We live in fast paced world, where everything is available to us 24/7, we over plan, we rush, we have faster computers, faster cars and faster phones. Our speed of thought has to compete with the today's demands. Brain scans today show rapid growth in brain activity, it can take hours for the brain to slow down, which effects the quality of our sleep.
The problem is these days that sleep deprivation is worn as a badge of honor. Sleep is essential for good health and disease prevention. You can eat all the kale in the world and it won’t make you healthy if you aren’t getting enough quality sleep. Sleep deprivation can contribute to: immune system failure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, and memory loss, and a catalyst for diseases and appearance issues (skin problems, weight issues and more).
You must first understand the importance of sleep - High quality sleep fortifies your immune system, balances your hormones, boosts your metabolism, increases physical energy, and improves the function of your brain. Whatever you want to achieve in life you must get enough good quality sleep.
We need to renegotiate our relationship with sleep, we need to learn to fall in love with sleep again.
So, What you can do to radically improve your sleep, starting TONIGHT?
Start by getting 30 min more than you usually sleep. Increase your sleep gradually. We both know that if you’re sleeping 5 hours a night and you’ll decide to sleep 8 hours after reading this email it’s not going to work. We tend to backslide from big commitments. Slow & steady = more sustainable. You’ll begin to experience the change in energy and productivity and naturally have more time and motivation to increase your sleeping hours.
Avoid the screen. The artificial ‘blue light’* emitted by electronic screens trigger your body to produce more daytime hormones (like Cortisol) and disorient your body’s natural preparation for sleep. Turn off all screens a full hour before bedtime. *Otherwise get a blue light blocker f.lux or blue blocker glasses
Avoid caffeine after 2 pm. Caffeine is a powerful nervous system stimulant. If your nervous system is lit up, you can forget about getting high quality sleep. Even if you think you have no problem falling asleep after consuming caffeine, you are most likely experiencing that your sleepiness is dropping down through the night and you either wake up or sleep lighter.
Get to know Magnesium – An anti-stress mineral. It helps optimize circulation and blood pressure, balance blood sugar, relax tense muscles, reduce pain, and calm the nervous system. I personally recommend Calm. Have 1 tsp of calm magnesium in you chamomile tea (which is also shown to calm the muscles and nervous system) before bedtime. You can also have a hot bath with magnesium flakes and lavender essential oil.
Stop eating at least 90 min before bedtime - Give your body a solid 90 minutes break (the more the better) before heading off to bed after eating. This is especially true if you’re eating carbs because the inherent blood sugar spike will cause a sharp drop in blood sugar later… and if you happen to be asleep when this hypoglycemia hits, it will likely wake you up and give you difficulties falling back asleep. If you really need to eat something have a high protein, low carb food. Try my turmeric ‘milk’ recipe for a soothing nighttime potion.
Create a sleep sanctuary – your bedroom is for sleep, not for work, not for entertainment. Create a clam environment. On this note, try getting your devices out of your bedroom - numerous studies have confirmed that the EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields or Electromagnetic Noise) coming from our everyday electronic devices can cause disruption of communication between the cells in our body. Also darkening your room will improve your sleep quality.
Create YOUR bedtime routine - Quiet your mind. The inner chatter that you experience when you try falling asleep is a result of the stress and (untamed) busyness of the day. Now more than ever with the constant flow of information coming at you, it’s important to have a practice to help you reduce, or even better - eliminate, that stress. Avoid screens at least an hour before going to bed. Here are few suggestions you can try: take a hot bath with magnesium flakes and lavender oil, read a book, do a relaxing yoga sequence, practice meditation (lowers stress hormones, reduces inflammation), journal (do a ‘thought download’ to clear your head and write a gratitude list to create a positive mindset)
Most important, if you feel like you have a lot to improve don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to follow all suggestions in one go, try to incorporate one thing each month.
What is your evening routine? Are there any habits you swear by? Please share in the comments below!