Sleep Hacks

I recently had a restless night of sleep which triggered memories of many sleepless nights in the past. A few years ago, I struggled to get a good night’s sleep. I battled this for over 3 years. For those of you that have struggled or are struggling to get a good night’s sleep- it’s the worst! It’s hard to be your best self when you toss and turn all night long.

My personality type is to fix things. It’s probably because I’m the oldest child and grew up helping my younger brothers. I knew it was possible to get a good night’s sleep so I went into learner mode to find best practices for a good night’s sleep. I’m sharing in hopes to help some one else get through the challenges of lack of sleeping!

  1. Magnesium Supplement. I take this 30 mins before bed. I don’t think I was getting enough magnesium in my diet (research shows about half of people aren’t). I would fall asleep then wake up a few hours later. Magnesium helped me stay asleep. I currently use JYM ZMA that I buy at GNC.

2. Meditation. I’ve mentioned this in other posts and I’m sure I’ll mention again but meditating every morning is a game changer. If you struggle with getting your mind to slow down at night, meditation will help you. My mind would race and race and I could not sleep. I’m not sure the science behind meditation but I know that it helps with my stress levels and sleep and that’s a good enough reason for me! I use Headspace app for at least 10 mins a day.

3. Exercise. This probably seems like a no brainer, but if I don’t work out, I usually don’t sleep as well. I love lifting weights, BJJ and just being outside but it’s not a one size fits all. Figure out what you love and do it for 30 mins a day.

4. Food. I have done the Whole 30 food challenge multiple times and each time I am reminded how important it is to eat clean and the positive effects it can have on your overall well being. When I eat sugar and processed foods, my body does not digest them as well so I tend to not sleep as well. I would never had known the effects that food could have on you until I did the Whole 30 Challenge. I highly recommend trying it for 30 days to see the difference. I’d also recommend the book, It Starts with Food by Melissa Hartwig. You can find more info at www.whole30.com.

5. Caffeine. This one is a bummer… I love coffee and wish I could drink it all day, but I can’t. No caffeine after 1pm is my rule. I envy the people that can drink a cup of coffee after a dinner and then fall right asleep (my husband). I would be up all night.

6. Essential Oils: I’m a big fan on essential oils. They can help with a lot of things and sleep is one of them. My go-to for Sleep is Lavender. It’s calming and it works great for the kids too.

7. Alcohol. This is another one that was harder to wrap my head around but when I have alcohol I never feel fully rested. I don’t get into my REM sleep. Most of the time it’s easy to fall asleep 🙂 but staying asleep is tough. For me, it doesn’t matter if its wine, beer or a mixed drink, if I drink my quality of sleep is not as good.

I hope this helps someone get a better night sleep! If you have other tips and tricks, I’d love to hear about them!

-Melissa

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