TAKE SLEEP A LITTLE MORE SERIOUSLY (9 tips for better sleep)
Insomnia affects millions of Americans. Although you may not believe that you are diagnosable, you could still be losing enough sleep to disturb your daily routine or even diminish your health. When waking in the morning, you should feel rested and ready to take on the tasks ahead of you. If this is not you, then there is likely some tweaking that needs to be made.
Everyone is different and will respond differently to added changes. Most changes have minimal risk and are worth experimenting with to see if they help.
1. Don’t eat sugary foods or high carb foods after a certain time that you set. If you are already following
a ketogenic diet or have an intermittent fasting schedule timed, then you are probably already on top of this one. Some studies show that carbs can help you sleep, but carbs need to be eaten 4 hours or more before bedtime. In realty consuming healthy fats will provide better sleep. Taking a form of MCT (Medium-Chain-Triglyceride) Oil before bed would be ideal.
2. Stay away from the phone, computer and TV. You are just going to read something or hear something that gets you all worked up. The blue light from these devices also has a negative affect on sleep. Blue light can reduce the melatonin production, which is required for sleep.
3. If you refuse to fast from your phone before bed, at least put the phone on night mode once the sun goes down. This will cut back on the blue light exposure you are getting. You easily can preset night mode so that it comes on and goes off at a certain time on any Android or Apple phone.
4. Continuing on the theme of light, your room should be dark, very dark. That means blocking out light on your alarm clock, especially if it is blue. Close the blinds or get blackout curtains to really help. Some people actually get a permanent marker and color in their clock screen. This will make it harder to read during the day, but still readable at night or early morning.
5. Turn on the fan. Our brain tries to triage everything that is going on around us. The noise from the fan will trick our brain into down-calibrating its sensitivity to other noises, making it easier for us to sleep and stay asleep. The fan can also keep us cool, which our body prefers while sleeping.
6. Take a cool shower to help the body temperature drop as it is supposed to when sleeping.
7. Create a consistent routine that can be reproduced from day to day so your body can get used to this pattern.
8. Do a sleep study to check for sleep apnea. If you sleep through the night, but don’t feel rested, you may be waking up at night due to undetected breathing issues, which will affect your rest. Sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight. This study can be done by a local sleep specialist.
9. With doctor guidance take one or multiple of the big 8 supplements for sleep. These include
magnesium, melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA, Kava (can be found in a tea form), Valerian root, Chamomile and vitamin B6. A more well-rounded way of consuming some of these nutrients is via diet. Eating whole foods that contain these chemicals may be as affective or more effective. One example is cherries. Certain cherry varieties contain melatonin, which will help regulate your sleep.