There is nothing quite like waking up fully rested, energized, and ready to take on the world. The challenge is, in our modern society, millions of people are sleep deprived and it is taking a huge toll on their health.
Studies show that just one night of poor sleep can make you as insulin-dependent as a type-2 diabetic. This translates directly into storing more body fat!
Now if this continues for days, weeks, months, or even years, you can see how much this can impact your health. We have seen that sleep deprivation makes it tougher for one to lose weight. We have seen immune systems start to fail, diabetes develop, depression, and mental fog increasing because we aren't getting the sleep our body needs.
We all want and need more sleep, so I have provided you with 5 ways to improve your sleep quality tonight!
5 Ways to Improve Your Sleep to Feel Rested
Quality Sleeping Environment
Your sleep environment is extremely important for sleep quality. Warm temperatures, artificial lights, loud noises, and EMFs can all affect how you sleep. Here are some tips to improve your sleep environment for a better night's rest:
- Keep the room temperature below 70 degrees. Ideal temperature ranges for sleeping is between 65 and 70 degrees. If you get cold at night, snuggle up with more blankets which you can easily peel off if you get too warm.
- Remove all (I do mean ALL) artificial lights from the bedroom. This includes your phone, alarm clock, TV light, etc. Studies have shown that even shining a pen light on the bottom of a sleeping person's feet will reduce melatonin production (sleep hormone) and wake them up.
- Instead of using the annoying loud alarm clocks that make you jump out of bed, which starts your day off with a stress situation (like we need more stress), use a sunlight alarm clock that gradually increases the light in the room. Waking up like this allows your body to “rise with the sun” like it naturally would. You will feel much more rested and better prepared for the day ahead!
- EMFs create vibrations throughout the atmosphere at a higher level than what our body is used to. The vibrations track into our brains, and keep the brain stimulated at a higher level. The problem with this when trying to sleep is your brain can't shut down and rest. Since we can't completely avoid EMFs (unless you buy very expensive EMF Bed Canopies) we can at least limit the exposure around us. Turn off your home wifi at night (you don't need it while you are sleeping), and put your phone in airplane mode.
Stay Consistent With Your Schedule
Staying consistent with your sleep schedule will greatly improve your quality of sleep. If your bed time and wake time change all the time, your body will struggle to find a rhythm in order to optimize your sleep. By staying consistent with your times, your body can learn how to utilize your sleep cycles so that you can fall into a deep REM sleep and properly detox your body.
Avoid Using Technology 1-2 Hours Before Bed
Let's face it, putting down our tech is tough to do. We have emails coming through, friends texting us, and so many apps to play on. I'm sure you have had jumped on social media for a couple minutes to soon discover that a half hour has already passed. If you want to feel the most rested in the morning, it is best to avoid technology for 1-2 hours before bed.
- Screens emit blue light which mimics the light given off by the sun. When staring at the screen before bed, it suppresses melatonin production which makes it tougher to fall asleep and stay asleep. There are some websites and apps that add a warm filter to the light on your screen to mimic the sun setting. This helps your body to prepare for bed to a certain degree. For computers I use F.lux and for my phone I use Twilight.
- It keeps your mind engaged. At night you should be settling in and relaxing. Sending off a couple work emails or seeing photos from peoples' day keeps your mind working and thinking about it as you lay to rest. You want to quiet the mind as much as possible before the big snooze. Try meditation before bed to help calm the mind.
What to Eat Before Bed
One of the common problems people have at night is waking up between 1 and 3 a.m. This generally happens because of a low blood sugar event, meaning the sugar levels in the blood drop and your body releases cortisol (a stress response hormone) to elevate the blood sugar. This is what pulls you out of a dead sleep and makes you fully awake. Some foods can help with keeping your blood sugar more even throughout the night.
- Try eating some healthy fats a couple hours before bed. This will create a slow burn on energy throughout the whole night so you won't get a blood sugar dip. Fats include: coconut oil, avocado, egg, organic and pasture raised meats, and butter
- Nut butters can help with long nights of sleep as well. Since butters are partially broken down already, you can typically eat it about an hour before bedtime
- Avoid highly processed carbohydrates (no oreos or cheez-its!) as these break down very quickly in the body meaning you will almost certainly get a drop in blood sugar. Excess processed carbohydrates leads to weight gain as well.
- Avoid vegetable oils. This should be avoided at all times anyways as these oils are rancid and toxic to the body. These also causes hormone disruption which can mess up your normal hormone production during sleep cycles
Utilizing Supplemental Support
Sometimes the foods we are eating just aren't giving us all the nutrients we need in order to optimize sleep and feel the most rested. This is where supplemental usage helps to improve specific nutrient levels in the body to optimize function.
- Utilize herbal tonic teas to help lower stress in the body. Herbal Tonics help the body to adapt to different stressors and to keep the body relaxed overall. Some great herbal teas can be found here
- Magnesium is a calming mineral that most people are deficient in. A lot of sleep aids contain magnesium because it helps so much with relaxing the body for sleep
- Valerian Tea has been used by many cultures to bring about sleep faster. Drinking a cup of Valerian Tea before bedtime will induce a sedative effect. Luckily when you wake in the morning, there is no sleep hangover feel!
Are you having troubles falling asleep? What methods have you found to work the best with falling asleep and feeling fully rested in the morning?