Simple strategies to help you get the deep rest your body needs to recharge.
1. No screens two hours prior to bed.
According to studies, the blue light emitted from cell phone, computer, and television screens can have a detrimental affect on your sleep. Artificial blue light can disrupt your body’s normal circadian rhythm and delay the release of melatonin, the hormone that eases us into sleep and signals our brain to start settling in for rest. This can mean that it is harder for us to fall or even stay asleep. The reduced quality of sleep (specifically our deep REM sleep) can lead to increased fatigue and impaired concentration as well as other conditions like suppressed immunity and chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
· Aim to shut off your devices two hours prior to bed.
· Try keeping artificial light within your home to a minimum as new LED bulbs can also impair your body’s normal release of hormones.
· Head outside and relax under the moonlight to stimulate your “rest and digest” response.
· If you absolutely CANNOT avoid screens, consider blue light blockers or simply turning up the warm light on your screens.
2. Sleep in a cool environment.
Keeping your thermostat down at night can actually help you fall asleep and keep you asleep throughout the night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the recommended temperature setting is between 60-67 degrees. Your body temperature has a major impact on the quality of sleep you are getting. Being too warm while you sleep can increase restlessness and insomnia and prevent you from staying in your REM cycle for the optimal amount of time. Have you ever woken up and pulled the covers off of you, or woken up sweating? Maybe drop the temperature or try running a fan and see what kind of difference that makes!
3. Think about supplementing with Magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency can be a major contributor to insomnia and restless sleeping. Magnesium can help activate the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system rather than our Sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system. Magnesium supports restorative sleep by maintaining GABA levels, a neurotransmitter that has a calming and relaxing effect on our nervous system. It can also regulate melatonin levels, which we have already learned are so important for prepping us for sleep. There are many supplements out there specifically labeled for calm or sleep aid. We prefer to use it in oil form at bedtime. As always, ask your Dr. before incorporating any new supplement into your diet.
4. Enjoy a cup of warm tea.
There’s just something about a warm beverage that brings a feeling of calm to your body. A favorite at our house is Tulsi Sleep tea with relaxing Adaptogens to further enhance the health benefits.
Make sure you give yourself about an hour after you finish your tea, or else you may find yourself up at night going to the bathroom, which would defeat the whole purpose of the relaxation ritual!
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5. End your day with a gratitude practice.
Think about and write down 5 things you were grateful for that happened during the day. Maybe it was something that happened at work, a nice phone conversation with a friend, or even having the time/energy to make it to the gym. It’s always nice to end your day on a positive note, even if there were stressful or unhappy moments within your day. This practice will help your body find calmness and allow your brain to tap into a different frequency to bring about positivity. Having a daily gratitude practice can be a life changing self-care ritual that’s benefits stretch far beyond improved sleep. It may be beneficial to start with journal prompts or purchase a gratitude journal for you to get a feel for it. There are many options out there, choose one that speaks to you and start writing! It may be difficult at first and you may not feel like you have much to be grateful for, but I promise you it’s a snowball effect once you get writing.
I'd love to hear how these tips help you get some needed rest!
Love & Light,