Being in the field of health and wellness, we touch upon subjects as high and low as they come. There is so much to be explored. We talk gratitude and self love, algae and amino acids, crystals and moon phases. It is an ongoing journey of getting deeper and deeper to the core of how to treat your body, mind and spirit right. Some aspects are a little more luxurious, holistic or spiritual, while others are based on cold hard scientific and nutritional facts. It gets us so exciting that we almost overlooked one of the most essential building blocks of our wellbeing. It seems so basic, but let us not forget the power of a good nights sleep. We can have as many green juices and yoga classes we want, if we are not well rested, we won't be able to access all the benefits, and the world will just not be your friend. We get hangry and short tempered and discontent all day. To avoid your zombie-evil-twin coming out, let us help you find whatever makes you sleep (or rest) at night. Here's a list that is tried and tested.
1. Back out of the stimulants.
We know you already know this by now, but there seems to be a force bigger than knowledge when it comes to giving up certain habits. We can train ourselves into the right direction though, because if needs be, healthy decisions come in the form of sacrifice, and that can be a process. Try and bid farewell to anything caffeinated after 1 pm, and ideally to alcohol one to two hours before bed. Yes alcohol makes you drowsy, but it becomes a stimulant a few hours after you've dozed off, decreasing the length and overall quality of your sleep. When it comes to food, avoid anything thats gonna make your blood sugar spike.
2. Instead, try this:
- Cherry tart juice
- Chamomile tea
- the Iron man Juice (turmeric and beets both are soothing) or the Bedrock Juice (high in magnesium)
- Complex, magnesium rich carbs like sweet potatoes and pumpkin
3. Make your bedroom a sanctuary
Start this way: picture your bedroom. How does it feel? The aim is to have it radiate peace and quiet all by itself. When there is clutter laying around, your mind will be cluttered, and when there are screens on in there, your mind will be 'on' too. Treat it as a sacred space: your bedroom is for sleep and sex only. Does not sound so bad, right?
4. Light management.
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that is activated when it gets darker. That used to be a fool-proof formula brain and body signaling to each other that it is time for bed, but a lot has changed since man was made, and unfortunately we can all of a sudden be bombarded with waves of artificial light emitting from our phones. Throws off your system into thinking it is daytime again. Same goes the other way around, if we spend all day in a dark environment (office), the day-night time contrast wont be noticeable enough for your body to respond to it.
5. Invest in forming a routine.
Your body likes structure. A lot. If you invest in forming healthy habits, it will automatically start switching to snooze mode, making it a lot easier for you to wind down. Forcing yourself to fall asleep out of nowhere, just because you want or need to, does not, ever, work. If you are trying but haven't fallen asleep yet within 30 minutes, get out of bed and indulge back into one of your lovely routines. Try and have your little toolbox of relaxation at the ready. We suggest a light read, lavender essential oils, soothing music, a warm shower or bath, some stretches, meditation, anything that helps you calm down.
6. File away your day
This may sound contradicting, but having an overview of what you need to do helps when busy schedules are what's keeping you up at night. That's right when you need your rest most.
- First of all, realize that tomorrow starts tomorrow, and today is now ending.
- To solidify that, make a short to-do list with the essentials for tomorrow, than put that down somewhere far away from your bed.
- Now understand that the only thing you can do right now, that will have the most impact on successfully completing that list, is getting some rest. Time for bed now.
7. Positive thinking
When running through mind mazes is holding you back from falling asleep (very common), here is another little trick. When overthinking, don't try to stop it or push thoughts away. This will make things worse, just as trying really hard to fall asleep doesn't work. Instead, try and balance out every fearful thought with a positive one. For some reason, if we shift our attention from problematic to positive thoughts, not only does that make us more comfortable, we spend less time actually thinking the matter through - unfortunately. The overthinking will naturally flow away.
8. Watch your breath
Whatever you do, you always have your breath to focus on and to instantly calm you down. That's just a fact. Your breath is like the bridge between your conscious and subconscious mind, and when we slow down our breath and stay with it, your body and mind will follow. Breathe in for 7 seconds, hold for 7, then breath out for 7. Try to make it soundless and smooth, and whenever your mind wanders off, try to gently refocus.
9. Sleeping apps
Tip #3 suggested to leave your phone out of the equation, but it may become helpful if we use it to our advantage. At least turn it on night-mode so the blue light goes into a soothing shade of yellow and you won't be disturbed. Done? These are a few we apps we like:
- Headspace: try the 30-day sleeping program to learn to become more mindful in relationship to sleep, or a single-pack for a guided meditation to fall asleep right there and then.
- Calm: another meditation app, calm provides sleep sounds and stories.
- My Sleep Button: helps you visualize random objects in a pace that allows you to get out of your own thoughts, counting sheep 2.0.
- Sleep cycle: keeps track of your nocturnal activities so you can become more aware of your tendencies, how long you actually slept etc.
10. Let go.
Wait, what? Give up all together? As a matter of fact, yes. Maybe you are one of those people who does not need that much sleep, maybe tonight is just not your night, and even if that is not the case, stressing about it won't solve anything (never does). Instead, focus on your peace of mind so that you can still get rest. It is 100% possible to not feel tired even though you slept shortly, just by changing the way you relate to it. Let nighttime be a time of rest, not a battle, regardless of how many zzz's you actually catch at night.