We all know that deep, restful sleep is a necessity for your body to function at optimal levels. And let’s be honest – It’s probably the easiest and most enjoyable form of self-care we can do for ourselves each day.
But with a recommendation of 7-9 hours of sleep nightly for adults, many of us find ourselves falling short. Not only does lack of sleep make it difficult to function optimally throughout the day, lack of good nightly rest is related to unwanted health issues (diabetes, heart disease, and depression to name a few.)
With the distraction of the next day’s responsibilities and latest Netflix series, it has become increasingly easier to fall asleep later without *properly* winding down (and not feeling the need to doom scroll endlessly on our phones til we can’t take it anymore.)
Just as we go to the gym and eat a balanced diet, focusing on winding down at night is equally as important to our health routine. Here’s our holistic approach to cultivating a healthy sleep hygiene this season.
Have a set dinner time
The best time to eat dinner is roughly 3 hours before bedtime. This allows for enough time for the stomach to properly digest by the time you’re ready to fall asleep. Eating small amounts of foods like complex carbs, fruits, veggies, or a small amount of protein will satiate hunger pains and help you fall asleep faster.
Be *conscious* about screen time
Getting away from screens is one thing that we all know to do, but have the hardest time doing. But putting away your phone and turning off the TV an hour or two before bed can have a transformational impact on your quality of sleep – you just have to make the commitment to stick to it.
The artificial blue light emitted from also delays the onset of REM sleep, meaning you’ll spend less time getting the deep rest you need. Take it one step further by turning your phone on airplane mode and placing it either in another room or away from your bed.
Ditch caffeine late in the Day
Did you know caffeine can stay in your system for 6-8 hours after consumption? Makes you re-think that afternoon cup. Once the morning has passed, swap your caffeinated drink for either a decaf tea or low caffeine coffee substitute like this.
Incorporate wind-down rituals
In place of browsing the internet or scrolling through Instagram, try implementing calming activities into your evening routine that will help you settle down and prepare for bed.
A few that we love:
- 20-minute sauna session with the Higher Dose Infrared Sauna Blanket
- Red light therapy session. The Joovv Go 2.0 is a fan favorite.
- Magnesium bath soak. Instantly calming and naturally stimulates melatonin production in the body.
- Vagus Nerve Massage – the ultimate treat for reducing stress and flipping on your body’s relaxation switch. Learn more here.
Adopt a nighttime skin care routine
As simple as washing your face and putting on some lotion may seem, its one thing you *CANT* do with your phone in hand or while looking at a screen. A solid skin care practice is the ultimate way to put you in a place of relaxation right before bed and be fully in the moment.
Swap out your phone alarm clock for *this one*
One of the worst things we can do is sleep next to our phones. Cellphone EMF’s have been shown to cause sleep disturbances (along with a long list of other side effects) which means we don’t want it near our heads at night.
This alarm clock from Loftie makes the transition away from your phone much easier. It is loaded with meditation prompts, noise machine, and lots of beautiful sounds to wake up to in the morning.
Supplement with Magnesium
It’s estimated that 75% of people do not get adequate levels of magnesium from their diet alone. And this mineral is linked to everything good we want and need in our body: it helps fight depression, induce muscle recovery, help stress management and promotes deep, restful sleep.
Before heading to bed, consider taking a magnesium supplement. We love BiOptimizer’s Magnesium Breakthrough – one of the only supplements with all 7 forms of magnesium in one serving.
Like any other health habit, consistency matters. Start by picking out one bedtime habit to include (or exclude) and nail it down before picking out another. Shift your mindset to loving your bedtime – more restful sleep will come before you know it.