Getting adequate sleep is one of the most enjoyable things you can do to improve your well-being. Sleep is therapeutic for the brain, transformative for the body and essential for optimal health.
Sleep improves metabolism, aids weight loss, balances hormones, supports healing, reduces depression and anxiety, increases energy, reduces signs of aging, and much more!
With countless benefits and as the body’s natural cosmetic, there are many reasons to get your “beauty sleep.” Knock yourself out with these tips to improve the duration and quality of your sleep.
1. Soak Up The Sun
As little as 15 minutes a day of direct sunlight can help your body reset its internal clock and synchronize your biological rhythms. This is especially helpful for those suffering from jet lag or time zone changes.
2. Avoid Stimulants
To get better zzz’s, avoid coffee, cocktails, cardio and other stimulants. That means applying a noon caffeine cut off, saying buh-bye to booze after dinner, and skipping the evening gym routine.
3. Relax & Unwind
After sunset, focus on activities conducive to relaxation. At least 30 minutes before bed, unplug from electronics and create a calming ritual such as lying with an eye pillow, journaling, taking a bath, practicing gentle yoga, reading or meditating.
4. Reduce Artificial Light
Reduce your exposure to artificial and blue light after dark. This type of light tricks the body into thinking it’s daytime, which suppresses the production of your sleep hormone melatonin. To minimize bright lights, use accent lighting, Himalayan salt lamps, candles, F.lux software for electronics and amber-tinted glasses.
5. Set-up The Bedroom
Promote more restful sleep by creating a relaxing, clean, cool, quiet, comfortable and dark sleep environment. Wash the sheets regularly, set the bedroom to a comfortable temperature, turn on a fan to block out external sounds, cover windows and unplug electronics.
6. Go to Bed Earlier
Whether you want to utilize the time you have while the kids are asleep, watch one more TV show or reply to another email, staying up late disrupts your hormones. Late nights interfere with sleep quality, cause you to wake up throughout the night and leave you feeling groggy in the morning. As a remedy, start to wind down at sunset and strive to be in bed by 10:30 PM.
7. Get More Sleep
Going to bed earlier may also help you get more sleep. Make it a habit of going to bed and waking up at about the same time every day. Try also to get about the same hours of sleep each night. A consistent sleep routine will greatly benefit your body composition and overall health.
8. Stabilize Blood Sugar
Clean up your diet to support blood sugar levels and balance hormones. Eat a Paleo diet that focuses on quality proteins, natural fats, and colorful plants. Make sure you’re eating plenty of protein at dinner. A small protein rich snack about 30 minutes before bed can also help support nighttime blood sugar levels.
9. Address Underlying Issues
Contact Cate to find underlying root causes. Pathogens, blood sugar issues, liver congestion, hormone imbalances and other factors could be contributing to your sleep issues. Symptoms, health history, and labs can all be factored in to determine the best plan for you.
10. Supplement for Support
Contact Cate to learn what supplements will benefit your body the most. Valerian, kava kava and passionflower are perfect for stimulating GABA to help you fall asleep. Magnesium calms the nervous system and relaxes muscles. Curcumin reduces inflammation to provide natural pain relief.
- I eat a protein rich dinner and add a protein rich snack as needed.
- I focus on evening activities that reduce stress and calm my mind.
- I have a clean, cool and dark bedroom.
- I reduce artificial light by using accent lighting and candles.
- I wear amber-tinted glasses watching TV and use F.lux on electronic devices.
- I turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bed.
- Difficulty falling asleep –> Support GABA naturally, consider amber tinted glasses and avoid napping.
- Difficulty staying asleep –> Support serotonin levels naturally.
- Difficulty waking up –> Re-evaluate sleep supplements/medications and improve hormone balance.
- Mind racing –> Support stress reduction and melatonin/cortisol balance.
- Feel wired and tired –> Support melatonin/cortisol balance. Address possible pathogen issues.
- Wake to urinate –> Avoid drinking 2 hours before bed.
- Wake between 3-4am –> Consider liver support and a detoxification program.
- Wake to eat –> Eat a protein rich dinner and a protein rich snack 30 minutes before bed.
- Wake with acid reflux –> Raise your pillow a couple of inches.
- Night sweats –> Focus on balancing hormones.
- High pain level –> Consider natural anti-inflammatory supplements and pain-killers.
- Restless leg syndrome –> Address chronic inflammation and infections.
- Snoring problems, sleep apnea or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) –> Consult with a professional to find the right solution for you.