Sleep changes everything!
I had been until recently, an incredible sleeper. For the first time this year, things would change, I had been knocked off my sleeping perch and it hurt!
I would fall asleep peacefully, however after being lulled into deep slumber I would wake shortly after, unable to drift back to sleep for the rest of the night. Absolute nightmare!
And so, began my exploration to find the elusive sleep that I so badly needed.
Firstly, some symptoms that I started to notice in my sleep deficit time zone:
- Super flat, could not find my va va voom
- Reaction times where snail pace slow
- Short term memory stayed in last year
- Started snacking more
- Random bruises became my norm
I knew some bio hacks that would either help me shift out of this funk, or at a minimum support my system until I figured out what was going on.
The first thing I did was to get the sunlight to hit my eyes in the morning, this helps your body naturally get your cortisol levels up. As well as aiding the production of melatonin, the hormone that aids in sleep… tick tick tick.
Also trying to earth myself throughout the day, getting my feet on soil, sand, some form of Mother Earth, even if it was for five minutes (I tried for at least twenty but not always possible), I found it gave me some time in space to feel into my body.
Both were effective. However, here are 9 things I discovered that dramatically improved the quality of my sleep and brought me back to being an amazing sleeper.
Add them into your sleep routine, and you’ll be well on your way to a superior night between the sheets.
What is it?
Ashwagandha is a super-herb and nourishing adrenal tonic perfect for those who are wired, exhausted or depleted.
This gentle wonderous adaptogen works along-side your body to ground you and bring you back into balance.
It aids your body to fall asleep faster and have an increased REM sleep. TICK!
This was one of the first things I tried and woke up after the first night genuinely feeling refreshed for the first time in a scarily long time.
How I use it:
Ashwagandha is extremely heat sensitive and should only be warmed and not heated.
I add it into my smoothies or make a night time drink with it. Usually with a nut mylk of the week and a tiny bit of honey.
What is it?
This ‘shroom is known as the ‘medicine of kings’ and the ‘mushroom of immortality’ and has been used as a tonic and strengthening medicine for thousands of years.
Reishi is the legendary wizard of all the superior medicinal herbs because of its apparent medical efficacy and the absence of unfavourable side-effectsand toxins resulting from consumption.
With a plethora of incredible health benefits such as:
- demonstrating significant improvements for those suffering Alzheimer’s disease;
- improving effects of asthma;
- reducing muscular stiffness; and
- boosting your immunity.
The biggest one I feel is SLEEP promotion.
There have been incredible reports within my community of people with insomnia for years, having their first full night’s sleep after consuming Reishi. Not just one or two people but MULTIPLE… just brilliant!!!!!
How I use it:
This brilliant shroom works WONDERS for me. But as I am highly sensitive to it, I have to be mindful of dosage. ¼ to ½ a teaspoon is ample for me.
Used in the same way as the ashwagandha, mostly alongside it, like lovers.
While we’re lucky enough to have all the convenience and information technology brings to our lives, the
flickering blue lights (from your computer, your TV, your phone, to name a few) can harm our bodily systems.
Our body needs to produce melatonin to induce good sleep. Unfortunately, blue light reduces melatonin production. In fact, when blue light penetrates the back of our retina, it suppresses the delta brainwaves, which induce sleep and boosts alpha wavelengths, which create alertness.
There is a solution!!
Blue light blocking glasses! I love them so much I actually wear them as an accessory a lot of the time!
These glasses will block blue light waves from reaching the back of your retina. Allowing your precious melatonin to be produced, so when you decide to lay down… sleep is yours, my friend.
Add FLUX for free onto your computer screen
This will take away your blue light when the sun goes down where ever you are in the world.
EMF, in this context, relates to anything with wi-fi attached to it or going through it.
Some people are more sensitive to this than others, but arguably it affects us all.
Ensuring you don’t have any wi-fi in your room is optimal in creating a harmonious space for restful sleep. The magnetic frequency transmitted by wi-fi, can result in restlessness. Take one of my mentors who was struggling with restless sleep for example. When his wife happened to turn off the wi-fi, he fell into such a deep sleep, he didn’t move an inch that night. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean your body can’t feel it.
But don’t be too harsh on yourself, I’ve been guilty of watching a movie in bed, (with my blue blockers on of course). Just remember to turn the wi-fi off afterwards or
turn your wi-fi off at the modem so you don’t have waves whizzing around your house at night, heaven!!!
5 – Get your meditation on
Can you spare five minutes before going to bed, to focus on your breath and wind down? Just to be present in the moment.
Watching TV, even with your blue blockers or drinking your adaptogens doesn’t count as meditation, sorry guys.
Here are some ripper apps that we love to help you on your way:
- Insight timer
- Head space
- One Giant Mind
- Smiling Mind
Note: Download it or set it so you can listen with flight mode on.
And always set your alarm before starting (I’ve learnt this the hard way)
Whether you ingest it or spray it, this wonder mineral is an ABSOLUTE MUST!
Even if you eat perfectly, have ‘organic’ everything, don’t drink alcohol or coffee, and have no stress in your life (firstly, who are you? I need to know your secrets), the soils are so depleted today that it’s incredibly tough to get enough magnesium into our systems.
Here are a few magnesium deficient symptoms to look out for:
- Waking throughout the night
- Muscle twitches
- Numbness or tingling in extremities
- Mental numbness or lack of emotion
- High blood pressure to name a few.
I like to mix it up between a supplement and an oil I apply topically to get into those sore muscles directly. I rub on my calves and the soles of my feet before bed for faster uptake.
When your body has sufficient magnesium, it helps activate the neurotransmitters that are responsible for calming the body and the mind …. A dreamy night ahead.
7 – Eat as early as possible
Trying to fall asleep on a full stomach is never a great idea as your body is far too busy trying to digest food, to give you the rejuvenating sleep you want. It might also increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Everyone’s digestive rates are different so do try different eating times to find what suits you best.
Latest researchindicates that men function optimally keeping their eating between a window of 8-10 hours. Giving them a timeframe of 14-16 hours for their digestive systems to rest. Female hormonal systems being more delicate, need a slightly larger eating window of 10-12 hours for optimal results.
- Improved gut health
- Deeper and more restorative sleep
- Weight loss
- Balancing cholesterol and many more…
This regime allows the body lots of time for healing. I’ve personally seen fantastic results with clients just adding this simple rule into their lives.
8 – Get your booty to the gym in the morning
When you exercise you increase your system’s cortisol (stress hormone). When the cortisol is high, your melatonin (sleep hormone) will be low. These two hormones have a symbiotic relationship, meaning they work in harmony. When one is high, the other is low and vice versa.
If you struggle with sleep, I would highly recommend exercising in the morning. Working with your body’s natural wave of cortisol.
Also use our suggested meditation techniques at night as they help lower your cortisol.
However, if you feel like moving your body later in the day try some gentle stretching, tai chi or qi gong instead.
9 – Breath in those gorgeous essential oils
Essential oils are a beautiful way of creating an energy in the room that you can feel. Essential oils can be used to improve focus, ignite passion, increase energy or induce sleep.
Here are a few ways we love to incorporate them into our bedtime routine.
- Place a few drops into your favourite diffuser and allow yourself to be immersed. It entices me to take a huge breath, breathing in all the goodness, resulting in changes to my energy straight away.
- Mix with a carrier and rub on the soles of your feet, pop a pair of socks on and melt into bed.
- Spritz on your pillow and sheets.
Oils to have next to your bed include:
- Lavender (Of course)
- Roman Chamomile
- Ylang Ylang (one of my favs)
Even just playing around with a few of these suggestions can have a profound effect on your sleep. Start with one or two and incorporate more when you’re ready. Which ones pull you?
Sleep well my friends.
Let us know here at Jivita, which ones work for you xxx
Stavinoha, W.B., 1990. Study of the anti- inflammatory activity of Ganoderma lucidum. Presented at the Third Academic Joint Conference, pp: 201-208.
Yoon, S.Y., S.K. Eo and Y.S. Kim, 1994. Antimicrobial activity of Ganoderma lucidum extract alone and in combination with some antibiotics. Arch. Pharm. Res., 17(6): 438-442.