Getting into a healthy sleep routine is paramount.
Here are my strategies to getting a great nights sleep, try and use it like a checklist ✅
- Establish a consistent sleep schedule, ideally aiming to be asleep by 10:30pm each night
- Combine a quality protein and carbohydrate source in your evening meal to promote stable blood sugar and serotonin production
- Sleep in a pitch black room, use black out blinds if necessary and switch off electrical equipment at the wall
- Avoid stimulants after 4pm
- Avoid blue light from mobile phones/tablets and computer screens at least 2 hours before bed, blue light disrupts melatonin release and tells the brain it’s still daytime. If you need to use your phone at least put the blue light filter on in the evening, on the iPhone it’s called ‘nightshift’ and you can set it to come on at a certain time.
- Sleep in a cool room, bathe your face in cold water if you feel hot or restless, this can stimulate parasympathetic nervous activity and promote a feeling of calm
- Supplement with magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium is a common deficiency and has roles to play in calming the brain and body, it also has so many other important roles that why it’s my favourite dietary supplement!
- If you can’t settle your mind before bed try writing a ‘things to do and when I’ll do them’ list, also writing a ‘grateful’ list is a fantastic way of switching your mind from negative to positive, this works!
- Meditate before bed, Headspace app is great for this
- Place 2 – 3 drops of lavender oil on your pillow, just inhaling lavender oil has been shown to reduce anxiety and significantly reduce serum cortisol! (the stress hormone)
- Use ear plugs if required, they work!
- Expose yourself to natural light as soon as possible when you wake up in the AM.
If you’re still struggling to get a good nights sleep consider using the following supplements…
- P5P which is the active form of vitamin B6, an important cofactor in serotonin and GABA (calming) synthesis
- L theanine, often used to balance neurotransmitters and can significantly increase alpha brain wave activity which relaxes the mind
- 5 HTP, the precursor to serotonin which at night can be converted to melatonin the ‘sleep hormone’
- If you’ve implemented all of those strategies and still struggle to get quality sleep then you may consider supplementing with the sleep hormone itself melatonin, as we age melatonin levels can drop and due to poor sleeping habits and stress some have lower levels than others (this can easily be tested). Supplementing with melatonin should make you sleepy and it is also a very potent antioxidant! This can also be very helpful for shift workers and jet lag
- If you wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety then phenibut can be very effective at giving quick relief, phenibut mimics the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, it crosses the blood brain barrier easily and can be very calming. This should only be used short term whilst you look to fix the route cause of your stress/ anxiety.
Remember to always consult with your doctor before taking any dietary supplementation.
For more information or to book a free consultation please contact me here.