10 ways to get to sleep
We have been focusing on NOURISHING ourselves, this November (#nourishnovember)-- and getting enough sleep is a BIGGIE!! POP QUIZ: How much sleep did you get last night?! Did you know not sleeping enough not only makes us FEEL tired and lethargic, but it can actually make our physiology sluggish? Poor sleep or not enough sleep can contribute to Leptin resistance- leptin is our hormone that contributes to day-to-day hunger. When we are resistant to it, much like insulin resistance, our body is no longer sensitive to it's signals-- and this can cause cravings, constant hunger-- and thus, inadvertent overeating. Getting enough sleep is a habit just like brushing your teeth, getting your workout in or drinking your super shake daily. It might take some time to get used to going to bed earlier or letting yourself sleep in a half an hour later-- but I promise, your energy, health and waistline will thank you! 10 ways to fix your sleep habits! 1) Try going to bed just 15 minutes earlier tonight. Set an alarm to remind you to get to bed! Try another 15 tomorrow, and another 15... until you're at at least 7-9 hours a night! 2) Make your bed! Isn't getting into a warm, cozy, made up bed more appealing?! 3) Be active during the day! The more active we are during the day, the more our body is apt to naturally slow down at night. 4) Shut off electronics at least 60 minutes before bed OR 5) Try wearing amber glasses in the last 2-3 hours before bed. You might look silly, but blocking ambient light from electronics has been shown to increase melatonin levels, helping balance our circadian rhythm. 6) Try lavender essential oil on your feet, the back of your neck or on your pillows to calm and relax. 7) Drink a cup of magnesium water to naturally relax before bed (I love Natural Calm- it tastes great and it helps you sleep!). 8) A hot mug of chamomile tea also works wonders! 9) Try an epsom salt bath- epsom salts are actually magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant, so it's good for more than just achy muscles- it helps our whole body relax and get ready for sleep. 10) Nothing working? Valerian root can be a helpful supplement to help the body settle down for sleep (it's also helpful for calming anxiety) by increasing GABA production- a calming neurotransmitter. Avoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.