Rebuilding Sleep

When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed after a deep and completely restful full nights sleep?

As many of us struggle with getting adequate sleep on a regular basis, this is a topic that cannot be ignored. Some of you may know that not getting enough deep sleep can wreak havoc on your body. It affects the way your body digests food, your production of cortisol, depleting your energy so you grab that caffeine for a boost.

Deep sleep is a necessity for stress-reduction, due to the brain cycles during various stages of sleep with deep sleep being the most restorative. With nightly feedings, watching tv before bed, or simply having too much on your mind can really disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling like a walking zombie the next day. By establishing a bedtime routine, you can work towards regaining your restorative sleep that is needed for a thriving mind and body.

A few tips we love to do to get us ready for ready for some much needed zzzz’s:

  1. Limit your exposure to Blue Light one to two hours before bedtime. Research shows that blue light affects our pineal gland, which is the tiny organ found in the middle of the brain that releases melatonin – the hormone that is responsible for regulating our sleep cycles. Melatonin release is known to be triggered by exposure to light, in the form of sunshine and internal lighting. Scientists have discovered that the pineal gland receives information through the eye and is very sensitive to the blue light. So turning off electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime or wearing blue blocker glasses while watching tv will help. Also ensuring that your bedroom is as dark as possible while you sleep will help keep that natural circadian rhythm.
  2. Establish your sleep routine. By winding down 1 hour before bedtime, you can get your mind and body ready for a peaceful slumber. We recommend reducing the noise in your home, avoid physical activity that elevates your heart rate 2 hours prior to bedtime, read a good book, take a hot bath or foot bath with magnesium sulfate, and diffusing essential oils such as lavender can help calm you down before bedtime.
  3. Make your bedroom a safe haven for sleep. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 68 degrees fahrenheit. Our core temperature during our deepest sleep drops between 3 to 4 degrees below our baseline. If your room is too hot, it will make it harder for your body to reduce it’s core temperature. Also adequate air flow, a good mattress and bedding will support your body and help it stay at a normal temperature. We also love using allergy pillow protectors or changing your pillow every 12-18 months due to the accumulation of dust mites that can occur.
  4. Try meditation. Meditation is a great way to calm the mind and regulate your breathing. If you can’t sleep because you have too much on your mind, this is a great method to try to push pass those thoughts keeping you up at night.
  5. Change your before bedtime eating and drinking habits. Have you ever noticed after late night eating that you wake up feeling exhausted and restless? Your body uses those sleeping hours to do the most work on digestion and if you have a lot of food in your stomach, this will affect your blood sugar levels and requires a lot of energy breaking up and digesting food, in turn keeping your body more awake at night. By eating a smaller meal and avoiding alcohol at least two hours prior to laying down for bed, you will ensure that your body can focus on recovery during sleep.
  6. Reduce electromagnetic fields in your bedroom. Electro-smog (aka electromagnetic field EMF) refers to the combination of electrical and magnetic fields that can contribute to inflammation, causing an increase of calcium into the cells. This intracellular calcium requires energy to remove and causes inflammation in the process. How do we limit our exposure? Turn off your modem and other electronic devises before bedtime or put them on airplane mode. Turn off anything and unplug anything that is not essential for the overnight functioning of the house.
  7. Get grounded. You have probably heard of “grounding” or “earthing” and wondered what in the world does that mean. Grounding, or earthing, is about giving your body access to electrons from physical contact with the earth in a beneficial way. Every process in our bodies needs electrons. If we do not have enough of them, then our body has a hard time dealing with inflammation quickly and can contribute to lethargy, disrupted sleep cycles, and our ability to think clearly. By walking barefoot on the bare earth and spending time at a beach or wherever a large body of water meets land can help give you more energy, regained vitality, alertness and life. Earthing bedsheets or mat can also be used to get similar benefits.

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