SLEEP is a form of nourishment. In practice I call it vitamin S.
It affects everything from our emotions to digestion + metabolism. While sleep may just seem like another form of rest [that can be replicated while awake in some other way] the time spent in dreamland has an even more powerful impact on the renewal of our bodies. And many of us [yes I’ve been there too!] walk around tired but wired as we strive to push past all nudges of sleep deprivation.
Either our schedules are too full or we have trouble sleeping. Or BOTH. “I am just sleeping far too much” said no one EVER [or at least no modern day wonder woman].
Instead of falling prey to sleep deprivation as your constant reality, use the darker months of winter to strategically tailor your schedule around the prioritization of sleep because it IS your most important ingredient for health + happiness.
Anytime I’m presented with a case of slow weight gain, immune dis-regulation, skin in-elasticity, hormone imbalance or chronic inflammation not to mention fatigue, I actually don’t start with food. I start with zzzzzzz’s.
Below are the top 5 beauty sleep rituals I recommend implementing sustainability for 21 days straight. Choose 3 [or simply add 1-2 onto another ritual you currently embrace] and just like Pavlov’s dog, you’ll be yawning just at the thought of your first beauty sleep ritual.
set the tone – sound therapy is very powerful. It induces feelings of joy, fear and calm instantaneously. Capitalize on sound therapy by playing the exact same playlist of music each and every evening so that the minute you hear a combination of tones in the playlist you choose- your brain triggers the release of calming neurotransmitters. Here is my personal “sleepytime” playlist.
turn down the heat – while it sounds cozy especially in the winter months to snuggle into the warmth of more covers and a well heated room, the body actually is more prone to fall asleep and go into a deeper sleep in a cooler and darker room. Consider turning your thermostat down a few notches and allow your body to warm itself up as you fall asleep. This one is hard to believe until you experience it but once you do you’ll be hooked. Ever wonder why you had that INCREDIBLE night sleep when you went on that incredible vacation falling asleep with the window open to the cool fresh air of the mountains?
magnesium -MOST women are deficient, resulting in restless sleep and/or restless leg syndrome because it is a crucial nutrient for relaxation of all tissues in the body. Above and beyond relaxation, magnesium, it is required for proper synthesis of calming hormones melatonin and GABA. I recommend 3-400 mg Magnesium Glycinate.
make sure your dinner has enough carbohydrates- oftentimes when we swing heavily in the direction of lower carbs higher protein for a longer period of time, our sleep suffers as our bodies need a certain amount of carbohydrate to activate and carry L-tryptophan – the precursor of Melatonin- across the blood brain barrier in order to convert into Melatonin. Eating enough carbohydrates in the evening also suppresses cortisol spikes at night which is crucial for a deep slumber. Optimal sources of carbohydrates to weave into dinner include root vegetables + legumes + oats. Click HERE for my “insomnia cookie recipe.” Use when your dinner is lacking the quality carbohydrates.
track cyclical insomnia– it is certainly possible that this insomnia is driven by fluctuations in your hormones throughout the month. Have you ever stopped to notice that the insomnia is much worse in the 2nd ½ of your cycle? Go ahead and track your insomnia so that you know the root of it and can better address it by balancing the underlying hormone imbalance.
I know you are wholeheartedly invested in your wellness and while troubleshooting sleep is an investment, the return on your investment is 10 fold. So here is my challenge to you… commit to 3 beauty sleep rituals every night for 21 days straight. You will glean gems if not stumble upon a treasure trove of benefits as you continually improve your sleep.