Improving your sleep can mean so much in terms of your health, happiness, hormones, and overall life quality. Ever since I was a child I can remember personally struggling with insomnia, and not being able to get enough or a deep enough sleep. As a teenager and young adult I would struggle to even fall asleep or stay asleep. I used to always feel like that morning alarm would just come too soon. After years of trial and error I’ve put together a list of different sleep hacks that seem to do the trick- naturally!
Set up your sleep environment
Sleep dark– use black out curtains or an eye mask, and cover bright lights from devices to maintain circadian rhythm. Any source of light can affect our melatonin production!
Sleep cool- but not too cool! Body temperature drop at night is an important aspect of circadian rhythms. Most studies show people sleep best at a room temperature of approximately 65*F, being too hot can disrupt deep sleep. I personally use a Chili Pad, which is a thin pad that goes over your mattress, and you can set the temperature to keep it consistently cool throughout the night.
Create a calm environment–decorate your room to feel relaxing and not over stimulating. Your room is for sleeping, not TV!
Use white noise- they have apps for this or can use ear plugs to block out noise
Turn off WiFi- the electromagnetic fields can be disruptive to melatonin production if kept in the room
Unwind before bed– leave a few hours before bed to disengage from work and stimulating activities. Create boundaries for yourself from work related tasks after a certain hour.
Maintain a consistent bedtime– to maintain circadian rhythm, your body will get used to this
Be mindful of blue light from screens– limit screen time before bed (and put your phone screen in “night mode”). Blue light from screen is literally telling your body and brain that it’s noon. Think about when the sun shines the brightest.
Purchase “blue-light blockers”– orange colored glasses for sleep – these work incredibly well for increasing your body’s own melatonin product. Up until recently in our human history, we only were ever around warm colored fire light after sunset.
Adrenal Cocktail Recipe
Bath or Shower before bed- can be apart of the evening routine to calm the nervous system, also a practice of nourishing self love!
Bedtime snack- Yes! You read that right! Some people really do better with a bedtime snack- it helps replenish the liver for better blood sugar regulation throughout the night (carb + protein) – if you tend to wake up every night around 2am, try this! You can also try an adrenal cocktail.
Brain dump- get out all of those racing thoughts you have, that keep you up at night, by writing them down by journaling, making a list, using your “notes” app or just a good old pen and paper. It doesn’t have to be neat or organized, just get those thoughts OUT!
-4 oz. of Organic Orange Juice. This source of whole food vitamin C assist in getting these minerals to the Liver to then nourish the Adrenals.
-4 oz. of Coconut Water. Provides potassium
-1/4 tsp of fresh ground Redmond’s Real Salt or Sea Salt. This is an excellent source of Sodium & 90+ other trace minerals.
– Optional 1 Tbsp of collagen powder
Strategies for throughout the day
Blood sugar regulation- is extremely important here, and in every aspect of your health. Eat regular meals throughout the day (including breakfast) and always pair your carbs and proteins together. Balanced macronutrients is key! I made a whole blog about this here.
Wake up gently– find an alarm sound that isn’t startling to your nervous system
Manage stress– meditation, mindfulness, movement, gratitude, EFT (tapping), somatic shaking, etc.
Get outside!– getting sunlight periodically throughout the day helps tell your body what time of day it is and helps reset your circadian rhythm. Vitamin D is essential for hormone balancing (vitamin D IS a hormone!) and healthy metabolism. Bonus if you get your bare feet on the ground!
*it is important to be making vitamin D on your own, and to NOT supplement it!
Include daily movement- whatever works best for you (movement > “exercise”, as far as longevity and general health)
No caffeine after 2:00 pm– caffeine can stay in the system for several hours
Magnesium!– the “anti-stress” mineral that almost everyone is deficient in, look for “magnesium glycinate” as a supplement or “magnesium chloride” lotions for on the skin.
You can buy magnesium glycinate from Jigsaw here.
For a full product directory approved by The Root Cause Protocol, check out this link.
Lavender– Useful in promoting an increase in slow- wave, deep sleep (can use the essential oil on bottoms of feet)
Valerian Root– herb that has a sedative action
Ashwagandha– an adaptogenic herb that helps regulate cortisol (can also find as a tea)
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