We all know the benefits that sleep has on our physical and mental health... but what small hinge changes can we make to our diet and lifestyle that will promote good sleep?
Every health professional knows the clinical benefits of sleep. From helping our bodies to heal naturally and prevent disease, to allowing us to focus and be happy, getting enough sleep is vitally important to your overall health and wellbeing. So why do 1/3 of American's fail at getting enough sleep?
“As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.”
Are you one of the 33%? I sure am!
I'll sleep when I'm dead...
6 months ago I started wearing a fitness tracker called the Whoop. It tracks my "strain" throughout the day, my "recovery", and my "sleep". All 3 of these things are related and affect each other, but I wish Whoop also tracked what I put in my mouth.
What I've learned from the Whoop:
When I exercise I sleep deeper
Alcohol & stress negatively impact my sleep
I do not sleep deeply when I eat right before bed
For optimal recovery I need 8 hours + of sleep per night
If I fall asleep with my phone in my hand vs. while meditating or reading a book, I wake up 2 - 3x more during the night!
You're probably already getting some ideas of what you can do to get better sleep... but let me break it down for you in 5 small hinge changes that you can apply TODAY -
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day - walk, run, yoga, bike, dance, whatever makes you happy. Just do something to get the blood pumping and the extra jitters out!
Reduce alcohol consumption - notice I didn't say "don't drink"... I love a glass of wine with dinner, but if I drink the whole bottle (don't judge), my sleep that night will be crap!
Eat 4 hours before you go to sleep - and try to eat clean foods, lean (vegan) proteins, whole organic grains, fresh veggies, and water (hydration is key!), so that your body can easily digest.
Put the phone down! - I used to play an hour of sudoku on my phone or look at real estate in my town in order to fall asleep, now I do 5 minutes of meditation and knock out immediately... then I sleep through the night. Blue light and mental stimulation = broken & crappy sleep.
Take magnesium nightly - there are dozens of proven health benefits of magnesium, but I've found that if I take 300 - 500mg (try the Calm fizz drink) 45 minutes before bed, I fall asleep faster, and wake up feeling more rested. It also helps reduce inflammation, lower your blood pressure, and get your bowels moving. It's magical!
As always, try everything and see what works for you! Oh, and I am here for you if you have any questions or want to share your sleep stories!
Sending you lots of love and yum... and sweet dreams!