smart ways to fall asleep

Mastering the Art of Sleep!

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Mastering the art of sleeping is not always easy. The first step is living within the natural 24-hour cycle from light to dark.

Why is that important? And what does that mean?

Our hormones are based on Mother Nature’s cycle and respond to the rhythm of the day accordingly.

We are meant to rise with the sun (or as close to sunrise as possible), as our cortisol is highest at that time. As the day goes on, our cortisol lowers and our body prepares for rest.

This is the sleep cycle nature intended. No one is “naturally” a night owl.

If a person feels that they function best at night, they are more than likely experiencing hormonal dysregulation, and changes should be made to shift back into the natural cycle for better health and better sleep. page10image20965504

Steps Towards Getting Better Sleep

  • Wake naturally without an alarm clock. If this is tough at first, set your alarm for a quiet “easing” into wakefulness by using a chime, gong or even a sunlight clock until you naturally wake on your own.

  • Make sure you are getting your most pressing tasks done in the morning ‒ the things that require more energy than others, like exercising, stressful projects, etc.

  • Eat on a schedule and eat real, clean food. Eliminate all processed refined sugars, grains and anything that comes in a box. Breakfast should not taste like a sweet treat. If you’re like me, you might feel better doing intermittent fasting. I normally just have some water and coffee in the morning. I push through with my morning run and then might have a few bites of lunch to carry me over, and then slowly eat my lunch starting around 12:00 p.m. onward.

  • Expose your eyes and skin to sunlight (vitamin D) for at least 15-20 minutes per day. Absorbing sunlight is best done with bare arms and legs. Walk barefoot outside; feel the earth beneath your feet. If it’s not the season to be bare, get a natural vitamin D light for your home and talk to your doctor about supplementing.

  • Daily exercise is critical. This might mean a brisk walk, using weights at home, a jog, a swim ‒ anything to get the blood flowing and body feeling balanced.

  • As the day winds down, shut your blinds and lower the lights. Light a few candles, turn on relaxing music and take a warm bath with lavender essential oil.

  • Eat before 6:30 p.m. and make your meal lighter than your lunch or breakfast. Eat a small protein/fat/carb snack before bed to stop the surge of adrenaline and cortisol that often happens in the night when blood sugar is off if you still struggle with wakefulness. As enjoyable as it is to unwind with alcohol, try to avoid this altogether. If that is not an option for your lifestyle, cut back and try one glass at dinner before it gets too late. Too much alcohol can keep your body and mind going well past bedtime.

  • Turn off ALL electronics by 8:00 p.m.

  • Take ten minutes to handwrite your thoughts and “To Do’s” for the next day. Once it is down on paper, you release it from your energy and your mind and free yourself to rest.

  • If you still struggle with stressful thoughts, work on calming your anxieties during the day with a stress-reducing app on your phone.

  • Place lavender calming oil on your temples and breathe deeply from your chest. Do some relaxing stretching before bed and when in bed, read. Definitely no browsing your news feed on your phone or scrolling Instagram! The goal is to be in bed asleep by 10:30pm at the latest.

  • Remove ALL sources of light from the bedroom (including televisions, phones, alarm clock lights and light that filters through windows, etc). If this is not possible, wear an eye mask for total darkness.

  • Hopefully with these tips you will be well on your way to a fabulous nights sleep!

Sweet Dreams……XX Amy