Where TF am I? The alarm blazes like a foghorn, my eyes shoot open and dart about the room scanning my surrounds…oh. I’m at home😬. Scrambling out of bed, I sleepily pop on the kettle and go through my morning rituals. Coffee required immediately! Energy is at an all time low, I am lethargic and unmotivated but I’ve things to do, so I forge on. I’m just so tired! Sleep, so seemingly simple yet so difficult to control. It affects mood, energy, satiety, appearance, overall quality of life and wellness. Modern society, FOMO, technology and jet lag amongst other things can vastly affect the amount of sleep we get and the quality of it. So while I can still function on minimal zzz the quality of my operation can be fairly substandard. Here are some tips and tricks I use to get better nights sleep
First… what is good sleep?
Good sleep is going to bed before 11pm and falling asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, then sleeping uninterrupted through the night to wake naturally between 6-8 am with great energy, ready for the day.
Quality vs. quantity
I travel a lot and I cannot always sleep when I want to or when I need to. If I am getting 6-8 hrs. and its not between 11pm and 8 am while I would still be getting quantity I would not be getting quality and here’s why.
- 10pm-12am-vesicles (our neurotransmitter stores) recover
- 11pm-1am- our adrenals recover
So if I can go to be earlier my body recovers, productivity is improved and it’s better for hormone balance.
Waking in the night and what it means.
I used to wake every night and “need to use the toilet”. This I have learnt is not technically accurate though. The bladder can hold 1.5L of water so unless I had been guzzling it’s unlikely that’s why I woke. More accurately, this is what our body is telling us when we wake in the night.
Waking in the night:
- 11pm-1am-blood sugar may be low- what was eaten for dinner, was it enough food, was it enough protein?
- 1am-3am- the liver is affected, which, may be attributed to stress or the need to detox
- 3-5am- the lung is affected by oxidative stress.
- 5-7am- the large intestine is affected, requiring a detox.
How do I make this unicorn sleep happen?
For frequent travellers like myself it’s not always possible to sleep at the ideal times and jet lag can make this 8 hour sleep a real pipe dream, however, I try to make it a priority and stick as closely to a routine as I can.
- Have daily routines. Doing shiftwork can make this hard but morning and evening rituals prepare the body and mind for the day and for sleep.
- Nourish the body with quality fresh produce. Lots of veggies, a little fruit, lean protein and healthy fats plus plenty of water…and limit alcohol.
- Get some exercise. I love resistance training, however, if I’m too tired then I just getting moving with some light walking, which, always makes me feel great.
- Reduce emotional/life stress and relax-. One or a mix of these help, meditation, stretching, yoga, listening to baroque classic, taking a casual walk, reading a book or listening to a podcast. I like a little of all of these things but whatever works for you
- Reduce EMR and screen stress- I try to spend at least the last hour before bed away from tablets, smartphones, laptops and turn the phone off if I can when I go to sleep.
- Get some quality supplements
Supplements to fall asleep and stay asleep
- Magnesium 1-3g pre bed to quiet nerve activity and regulate melatonin
- Inositol 4-8g pre bed helps quiet the mind and prepares the body for falling asleep
- Melatonin pre bed can help adjust the body’s internal clock. It helps you fall asleep and stay asleep
- Carbs depending on BF %. Eating clean carbs before bed can restore glycogen for the next day and provide the body with glucose it needs to restore blood sugar levels during sleep.
To avoid waking during the night
If blood sugar is affected- eat a larger dinner, higher in protein and carbs
If liver affected- you can try
- Good multivitamin to supplement vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Chlorella to detox, it binds to heavy metals and other toxins and helps eliminate them
If the lung is affected try
- Antioxidants such as berries
- A greens supplement
If the large intestine is affected- supplement with chlorella
In good health and good sleep x