As you probably know, one of the most vital things you can do for your health is sleep. You can have the “cleanest,” most nutrient-dense diet and take every supplement on Earth, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’ll never look, feel, or be your healthiest self.
Sleep is a crucial part of so many important bodily processes. While you sleep, your brain is processing and storing all the information you take in throughout the day. Your immune system releases proteins that repair damage and protect your body against inflammation and illness. Your endocrine system releases more growth hormone and suppresses cortisol, the stress hormone.
With all that in mind, it’s no wonder that even mild sleep deprivation places quite a bit of stress on the body and mind. But in our busy modern world, it can be tough to both prioritize sleep and wind down enough to actually get it. Making a few of the following adjustments to your daily (and nightly!) routine can make a huge difference.
Minimize Blue Light Exposure
As you probably already know, exposure to blue light can seriously mess with your circadian rhythm. That’s because it blocks the production of melatonin, the hormone that makes us sleepy around bedtime. So if you’re stuck in the habit of mindlessly scrolling or watching Netflix before bedtime, here’s your sign to switch things up. Put the screens away a couple of hours before bedtime if you can, and make sure to invest in a good pair of blue light blocking glasses to reduce your exposure when screens are unavoidable.
Develop a Wind-Down Routine
Whether or not you’re already avoiding blue light at night, your routine before bedtime could be making it more difficult to sink into the deep sleep we all need. Make sure to schedule in some time to wind down before going to sleep, whether that’s reading a book, tidying a room, doing a skin treatment, or drinking a cup of herbal tea. The key is to choose an activity that is gentle on your body and won’t leave you with your brain spinning thoughts about the past or future. If you repeat the same routine every day, each step will begin to signal to your body that it is time to prepare for sleep, and you’ll have a much easier time grabbing those Z’s.
While exercise and sleep may not seem to be related, they greatly influence each other. Regular exercise does wonders for regulating the circadian rhythm, so you’ll feel awake and alert during the day and ready for bed when night time comes around. Researchers aren’t entirely sure why this is true, but believe it may be related to the drop in body temperature after a workout. That’s not to mention all the other incredible benefits of exercise on the body.
Try A Sleep-Supporting Supplement
Magnesium and L Theanine have both shown to have positive effects on sleep. Magnesium helps to regulate GABA production and allow the body to relax. You can take it as a pill, or even apply it in the form of lotion or gel. L-Theanine promotes the production of alpha brain waves, which help the body relax and drift off to sleep.
Sleep is important to every aspect of our health, so make 2022 the year you prioritize yours!