Getting the Best Rest
When I looked up sleep routines, almost all the articles were for babies and toddlers. What about as adults? How does having a routine help with our sleep? For women, it has a much larger affect on your health than it does men. Stress is the number one factor affecting women’s hormones. Getting sufficient rest is one major thing to help reduce stress and balance hormones. Well, I recently took a hormone test and mine are definitely out of whack. Vito and I want to start trying to conceive soon so I want to be as balanced as possible before we start. I understand our health will never be fully perfect but if there is a life change I can make that will have a positive impact on my health, why would I not? I am going to share with you the first step for me in taking ownership in my health, which will aid in my journey in trying to conceive. That step happens to be one of my favorite things to do…. sleep! I’m going to share how to establish a sleep routine and what I am doing to make the most of my rest.
Set the proper sleep environment
Creating a place of relaxation is very important. I include a salt lamp, black out curtains, diffuser, and a clean space. I try to keep my room as decluttered as possible so there is not chaos around me while I am trying to relax. There are some essential oils that are relaxing for me that I like to diffuse. One of my favorites is White Fir. It is very grounding and earthy. Keeping the room cool has also been shown to help create a relaxing environment.
It is important to have a good quality mattress or pillow. There are tons of places you can go to try out different mattress types. I know finding the right pillow has been trial and error for me, but I eventually found one I cannot sleep without! If I am road-tripping somewhere, I always bring my own pillow along.
Keeping electronics in the bedroom to a minimum helps promote a healthy sleeping environment. I have never had a television in my room, but I do have my Ipad and phone in there. Tons of studies show that the blue light from your screens interferes with the production of melatonin, which is the main sleep hormone. Keeping your phone on a nightstand and not on your bed not only reduces your temptation to use it, but also reduces the radio wave frequency that could potentially harm your body. Learning to be in tune and connected to your body helps establish your sleep routine.
Establishing a sleep routine
For years I worked in the nightlife industry and felt like I never had energy. I would get home from work anywhere between 1am-6am. This last year I was finally able to get into a sleep routine that is in sync with my biological clock….well, mostly! The internal circadian clock is linked to better health overall. It affects hormones, neuro-pathways, heart health, and mental health. I usually go to bed around the same time at night and wake up at the same time every morning. I try not to hit the snooze button because that is also supposed to help your energy throughout the day and establish your body’s natural sleep routine. Using a light lamp alarm instead of an obnoxious loud noise has been shown to bring you out of your sleep gently and not shocking your adrenals right away in the morning.
I wash my face, brush my teeth, and do all that fun stuff (you can read about my face routine here). After that is done, I use the Koi CBD spearmint 1000MG by taking a dropperful under my tongue. The American Sleep Association has an amazing article on the benefits CBD has for sleep. You also want to make sure you are using the proper dosage. If you are using a CBD tincture with a 20mg dose, it likely won’t help much. That’s why I love Koi. The products are super clean, and I have been using them for months. It is the first CBD company that has worked for me. I used to have a hard time staying asleep, but this product has helped me a lot. I also like to rub their lavender infused lotion on my feet and neck. Scents play a huge role and when your body smells your bedtime scents, it starts to relax. Try the products I love from Koi for 20% off with code elizabethjoy20.
After I rub lotion on, I stretch. It is not an active stretch, but I sink into a few postures that help relax my body. I lay on the ground with my legs up the wall and take deep breaths. I then do the spin twist while laying down, the butterfly, and child’s pose. I am not a yogi but these stretches help my body unwind and get ready to crawl into bed. Check out more on yoga and sleep in this article from Harvard Health.
Praying or meditating is another part of my routine. Science has shown links that prayer and meditation fight insomnia and help improve sleep. I make sure my alarm is already set and begin stretching and incorporate prayer and meditation into my stretching. When I am finished, I crawl into bed and have no need to look at my phone. I always begin my prayer with gratitude and move into focused breath work and a relaxing body scan.
Your days affect your nights
Your diet and exercise has an impact on your sleep. Finding ways to move your body every day is beneficial when you are trying to fall asleep. Food also has an impact on your sleep. Eating a nutrient dense diet, limiting caffeine and decreasing your sugar intake all help improve sleep.
I am still working on practicing my routine and there are nights I don’t do all of this. However, taking these steps has significantly improved my sleep, which has impacted my overall health. I would love to know what you do for your routine!!