Your Guide to Better Sleep Hygiene
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
It's the most important thing that you do everyday!
Sleeping is one of the most important things that your body and mind does every day!
We need to support this function to reduce stress, inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other chronic conditions.
Here at Rejuvenate, I will help you find ways to get the sleep you need so that you can fight inflammation, have a strong immune system, and be bright and healthy!
The conditions in which we sleep are critical - we want to replicate the conditions that we were designed to sleep in
cool - keep windows open if safe or turn down the heat an hour before bedtime
dark - black out the windows, and put tape over the LED lights on TV, remotes or cable boxes, face the alarm clock away from you. If you need to turn on the lights to get up safely in the middle of the night, have a red colored night light (even a few moments of bright light can activate the brain). Try an eye bra - I use one and I love it!
quiet - snoring, rattling heater, neighbors, etc can be a nuisance. Try ear plugs or a white noise generator and experiment with different sounds
limit distractions - no pets in the bedroom is a good rule so the nocturnal cat or dreaming dog barking doesn't awaken you. Work with your children to set boundaries at night so they stay asleep and you get to too (good luck)
Remember that sleeping is a process and we need to prepare for it as we would a procedure at work. Take these steps to help you get a good night sleep! It takes practice to get it right, so be patient and keep trying.
A good night's sleep starts in the morning! Try to get out in the bright sunlight for at least 10 minutes soon after rising to set your circadian clock right
Limit your alcohol consumption - it may induce sleep early, but then, alcohol has a stimulant effect an will negatively effect the quality and duration of sleep
At dusk, get outside again to watch the color of the sky change - this is another circadian clue for your brain to start slowing down in preparation for sleep
Start your sleep hygiene process about 9 or so hours before you need to be awake in the morning
An hour before bed, stop what you are doing. Definitely get off the electronic devices as these emit a blue light that is stimulating and interferes with sleep patterns
Take Melatonin 0.5-5mg - there are different formulations that have different effects for different people and you may have to experiment here. Melatonin is natural and most of us living in the Northern climes don't generate enough of it during the day. It is also anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory
Take your Vitamin D at night as it can also help you fall asleep. I recommend around 5,000 IU a day and should be taken with vitamin K to help our bones stay strong
CBD can be helpful to rest, relax and reduce inflammation - there are many formulations and you may have to try some before finding the dose and route that you like
THC can induce sleep but is habit-forming, so I would prefer that you limit its use
Turn off your phone and keep it as far away from the bed as possible
Spend a few minutes reflecting on your day and the plans for tomorrow as appropriate. Avoid confrontation with your partner or yourself. It is best to talk about things now that you can “close” with love and peace. Good time for physical contact as well!
This is a great time to practice gratitude!
Perform your evening hygiene ritual
Try some relaxing stretching and yoga moves – there are apps and info on the web for this. Pick a 5-10 minute routine that is easy for you and do the same one over and over
Sit in a comfortable chair and read for a few minutes if you have time or are not ready for bed
Have your bed ready for you, so you can crawl into it and fall asleep
If you can’t fall asleep right away, its best to get up and go to back a few steps and go thru the process again. You are training your brain to shut down, just like you train it for anything else
If your mind starts to spin, gently remind it to let go – don’t engage with the thoughts – we can talk about meditation techniques if you would like
Remember - Try not to take prescription or OTC meds for sleeping, as it conditions you to not fall asleep without them!