Sleep may be the most important part of your health (besides your mindset).
It is where healing and repair happens, it is where growth happens, it is where you build intelligence, it is basically the ultimate reset for your brain and body that keeps you running to the best of your ability.
High quality sleep fortifies your immune system, balances your hormones, boosts your metabolism, increases physical energy, and improves the function of your brain.
Without quality of sleep- your thinking ability, your metabolism, your energy, your appearance, and your mood will greatly suffer.
There are different stages of sleep. Most people in this day and age are only entering into light stages of sleep every night, leaving them tired, sick, and imbalanced each day. The more time you can spend in a deep state of sleep, the healthier, smarter, and happier you will be!
Sleep Tips for Rejuvenating the Body
During the Day
- Get more sunlight (especially in the morning!): One of the most important things that induces great sleep is your body’s natural secretion of melatonin. Melatonin sends a signal to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in your body. The production and secretion of melatonin is powerfully affected by light exposure. Get more light during the day, less light at night, and your bodies natural rhythm will be established!
- Exercise: If you are having trouble getting out of bed in the morning- and if do not get tired at night, exercising in the morning could help significantly! Our cortisol is supposed to be higher in the morning to wake us up and low at night to help us sleep. This is not the case for a lot people, because we are all stressed out. To fix this, get your heart rate up in the morning. This raises your cortisol(which is what we want in the morning) and will promote low cortisol at night.
- Have a caffeine curfew: Caffeine is a nervous system stimulant. If your nervous system is so stimulated, your sleep will not be so sound. Set a curfew time to make sure that your body has time to remove it from your system. For most people, it’s generally going to be before 3 p.m. If you have trouble staying asleep at night, I would definitely check this one out. Check out best way to consume caffeine here.
- Reduce exposure to screens 2 hours before going to bed: The artificial “blue” light emitted by electronic screens trigger your body to produce more daytime hormones (like cortisol) and mess up your body’s natural preparation for sleep. Computers, iPads, televisions, smartphones, etc are kicking out a sleep-disrupting blue spectrum of light that can give you major sleep problems.
In the Bedroom: Make a Sleep Sanctuary
- Have it dark: It’s a fact that we sleep better in a dark environment. Having light of any type in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep patterns. Your skin actually has receptors that can pick up light. If there’s light in your bedroom, your body is picking it up and sending messages to your brain that can interfere with your sleep.
- Have it cold: Temperature strongly influences your body’s sleep cycles. When it’s time for your body to rest, there is a drop in your core body temperature to help initiate sleep. If the temperature in your environment is too hot, then it can be a challenge for your body to get into the ideal state for restful sleep. Studies have found that the ideal room temperature for sleep is around 66 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Get the electronics out: Electromagnetic Fields or EMFs have been found to disturb sleep patterns. Numerous studies have confirmed that the EMFs coming from our phones and computers can cause disruption of communication between the cells in our body. This can lead to hormonal problems and even cancer as a result of being exposed to these things too long.
Get a Routine
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day: This one is a game changer. Our bodies thrive on rhythms. If you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, your body naturally begins to get tired around the time you go to bed, and wakes up naturally. The problem with sleeping in on the weekends is that is throws off your sleep cycle. Ever sleep in on a Sunday and have a hard time getting out of bed on Monday? It is not the Monday blues, it is your body trying to adjust to a rhythm- it slept in yesterday, so it is trying to do it again.
- Have a night time routine: It is all about setting up triggers that signal your body for sleep. If you do a few activities every night before bed, the minute you start the routine, your body begins to slow down and prepare for sleep. This means getting to sleep faster, and staying asleep throughout the night. Examples may be reading, stretching, drinking a cup of tea or taking a bath.
- Calm the mind: Most people complain that their mind is running and they cannot shut it off to calm down and go to sleep. This is normal, but it is also an easy fix. If you go straight from watching a stimulating tv show, or reading email, or searching social media- your mind will be crazy. Take at least 30-60 min. to do things that calm, not stimulate. Deep breath, read, stretch, pray- all of which will calm the mind and prepare the body for deep sleep.
Eat and Supplement for Sleep
- Adrenal Supportive- anti inflammatory diet: At night, your liver gets to work cleaning up the toxins from the day and the body also begins to repair and grow. If you liver is burdened by too much sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed food- your body’s priority will be to deal with this mess- not sleep. Also, eating too late at night will throw off your sleep because your body will be running strong trying to digest instead of sleep and repair- it cannot do both at the same time. Example of the perfect sleep diet here.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is an anti-stress mineral. It calms the nervous system, helps optimize circulation and blood pressure, balances blood sugar, relaxes tense muscles, and reduces pain. Stress caffeine and alcohol deplete magnesium so most of us are very deficient. Getting your magnesium levels up can almost instantly reduce your body’s stress load and improve the quality of your sleep.
- Go easy on the alcohol: Although people think alcohol puts you to sleep, it actually inhibits deep sleep. Your brain repairs, makes memories, and becomes smarter while you sleep, but this depends on being in a deep state of sleep (REM). REM sleep is significantly disrupted by alcohol being in your system. You won’t be able to fall into deeper levels of sleep, and your brain and body won’t be able to fully rejuvenate. This is why people generally don’t feel that great after waking up from an alcohol-induced sleep.
- Take a therapeutic grade fish oil.
- Take 2 tablespoons of collagen in water or tea for improved sleep, as well as hair, skin, and nails.