04.05.15 6 Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Getting healthy at a cellular level creates an amazing natural energy boost. Everyone reports higher levels of energy during their 88 Day Transformation and even after in their Maintenance Phase. Most people also report being able to fall asleep easier. If you’re still having trouble getting to sleep, or maybe you haven’t began your Transformation yet (what are you waiting for?!?) and are exhausted all day then wide awake when it’s time to get some shut eye, here are 6 tips for a better night’s sleep.
1. Go to Bed at the same time every night.
Getting your body on a routine sleep schedule is one of the most important strategies for achieving a great night’s rest. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night. (Actually trying to sleep…not laying in bed watching TV!) Make sure you choose a time that will allow you to get the recommended 7-8 hours of rest since your body does its best repair work on itself while you are sleeping. It’s tempting to stay up super late on the weekends but you’ll regret it Monday morning.
2. Turn off ALL electronics.
This means the television AND your phone. The backlight is stimulating causing you to stay awake while it suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin is the natural hormone your body produces to relax you and put you to sleep. I’m guilty of lying in bed at night watching Netflix or scrolling through Facebook too, but I promise it will still be there in the morning! If your favorite show is on late at night, record it or stream it online the next day. If you are afraid to sleep with your phone on silent because you don’t want to miss an emergency in the middle of the night, check out the Do Not Disturb feature on the iPhone that allows only certain numbers to call and text you during certain times of the night so you aren’t woken up by all of the notification noises we get on our phones. I am not sure if Android phones have a similar feature but I’m sure they do.
3. Limit Your Caffeine Intake.
Everyone metabolizes caffeine at a different rate so that’s why some people can drink a ton of coffee during the day and have a great night’s rest while most of us stay up tossing and turning with the same coffee intake. Caffeine includes coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda (pop/Coke…whatever you want to call it! I grew up in The North but now live in The South so I don’t know what to even call it at this point!) , and everything in between. Caffeine is ANY amount of it. Caffeine can actual keep you stimulated 10-12 hours after consumption. If you limit caffeine and get a better night’s rest, you won’t even need the caffeine for the energy during the day. See how this is coming full circle now? Also, you’d be surprised how much adequate daily water intake is able to substitute your caffeine addiction.
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
While you lie in bed, think about relaxing each and every muscle. Start at the tips of your toes, work your way up your legs, let go of your hips, relax each vertebrae individually and left it go all the way up to the top of your head. You will feel weightless and heavy all at the same time. It’s shocking how tense our muscles can be while we are trying to sleep which prevents us from being able to fall asleep. Focus on making sure each one is relaxed and you’ll feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud! This is also great for mind/body awareness and control.
5. Valerian Root/Melatonin
Many people feel like they need a glass of wine, prescription strength sleeping pills, Nyquil, muscle relaxers, Tylenol PM, etc in order to fall asleep. That couldn’t be any further from the truth! Your body becomes dependent on these and then you’re in real trouble. Great alternatives to get yourself away from the scary stuff and more toward the natural stuff are switching to Valerian Root or Melatonin. Both can be found at your local health food store. Valerian Root comes in capsule or liquid form. Honestly, both smell like dirty feet so I feel like I can get the capsules down much easier. Melatonin is much more palatable and a piece of cake to get down. I’ve even found it in orange flavor before! A little bit can go a long way so please still read the directions and use sparingly. I have used ¼ to ½ of the recommended dosage and gotten a great night’s rest. You’ll be surprised to find out that after a short time of regular use, you won’t even need them anymore but they are great to have on hand just in case.
Some of you might think I’m crazy for bringing this up but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! A friend showed me Guided Meditation Apps and YouTube videos and I thought it was a complete joke….until I got the best night’s sleep of my life from it! I’ve been using the same YouTube video to fall asleep for almost a year now and it still works every single night. It’s 18 minutes and 39 seconds long and I have never made it to the end. I turn it on via iPhone and put the volume pretty low and my phone face down so the light isn’t a bother. Lookup on YouTube, “Guided Meditation Blissful Deep Relaxation.” It was uploaded by “TheHonestGuys” and at the time of this blog post it has roughly 3.7 million views (so it must be working for other people too because I know I haven’t watched it 3 million times yet!) If this video doesn’t work for you, keep searching YouTube until you find one that does because there are THOUSANDS of choices.
- By Sasha Carandang