Sleep. The holy grail. Babies steal it from us, stress sometimes makes it impossible and when you don’t get it, well, watch out world.
I am a complete MESS if I don’t get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. When I had my newborns I literally thought I was going to DIE. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I put off having kids for so long – I just couldn’t bear the thought of no sleep.
Now that we’re on a better sleep routine with the kids, I make sure that I apply the same routine for myself – I mean it works so well for the kids, and that predictability works wonders for adults too.
Here’s my routine and things you can do to help improve your sleep:
- Chill the F out – doing anything too stressful before bed is a big no-no. This raises your adrenaline levels, and pumps out cortisol. Melatonin is the hormone that helps us sleep, and cortisol is what wakes us up. They are naturally antagonistic so when one is active, the other isn’t. You know where I’m going right…? Too much stress pumps out too much cortisol and so affects your sleep. Do what you can to chill out as much as possible starting from around 7pm at night. No crazy shows with lots of violence (I broke this rule when I binge watched all 5 seasons of Game of Thrones…….my sleep was really bad those weeks!). Start winding down, have sleepy time teas, do some restorative yoga, write out your priorities for the next day, journal, meditate, colour, have an epsom salt bath…whatever. Just do what you do to relax.
- Magnesium – I love taking a product called Natural Calm before bed. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and helps with sleep so much. I started taking it a few years ago and have never had an issue since (except for the newborn babies and GOT marathon episodes). Magnesium is a fantastic and often missed mineral we need for good nerve health, bone health and can help with so many things like cramping, muscle aches etc. Check with your doc first if you’re on meds.
- Manage those blood sugars – I talk about this ad nauseum with my private clients because it is HUGE part of overall health. Missing meals throughout the day, or having a lot of refined food with cause spikes and dips to your blood sugar, which can also make the cortisol issue worse. Manage your blood sugars throughout the day by having a fibre, fat and protein with each meal, and you can have a snack before bed of nut butter, avocado, turkey, cheese, nuts (nuts also have magnesium!) or even a spoonful of coconut oil!
While there are many layers to sleep and many versions of insomnia, try these things first and see if your sleep improves.
Let me know in the comments below how you manage your sleeplessness.
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