We’ve all been here. You stayed up too late watching tv and now you’ve got to wake up in a few hours. Or every night you try to get sleep but sleep evades you… Your body is tired, but your mind is wide awake, it’s 2:00 in the morning and you have to be up at 5:30am for work.
“How can I wake up feeling rested, functional and awake tomorrow? How can I get 8 hours of refreshing sleep, when I only have 4 hours to do it in?” You ask yourself. I’ve asked this question in my own google browser too many times…
Trust me I’m no wizard, I can’t wave a magic wand and extend your alarm out to give you four more hours of sleep while still allowing you to magically wake up in time for your job or responsibilities, but I do have some tried and true solutions to offer that will help you get the shut eye you need, train your body to sleep when it should, and perhaps by following one or all of these, allow you to get the beauty sleep you deserve.
- Give yourself a sleep schedule. Set a time to go to sleep and wake up every day. No matter if it’s a work day or a weekend. Routine helps condition your body to know what to do, and when. Nothing happens overnight but slowly your body will begin to adapt to whatever routine you’ve decided. You’ll begin to feel sleepy at the time that you’ve set to go to bed. This also works for you to wake up at the same time every day. If you do it often enough, you don’t even need an alarm clock!
- Create an evening ritual to help your body know that it’s time for bed. One hour before the time that you’ve designated that you are going to go to bed, put your phone and electronics away, turn off the TV, do your evening hygiene routine, read a book, diffuse some essential oils, whatever it is that tells you and your body that it’s time for bed. Then when it comes to that time that you set for yourself to go to bed, lie down. Even if you aren’t falling asleep right away, your body still is getting rest, and that’s a good thing. Evening rituals will condition your body to unwind in the evening so that the sleep that evades you, one day will find you again.
- Keep a pen and paper by your bedside table, when your mind is racing with a to-do list for tomorrow, something that bothers you, or the thing you told your work you would do but forgot, write it down. This subconsciously tells your mind that it doesn’t have to stay “on” to remember it anymore. That job is being done by the notepad and now your mind can rest.
- Diffuse essential oils. Oils are my best friend, I use them for everything. My favorite part of my nightly routine is picking a relaxing essential oil or blend of two oils to help me calm down for the evening and get my body ready for sleep. My favorite ones for sleep are lavender, vetiver, cedarwood and frankincense.
- Get away from electronic screens. There is a reason for why I mentioned turning off electronics in your evening ritual an hour before you go to sleep. Blue light from your phone, laptop, TV, and tablet disrupts your internal clock and simulates daylight outside. When this happens, the melatonin that the pineal gland usually sectretes at night time either is secreted in smaller amounts or not at all. When this happens it’s really hard for your body to go from “awake” mode to “sleep” mode so suddenly. By turning off your electronic screens, your body gets in tune with the rhythms of nature. Naturally your body will begin to realize that when it’s dark outside, it’s time to sleep!
- Make sure you are getting enough Magnesium. Magnesium is an essential macro-mineral that we need in our bodies. Studies are showing that people with low magnesium levels have a harder time sleeping, struggle with insomnia, have restless leg syndrome, and can experience higher levels of anxiety and feelings of restlessness. What you might be missing is this mineral. By supplementing a good quality magnesium into your day or enhancing your diet with foods rich in magnesium, you might just help your body get that restful sleep that it needs! Here at Blossom we love Natural Calm, a high quality magnesium supplement, and eating avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes, dark chocolate (not at night), whole grains, bananas, and leafy greens to boost magnesium in our bodies.
- Reduce EMF exposure. More and more research is coming out about these types of energy waves and what they may be doing to our bodies. It comes to us in the form of wifi, cell towers, smart meters, microwaves and the like, and may be interfering with our bodies nervous system function. If your wifi box is near your bedroom, try moving it to a different location. Keep your laptop off at night, and your cell phone either on airplane mode or across the room from where you sleep so that this exposure can’t interfere with the sleep that you’ve earned.
- Aim to get sleep during the 10pm-2am window. Your body does incredible work healing, repairing, and restoring itself during this timeframe. Getting one hour of sleep during this window compares to 2 hours of sleep outside of it, as far as deep sleep, repair, and healing goes for your body. Even if your sleep is light, interrupted, intermittent or spotty during this time, at least try to get even 10 minutes of sleep during this window. Your body will thank you for it. Just choosing to spend this time laying down even if your mind is wide awake during this time has immense benefits. If your norm is only getting 2-6 hours of sleep at night, aim to get them during this window. The rest you are giving your body allows it to get to work preparing you for the next day, giving you a feeling of being refreshed and restored.
- Get adjusted! Chiropractic adjustments reset the nervous system and take us out of the “fight or flight” stress mode, by activating the parasympathetic or “rest, digest, and relaxation” part of our nervous system. Adjustments keep our nervous system functioning properly, keep us healthy, and help to reduce our stress response so that we are better able to be at ease and fall into that sleep state quicker, stay in it longer, so that our body can repair, mend and restore. Allowing our bodies to get the deep sleep we need so badly.
Our bodies are so amazing. They function for us even under the most difficult situations, adapting as needed. When you can’t sleep, and you feel like it’s your body that is working against you, just know that this is not the case. Our bodies always work for us. They are always supporting us, helping us, and always have our back. Know that when you can’t get any sleep it isn’t your body that is the enemy, because they would never betray us. Something else is amiss. Thank your body for the work it has done for you, and then decide that together, you and your body are going to figure out the solution to whatever is the culprit. Know that your body is an amazing warrior fighting alongside you to find the rest you deserve, and together you’ll discover the answers that work for you. Test the solutions provided above, add your own solutions that you have discovered, and rest easy.