacle) to remission. Here are resources to help us all sleep better and longer. For other ways to support your autoimmune health, see the entire Lifestyle Archives.

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Episode 212: Morning & Bedtime Routines with Dr. Sybil Cooper

Morning and bedtime routines are a wonderful way to bookend your day, starting and ending it with some joy and self-care. They can also make a big difference in the quality of your sleep. So in today’s podcast, we do a deep dive into the science of circadian rhythms and learn how to create morning and bedtime routines that support autoimmune health. My guest is Dr. Sybil Cooper. She is both an autoimmune warrior and an immunologist. She has a deep understanding of the immune system both personally and professionally. She’s also a health and nutrition coach who helps people create new habits to thrive.

Woman lying in bed with hands over face, clock says 3:41am

Advanced Sleep Troubleshooting for Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune disease often causes insomnia, and then poor sleep increases autoimmune flares, creating a vicious cycle. In this article, I tackle some of the biggest sleep challenges: pain, anxiety, restless legs syndrome, snoring, hormones, blood sugar imbalances, new parenthood, and more. I also review sleep trackers, sleep supplements, and a special form of therapy that’s more effective than sleeping pills in resolving insomnia.

Episode 160: Insomnia & CBT-I with Dr. Jade Wu

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia is more effective than sleeping pills, and doesn’t come with side effects. How compelling is that? We talk a lot about the importance of sleep on this podcast. Lack of sleep can lead to autoimmune flares, which in turn can interfere with sleep, creating a vicious cycle. This happens to everyone once in a while, and there are some basic interventions we can do to support our ability to sleep well. But what if you’ve tried all the basics, and nothing seems to work? That’s called chronic insomnia, and that’s the focus of our podcast today. CBT-I is specifically designed to help you overcome chronic insomnia. My guest is Dr. Jade Wu, a clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine researcher. The focus of her research is treating sleep disorders in people with chronic illness. 

woman sleeping

10 Ways to Improve Your Sleep Right Now

Sleep has a direct connection to autoimmune health. Lack of sleep increases inflammation, increases our susceptibility to infection, and stimulates the immune cells that become overactive with autoimmune disease. It’s one of the reasons poor sleep is such a common trigger of autoimmune flares. Yet sleep isn’t always as simple as just going to bed. What if you have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep? There are things you can do! Here are my top ten tips.

Breathing Techniques for Anxiety, Insomnia, and Fatigue | Phoenix Helix

Breathing Techniques for Anxiety, Insomnia, and Fatigue

Have you noticed that if you pause and take a slow, deep breath, you feel a little bit calmer? Deep breathing taps the relaxation response. For people with autoimmune disease, this is an amazing power at our fingertips, since stress is a common trigger of autoimmune flares. In this blog post, I share four of my favorite deep breathing techniques. You can use them as “medicine in the moment” to alleviate your anxiety, give you an energy boost during the day, or help you fall asleep at night. You can also make deep breathing a daily practice. Just a few minutes can make a big difference.

Episode 94: Troubleshooting Sleep with Dan Pardi

Sleep is essential to our bodies’ ability to heal. In fact, many of us have experienced autoimmune flares caused by lack of sleep. At the same time, autoimmune symptoms can make sleep difficult, creating a vicious cycle. So, what do we do? In this podcast, sleep expert Dan Pardi talks about the science of sleep: what happens when we’re sleeping and how much we need at different stages in our lives. We also talk about foundational habits for a good night’s sleep, and how to troubleshoot advanced sleep challenges.

Go To Bed Sleep Challenge E-book Review

How much sleep are you getting each night? Is it less than 7? Does it fluctuate? Is it hard for you to fall asleep? Do you need caffeine to get going in the morning? Are you still having autoimmune flares even though your diet is perfect? Sleep my be your missing link. It’s intimately connected to autoimmune health, and today I’m reviewing an e-book that delves into this science. It’s called “Go To Bed” by Sarah Ballantyne (aka The Paleo Mom). It includes a 14-Day Challenge to get your sleep on track for health, and I’m giving away a copy to one lucky winner!

Episode 12: Circadian Rhythms & The Perfect Health Diet with Dr. Paul Jaminet

This episode of the Phoenix Helix podcast covers Circadian Rhythms: our internal body clock that does so much more than keep time. Balanced rhythms promote autoimmune healing, whereas wonky rhythms are a huge obstacle, throwing off our sleep, hormones, and so much more. I’m joined by Dr. Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health Diet, to teach us how to harness these rhythms for optimal health. We also talk about his dietary protocol in detail, why he recommends eating white rice, and how infections relate to autoimmunity. It’s a great interview!

Can Skipping Sleep Cause an Autoimmune Flare?

Can Skipping Sleep Cause an Autoimmune Flare?

How many of us try to squeeze extra time out of the day, by staying up late or getting up early? We sacrifice sleep, because in our modern culture, we don’t value it. We consider it unproductive time, but we’re wrong. When it comes to reversing autoimmune disease, sleep is as important to our health as diet, and it might be the key (or the obstacle) to remission. Research also shows that we can’t “catch up” on sleep over the weekend. It feels like we can, because we’re less tired after a couple of good nights’ sleep, but on a cellular level we haven’t recovered. In today’s post, I share the research along with tips for how to sleep well and long.

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