Is there a night recently that you can say you slept really well? If yes, please know that I’m very envious of your sleep, and you can stop reading right here.
For most of us, though, it’s become the norm to feel fatigued and exhausted. For me, I had never felt more exhausted than when I was going through adrenal fatigue. I dreaded the night time because I knew I’d probably just lie in bed awake all night…just like I did the night before…and the night before that… This went on for over a year, but many of you have been going through this for even longer. This can be highly symptomatic, as Health Ambition explains.
Lately, my sleeplessness has come back in full force, so I’ve been doing a lot of investigating into the cause of it this time around, and how to best restore restful sleep. I’m already starting to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and get up feeling energized using a combo of the tips below.
Now, uncovering the root cause of sleep issues can be complex, whether it’s diagnosing adrenal fatigue like I did through some functional lab testing, finally admitting to yourself that the stress of your job is the contributing factor, or cutting back on sugar so your body can finally wind down.
But more than likely, it’s a combination of a number of things. It’s different for every person, depending on:
- The food you eat (processed food and sugar can be some of the biggest culprits)
- Your stress levels
- How well you go through your sleep cycles
- Other diseases or symptoms you have that can interfere with sleep
- …and pretty much any other combination of events and triggers in your life
Pinpointing which triggers in your life may be causing sleeplessness and fatigue is a big part of what my health coaching program is for (and if you’re interesting in booking a session you can do it right here), but there are some other tactics you can begin implementing immediately that can make an impact on getting to sleep and staying asleep.
No matter how long your sleep has been lacking or subpar, it can be fixed. Really! Here’s how:
1. Cut out computer, tablet and phone usage 1-2 hours before bed
We’re all guilty of using electronics too late into the night, often even bringing them into bed with us.Why is this bad? First, electronics emit a blue light, the same color light that signals to our brain that it’s time to be awake. That’s no good when it comes to night time. While there are apps like f.lux that can dim our computer screens an amber color, and the iPhone now has this feature built-in, being plugged makes it really hard to clear our minds in order to get a restful sleep. By avoiding usage 1-2 hours before you go to bed, you allow your brain to relax and clear itself of racing thoughts.
2. Block the blue
Having trouble kicking your electronics to the side at night? Start by instead trying these super awesome amber-tinted sunglasses that can help block the blue rays our electronics emit. They’re eight bucks and totally worth it.
3. DIY nighttime tea
If you’ve been following my #thrivebytea series on Instagram, you’ve learned about some stress-relieving and sleep inducing teas like chamomile, lavender and valerian root.
On nights where I need a little help winding down, I usually just make a single tea mixture, most often chamomile. But other nights where i’m wired and not seeing any signs of relaxing, I actually mix 1 tsp of chamomile leaves, 1 tsp of lavender leaves and 1 tsp of valerian root in a big cup of hot water and steep for 10 minutes. It’s amazing how fast I feel relaxed and tired.
4. Magnesium oil
Magnesium plays a big part in nearly every biological function, including sleep. And most of us are deficient in magnesium, so it’s no wonder we don’t sleep well. As explained by Ancient Minerals (the brand of magnesium lotion and oil I use), “magnesium […] is the primary ingredient in muscle relaxation, has a neuroprotective effect that is absolutely crucial to each and every stage of sleep, assists in slowing metabolic processes and lowering brain temperature as your body attempts to repair daily damage during sleep cycles, and helps regulate key hormones responsible for not only helping you fall asleep, but keeping you asleep.”
I spray the Ancient Minerals magnesium oil on the bottoms of my feet (where it can be quickly absorbed) right before bed and have had a better night sleep ever since.
5. Lavender essential oil
Lavender oil, like magnesium, has calming and relaxing properties that promote peaceful sleep and ease feelings of tension. When used in combination with magnesium, it can be a powerful combo for sleep.
Many nights I’ll add a drop of lavender oil either on my feet (the same way I do the magnesium spray), my wrists, or behind my ears, basically any area that can quickly absorb it. Plus, it smells great! doTerra is an awesome brand.
Your game plan
Try one of these techniques at a time and see how it works. Not every tactic will work for everyone, and sometimes what’s required is a combo of the above. What I love about these tactics is you can pull them out when you feel like you need them. Some nights I’d rather drink tea, other nights I’d rather rub on some magnesium. Or sometimes, I do both! The great part about taking an all-natural approach to sleep is you can’t go wrong doing a lot of these great things all at once!