Getting a Sweet SleepHey Blenders:
Hands up if quality sleep (restful & getting enough hours) is a challenge. As someone who has always struggled with sleep and gone through periods of being on my sleep game to totally losing the battle, I wanted to do a deep dive and hopefully help you if it's something you struggle with, too.
Why Sleep is a Big Deal: in addition the feeling of being rundown and brain foggy, an ongoing lack of sleep has been closely associated with hypertension, heart attacks and strokes, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety, decreased brain function, memory loss, weakened immune system, lower fertility rates and psychiatric disorders. In summary: it's really really important for your long term mental and physical health.
Below are some tips for getting better sleep (plan on doing them for about 4 weeks to see big results).
Sending you some sweet sleep vibes.
Tips for Better Sleep
Increase your exposure to bright light during the day: this will help keep your circadian rhythm* healthy. Invest in an artificial bright light device or bulbs for those darker winter months when sunshine exposure limited.
* Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It's also known as your sleep/wake cycle.
Caffeine cut-off: caffeine stimulates your nervous system and may stop your body from naturally relaxing at night. Caffeine can stay elevated in your blood for 6–8 hours, so it’s best to skip coffee & caffeine-containing teas after 2 PM.
Limit alcohol: you feel it, we feel it. Alcohol is a huge disrupter because it raises havoc on both quality of sleep and hormone production/regulation.
Watch your bedroom temp: a too-hot sleep environment can cause restlessness and reduce deep sleep. About 20 degrees C is an average best, but test what’s right for you.
Reduce blue light exposure in the evenings: this is important because of the negative impact it has on your circadian rhythm by tricking your brain into thinking it’s still daytime, which reduces hormones like melatonin that support deep sleep. Smart phones & computers are big blue light emitters – if you can’t power-off a couple of hours before bed, download a app that blocks it or pick up a pair of blue light blocker glasses.
Trouble falling asleep?
Try breathing techniques or simple mind game like the ones below:
The alphabet game: going from A to Z, think of a movie name that starts with every letter of the alphabet (you can also try songs or books – something that is medium hard, but too brain-serious – don’t skip letters!). We're you snoozing by the letter M?
The 4-7-8 Breathing technique (a quiet room free of data device & TV noise is essential for success):
- empty the lungs of air
- breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 seconds
- hold the breath for a count of 7 seconds
exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a "whoosh" sound, for 8 seconds repeat the cycle up to 4 times
Foods for Sleep Support
For better sleep, seek out foods that are known for keeping blood sugar stable, and those that contain supporting natural sedatives (eg. melatonin, ashwaganda). Examples include:
Hummus: hummus is another natural source of tryptophan and an excellent source of blood-sugar-regulating protein. Have it with cucumbers or other low-carb veggies
Chamomile tea: nature’s most popular sleepy time beverage. It promotes relaxation. Enjoy a small cup before bed data-device free. It’s been used since time immemorial to help aid in sleep.
Almonds: they pack magnesium and tryptophan, and also help regulate spikes in hunger during the night.
Bananas: packed with magnesium and potassium, these delicious snacks can help muscles relax.
Tart Cherries: they contain melatonin, a hormone produced by the body at night, and helps trigger the body into needing sleep at night.
Blended for Sleep & Relaxation Support
Here are some of our fave boosters that can promote relaxation & sleep:
- Reishi Mushroom
Blended Top Picks for Sleep & Stress Support
FOR NEW PARENTS
Deanna, who is currently developing a Blended for Postpartum Wellness package, was introduced to Jessica and hugely impressed by her background (check it out here), passion for helping postpartum moms, and sincere LOVE of babies (like the 'stays up all night taking care of babies' kind of love).
Please email Deanna if you'd like an intro to Jessica and/or want to learn more about the Blended for Postpartum Wellness package that's coming soon.
Our Sweet Sleep smoothie is packed with reishi, melatonin & magnesium boosters and all the right ingredients for max absorption of them.
Pro Tip: try your Sweet Sleep softened, straight-from-the-pack with a spoon (instead of adding the extra blending liquid) one hour before bed.