And welcome back today , we're taking a break from recipes to chat about another topic that is just as critical to your wellness as nutrition and that's sleep .
If you've ever struggled with sleep , you know how incredibly frustrating it can be .
You try for hours to fall asleep , you toss and turn , you stare at the ceiling and you run through a seemingly endless mental to do list in your brain .
And when you wake up the next morning , you feel like a fatigued zombie rather than someone who is energized and refreshed and ready to tackle the day .
I've certainly had challenges with sleep and insomnia at different stages in my life .
And I know many of you have as well because according to my highly scientific poll over on my community tab , 74% of you said that you either had average below average or poor sleep .
And that's a big number .
But here's the good part with a few tips and new habits , you can learn to sleep better .
Naturally , you can fall asleep fast and most importantly , you can stay asleep .
In addition to today's video , I have tons more information on the full blog post on my website , including links to any products I mentioned today and additional studies on sleep .
I also want to thank Nature Pedic for sponsoring today's video and their philosophy aligns perfectly with mine .
That's quality sleep is central to a healthy and happy life .
So let's dive in the body craves routine and performs its best when you can stick to a consistent sleep schedule .
This means not only going to bed at the same time every night , but also waking up at the same time every morning as it creates a natural rhythm for the body .
There's also an optimal time to go to bed and that's between nine and 10:30 p.m. This is when your body's natural production of melatonin increases making you sleepy .
And if you miss this window , Cortisol then kicks in giving you a second wind and keeping you awake and you've probably experienced this when you're out with friends late at night .
So prevent that Cortisol spike by going to bed before 10 30 .
And then when you wake up the next morning , the first thing you should do is open your curtains and let the sun in to reset this natural rhythm of your body .
When you go to a spot , you instantly feel relaxed due to the environment around you , things like low lights , lavender in the air , soft meditative music and plush white robes .
So create a bedroom oasis at home that evokes those same relaxing and soothing vibes to start make your bedroom as clutter free as possible .
This means cleaning off your nights in your dresser and leaving only what's necessary because visual clutter can easily translate into mental clutter then work to create your bedroom oasis .
And a few things that I find essential to my bedroom oasis include blackout curtains , which are a complete necessity if you live in a city for blocking light and muffling noise , organic bedding , that's breathable , soft and plush , an essential oil diffuser that can promote deep sleep with just a few drops of lavender , a sunrise alarm clock that wakes you gently in the morning with slowly increasing amounts of light .
A notebook to jot down any ideas that come to you in the middle of the night and a cool room , your body temperature naturally lowers as it prepares for sleep .
And you can help speed this process along by making sure that your room is nice and cool .
If you sleep better when you're staying at a friend's house or with family or at a hotel , you may need to evaluate if your mattress needs to be replaced .
Most mattresses last 8 to 10 years on average .
But if yours is sagging in the middle , if it's too soft , if it's too firm , if it's causing you back pain or if it's just plain uncomfortable , you may need to replace it sooner .
Now , the comfort level of a mattress is subjective and each person has different preferences based on sleeping position and body weight .
But one item that's not subjective is mattress quality .
We sleep for one third of our lives and yet most don't consider what they're actually sleeping on top of .
And that can be a mattress that's full of synthetic materials , polyurethane foam , flame , retardant , chemicals , harmful glues and adhesives and other nasty to substances .
And over time , these can all negatively impact our health and wellness .
So if you're purchasing a new mattress , definitely do your homework and invest in a quality organic mattress like nature pedic all nature pedic mattresses meet rigorous organic and non toxic standards .
And the entire mattress is 100% organic versus other brands where only parts are Organic Nature Pe Os Line , which is what I have and what you guys have seen on my bedroom tour video is also customizable with a split comfort level .
So if you like a firm bed and your partner likes a plush bed , you can both be comfortable and get your best night's sleep .
A daily exercise routine will not only keep you in physical shape , it will also keep you in mental shape .
And that's because regular exercise is known to reduce stress levels and anxiety .
And those are of course , the two biggest culprits of poor sleep , aerobic activity and weight training can fatigue the body during the day in a good way and promote a deeper , more restful night sleep .
As the body repairs , tissue relaxing and restorative exercise such as yoga and stretching are also beneficial and calm the nervous system .
Reduce blood pressure , lower cortisol and increase your mood .
The time of day that you exercise isn't as important as simply doing it daily .
But you do want to avoid exercise right before you go to bed because exercise causes an increase in endorphins and body temperature .
And that can take a couple of hours to settle back down in the late afternoon .
When you're winding down for the day , reach for an herbal tea to relax the mind and help destress from the day .
Herbs such as camel meal , lemon balm , passion flour , cava and green tea can all ease tension , calm the body and aid and sleep .
You can drink tea from any of these individual herbs .
But herb blends are also effective because the herbs can all work in conjunction with each other .
As you've seen in my what I eat in a day video , drinking a cup of relaxing tea in the afternoon , creates a healthy wind down ritual .
And it's something that I prioritize .
It gives us permission to slow down to take a breath and just enjoy the moment .
Most people are aware that technology impacts sleep .
But I don't think that everyone fully grasps just how negative the implications of technology on sleep are because if they did , I think they'd unplug immediately .
First , you've got the blue light that's emitted from devices which suppresses your body's natural production of melatonin .
In addition to that technology over stimulates the brain and can trigger the release of adrenaline and cortisol keeping you awake and restless .
If you keep your phone in the bedroom , you've also got the potential of sounds , vibrations , lights and alerts as well as wifi signals which studies have shown can disrupt sleep .
And let's be honest about the addiction of technology and that one last Instagram scroll you're going to do which invariably turns into another hour on your device , pushing you past your optimal bedtime .
So unplug from technology at least two hours before bedtime to allow your brain and body to relax even better .
Make your bedroom a complete technology free zone by ditching the TV and charging your phone and other devices in another room .
If you struggle with not only falling asleep but staying asleep , then caffeine alcohol and blood sugar imbalances may be to blame caffeine similar to light exposure , suppresses your body's natural production of melatonin and can block neurotransmitters that build later in the day that help to make you sleepy .
It can also take 6 to 8 hours for the effects of caffeine just to be reduced by half .
So avoid caffeine any time after lunch when it comes to alcohol .
I know some people swear by a glass of wine before bed to make them sleepy , but alcohol negatively impacts rem sleep , which is your deep restorative sleep that occurs later in the evening , alcohol may get you to bed , but it frequently wakes you in the middle of the night and leaves you feeling groggy and lethargic the next day .
Not to mention it's a diuretic and will often times lead you to the bathroom in the middle of the night when it comes to food .
If you've not yet embraced a healthy real food diet , you may be experiencing blood sugar crashes in the middle of the night , eating a large meal late in the evening or even sugary carby snacks can cause you to wake up between three and four when your blood sugar crashes .
So keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day by avoiding processed food and instead eating a healthy mix of fats , carbs , protein and fiber .
And I think that you'll see that your blood sugar balances and you sleep better throughout the night .
When we're stressed and anxious , we're thinking of things like what we didn't do , how we could have said it differently , how we could have done it better , what we should be doing in the future .
A whole lot of things that are really focused on the past in the future and not at all on the present .
Meditation brings us back to the present , back to our breath and our bodies and it may just be the number one most powerful tool in your toolbox when it comes to promoting high quality restorative sleep meditation , boosts the rem stimulating regions of the brain and helps to naturally increase our body's Melatonin and boosting your Melatonin through meditation is far more effective in the long term than supplementation .
So I recommend a guided meditation app that you can listen to for 20 minutes in the evening , like headspace and I'll link that on the blog post and I love head space because it's casual , approachable , easy and fun .
There's nothing like a warm bath before bed to reduce any tension , muscle tightness and stress .
The warm water will help to relax the body and mind and a few drops of essential oil like lavender or Chamomile will take that relaxation to the next level .
Lavender is the most used essential oil in the world and simply smelling it while you're in the bath can have a calming effect on the nervous system and reduce anxiety , stress and depression .
The health benefits of camo meal oil are similar to drinking chamomile tea and a few drops in your bath will have you feeling relaxed , peaceful and wonderfully sleepy over time .
A warm bath before bed can help to create a healthy bedtime routine that signals to the body that it's time to go to bed .
I've purposely left sleep aids and supplements to the end because I think it's imperative that you try all of the other tips and habits first .
All too often we grab herbs , supplements and drugs as a way to have a quick fix .
Yet oftentimes they're unnecessary natural supplements are better for you and don't have the nasty side effects of prescription medication .
But even natural supplements should be used for occasional sleeplessness and not necessarily used as a nightly crutch .
If your insomnia is chronic , I'd recommend working with a nutritionist and a functional medicine doctor to see if there's an imbalance or nutritional deficiency or something else that needs to be addressed first .
But there are a few natural supplements that I have personally tried and had success with .
And those include melatonin , valerian , magnesium and CBD oil .
Melatonin is a natural hormone present in our bodies that regulates our sleep wake cycle and it can easily get knocked off kilter with travel .
Melatonin is available in many forms and it's always best to start with the smallest dose about an hour before bed .
Valerian is an herb that's been used for centuries to treat insomnia and anxiety by producing a relaxing and sedative like effect , vain promotes deep and restful sleep and can be commonly found as a tincture or as liquid capsules .
I personally prefer the liquid capsules because valerian doesn't have the best smell or taste .
Magnesium is an essential mineral that's critical for hundreds of cellular and biochemical processes in our body , including muscle and nerve function , digestion , blood sugar balance and restful sleep .
Now , some folks are prone to magnesium deficiency , including those with diabetes , gastrointestinal disorders , such as Celiac and Crohn's individuals on certain medications and those with an unhealthy diet , magnesium supplements are available in a variety of forms including pills , powders and topical sprays that can be rubbed onto your legs before bed .
CBD oil is a naturally occurring component of cannabis sativa plants and that includes hemp , CBD oil is a non psychoactive cannabinoid and does not cause you to get high .
It simply relaxes you and greatly reduces anxiety .
I've been trying CBD oil for the last six months and I've been so pleased with the results that I probably need to do a whole another video on it .
CBD oil is quickly gaining momentum for its effectiveness and treating pain , seizures , inflammatory disease , depression , anxiety , and of course sleeplessness .
As you can see , you have a lot more control over your quality of sleep than you may have realized .
Stress , anxiety and poor diet from our technology driven hyper connected .
Always on the go lifestyle is usually at the root of most sleep problems .
So before you grab a pill or a quick fix , just remember that many times the solution to your sleep problems is within your control .
And I'm confident that if you implement these tips and hat , you can learn how to sleep better , fall asleep faster , stay asleep and wake up , feeling relaxed , energized and rejuvenated .
Just keep in mind that this does take practice .
But prioritizing your sleep is really important and you will get better with time .
I hope you guys enjoyed this video .
And if you did make sure to give it a thumbs up and hit that subscribe button below .
Also , if you'd like to see more in this sleep series , let me know maybe a bed time or night time routine .
And I'd love to hear in the comments which of these tips you're already doing or which you plan to implement .
All right , that's it for me this week .
I will see you guys again in the next video .