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 body’s 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.
Take magnesium before bed: Magnesium is the miracle mineral. It is responsible for over 300 chemical reactions in the body. It is amazing to take before bed as it calms the nervous system, promotes deep sleep, and reduces inflammation. It will also help your body detoxify and repair during the night.