CREATING AND IDEAL SLEEPING ENVIRONMENT
Originally published: JUNE 4, 2019
Times have really changed! With all of the technology, lights everywhere, growing cities (means growing noise and pollution), our bodies are trying to keep up and change with the times. Its hard though! Supporting your body as much as you can, means it doesn’t have to do so much work, and it can focus on repairing and restoring what it needs to.
There is a reason Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have been increasing in popularity in the West, proving to be mega-effective. These ancient practices teach us how to move through the noise of modern life and get back to our bodies equilibrium.
We really need to stop the daily hustle and bustle and work with (and for) our bodies. If we don’t have our health, what do we have?
In the first of a series of entries speaking to modern life, and how to tweak it to work FOR us, we will cover one of the most integral to our health today. SLEEP!
- Sleep in complete darkness- why? Because any kind of light tells your body not to make melatonin quite yet. Its saying, hey! It's not night time. I still see some light! Light exposure at the wrong times alters the body's internal "sleep clock"—the biological mechanism that regulates sleep-wake cycles—in ways that interfere with both quantity and quality of sleep.
- Don’t sleep with electronics: Simply said, The blue light emitted by all screens restrain the production of melatonin (your sleep hormone!) They also keep your brain very alert and “on”. This is why it’s so important to avoid electronics about 1 hour before bed. Because they literally keep you up! After a full day of being on all of the techs, your brain needs, and wants a break- BAD.
- Blood Sugar: If your blood sugar is all over the place during the daytime due to stress, little sleep, poor food choices and stress- this doesn’t mean those haywire levels stop because you hit the hay. Your blood sugar will still be very erratic while you sleep. This means you will wake up throughout the night, not get a well rested sleep, and wake up tired again. Starting the cycle. So eat mindfully! Including protein at all meals and snacks is very important purely for blood sugar control and stability. As well, stay away from as much sugar and processed foods as you can. And remember to eat regularly to keep sugar levels stable.
- Do not consume caffeine, or B-vitamins late in the day. Both of these things are stimulants and take a while to leave your body. If you know you are sensitive to caffeine, switch to herbal teas in the afternoon. As well, chocolate is included in this as it does contain a low amount of caffeine.
- Try and stick to a schedule, even on the weekends. Now, obviously there are going to be exceptions to this rule, because HECK I still want you to have fun in life lol. But overall, your body + health like routines. So try and go to bed, and wake up the same time each day.
- Take into consideration the noise coming into your room, the temperature and how comfortable your mattress, pillow, bedding and pyjamas are. Adjust these if they aren’t working for you. Even consider tidying up your room if its a mess- yes this CAN affect your sleep quality!
- Clear your mind in the evening. Strategies include listening to relaxing music, reading a book, taking a hot bath, meditation, deep breathing, relaxing massage like crystal facial rollers + gua sha and visualization. I personally love the headspace app to get me into complete relaxation before bed.
- Refrain from eating a few hours before bed, because the digestion process can keep you up. a light snack, or warm almond milk with cinnamon is ok. In fact, cinnamon is very good for controlling blood sugar so not a bad idea. But stay away from binging as it can make it very hard for your body to get into sleep mode.