Three Keys to healthy sleep
February 20, 2012 By Billy
Three Keys to healthy sleep
Good sleep is just as important for your health as diet and exercise! Studies show insomnia (poor sleep) to be a problem for 48% of our population…wow! Healthy sleep has direct impact on every organ, action and function of the body, including your happiness, love-life, averting stress, ect.
Here is what I have found to be 3 essential keys for a good night’s rest ~ so read on!
• Fats and carbs are fuel and energy for the day – filling up on fuel before sleep will be stored as fat to be burned later – not good for most of us. Choose healthy protein for dinner, which are used restore the body during the night. Also proteins tend to make us sleepier – not all bad at the end of the day.
• Go for easy to digest foods like steamed vegetables and soups. Have dinner at least a few hours before going to bed.
• Cut down on sugar, which causes our energy levels to roller coaster through the day and interferes with sleep. What do you do when you have a case of the “late night sweet tooth” – Stir Infinity~C into yogurt and sprinkle some blueberries on top! – that’s simple protein and low sugar! – plus vitamin c produces collagen which is just important as protein for restoring the body during sleep.
• Hydrate more during the day and less at night – better for staying in bed all night long!
• Supplements/herbs, if you need em ~
– Camomile tea — herb that relaxes the mind and body – this is the most mild option. Start with one tea bag, but you can make it strong if you wish.
– Valerian Root – a little stronger than chamomile – will likely make you drowsy – start with the recommended dose. Take the capsule form cuz the tea tastes disgusting.
– Melatonin – naturally produced in the brain when living the super healthy lifestyle. Start with 1 – 3 mg.
It is possible to combine these supplements if using them individually is not effective for you. First, take each one separately to see which one works best. *note – take for a few days to just help get into the rhythm of better sleep. Taking it for a long period is not necessarily bad, but when you stop using it, it may take a week or so to re-adjust.
Consideration must be given to the bed you are sleeping on and maintaining a good bedroom environment.
• Bedding – we spend approximately 30% of life in bed! – so what we sleep on is important! Spring beds are fair, but over time they go from fair to poor. The empty space inside the mattress collects mites and dust over time. These mattresses also contain flame retardants which produce off-gassing. Beds made from natural materials are better! I prefer a natural latex mattress with a wool cover. A bit more expensive but worth it! I bought my latex mattress from http://www.greenmattressfactory.com.
• Bedroom environment – cool temperatures encourage us to snuggle under the covers, but go with whatever makes you comfortable. Good to crack a window for fresh air. If noise (snoring bed mate) is an issue, use comfortable ear plugs. Play a CD of natural sounds like ocean waves or rain. The body produces melatonin in dark environments so put curtains over the windows.
• Exercise!!! – This is the MOST important factor!…it’s simply the fact that your body needs sleep for recovery after mild to extreme physical exhaustion — running, yoga, weights, dance, skipping around the hills with glee like a dork, etc. Yes, this is a huge part of better sleep – as well as every other part of you health.
• Naps. Cut back on long naps unless you were out dancing until the wee hours. But try this revitalizing technique (and good for health!) – rest 10 – 20 minutes lying flat on your back – bring a yoga mat with you to work, hide under your desk and plug in some earphones with ocean waves. Laying flat decompresses every bone, joint and muscle. And best of all, the heart on the same level as the rest of body recirculates oxygen rich blood to everything – O2 is the ultimate life force! You’ll see – this is the ultimate pick me up and doesn’t interfere with sleep later – even if you snooze a bit.
• What are you doing in the evening? No working before bedtime – for real y’all. I say, throw in the towel at least 3 hours before bed, giving yourself time to unwind. Keep your activity before bedtime relaxing— pet the cat, take a shower, sit outside and count the stars, meditate, listen to your favorite Bob Marley album, talk to a friend about something that makes you happy, watch a funny movie (no drama), read something boring, etc. Save pillow fights for the morning.
• Keep a regular sleep schedule, and synchronize a little better with the sun – go to bed earlier and get up earlier! The brain produces more melatonin during the evening when it’s dark in order to make us sleepy. Keep light low at night and reduce staring at back-lit screens (that would be your computer) – this light suppresses melatonin production.
• And finally, when you crawl into bed, reflect for a few minutes on how good we have it! Are we LUCKY to live this life or what?! – you know what l.u.c.k is right? – Living Under Cosmic Knowledge! – Aw yeah! – I had to slip that one in somewhere. If you don’t fall asleep after counting your blessings (which inevitably happens once in a while), you can always count sheep – bah, night-night.
PS~ And my gift for you ~ Free 3oz bottle Infinity~C…why? … cuz it’s 1411% daily C from real superfoods, not ascorbic acid!…ain’t nothin’ like it….just wanna help you ‘kick butt’ the rest of the chilly season. Enter ‘freeC’ in comment box on shipping/payment info page. *for orders over $69
PSS~ This is my Aunt Penny’s new Superfood smoothie recipe. AMAZING! Gotta try it ~
In Vita-Mix or blender, mix:
1 banana (peel b4 freezing)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c. greek yogurt
3 heaping teaspoons Infinity Greens
2 heaping teaspoons infinity~C
4 heaping teaspoons Infinity Protein
2 round teaspoons hemp seeds
5 frozen strawberries
1.5 cups water
*Upcoming Newsletter – 3 part series – ‘optimum meal sequencing throughout the day – breakfast’