As I’m doing several corporate talks all about ‘Sleep’ (and as it is always such a hot topic in clinic), I thought we had better end the year spending some time focusing on this for you, because you know how important sleep is!! Surely, there’s got to be some hacks to having a great night’s sleep right? Well, I am here to help!
You already know from the interview I did last month with author, James Nestor (which you can find on YouTube and Instagram), that breathing plays an important role in sleep. We need to make sure we’re ‘nose-breathing’ and not ‘mouth-breathing’ at night .. but there’s also other important factors to sleep.
You will be familiar with my story in terms of me not being able to sleep growing up and in early adult life. I provide a whole module talking about this in our online course because it’s so important for your health. So here are a few easy additional hacks.
- If you’re not sleeping well, first of all remember, sleep begins in the morning. If you’re not parasympathetic throughout the day, you’re not going to sleep well in the evenings. You can refer to our previous YouTube videos to learn all about different techniques for how to become more parasympathetic.
- Yes, magnesium does help. So many clients come to me saying that they take magnesium to help them sleep, but remember (like all minerals), you want to be in balance in your body. So you don’t want to be taking magnesium forever. The question to ask yourself is, “Why do you still need magnesium? Why is that helping me sleep?”
- We’ve talked about morning routines before, but what about your evening routine? That is really important because that’s what I call ‘transitions’, ie. letting your brain know that now it’s sleep time! We need to be looking at our light exposure in the evenings. So I have these amazing, super cool blue-blocking glasses (and no, they don’t need to be orange). I use them if I’m ever on my computer, or on any sort of screen. On my corporate talks, I will often use these as a demonstration. You also want to have the filters on your computer and on your phone.
So you really want to look at the quality of light in the evenings. I don’t use bright lights. I try and use lamps only or candle lights because that’s really key for staying in tune with our circadian rhythm. I t’s all about matching daylight. With the invention of bright light, your body doesn’t now know it’s time to sleep. Another key element is getting some sunlight or – in Wellington, not sunlight, but bright light, first thing in the morning – because that tells your body to start the circadian rhythm working properly.
So those are key lifestyle things that you can be doing. If you also want additional supplement support, you know how much I love phosphatidylserine. This balances your blood sugar regulation and helps you with your digestion, but the reason I always get you to do it in the evenings is, it helps you sleep.
Another recent ‘game changer’ that we’ve had clients using in clinic, (as well as myself personally, and my team) is the new sleep support by Primal Life Organics. The feedback from clients is out of this world.
I know how tricky it is when you can’t sleep and how stressful it can be, so I’m forever trialing things to make your sleep better. I’ve been sleeping really well for a while now, but this made my sleep so much deeper.
The other thing I have on my desk, that we use a great deal in the clinic, is the vagal oil, because it gets you into parasympathetic mode (rest and digest) throughout the day, and was the thing that personally really helped restore my sleep. But this one by Primal Life Organics is amazing. I played a trick on mum because I was over at their house for dinner. She asked me, “How long will it be before it kicks in?” I said, “An hour. You should try it now,”. Ten minutes later, and she was asleep on the couch! We all love Trina’s products in clinic. Give it a go.
And lastly, you also want to be looking at your melatonin levels when it comes to sleep as well because if your melatonin is out, or dysregulated, then something is happening with your cortisol, and we don’t want you to be too low or too high with your cortisol.
So there are some quick, easy sleep hacks. Make sure you set a bedtime! This is really important with Christmas coming. Let’s go into 2021 with great sleep because sleep sets you up for the best health possible!