I recently went on a sleep hack kick. Now, I used to sleep fine at night, but I didn’t want to sleep just fineeeee, I wanted that deep, baby sleep. The kind where you sleep like a rock and drool all over yourself. Every now and then I sneak into my munchkin’s room and watch her sleep because she looks like such a little angel, and right now doing that is cute, but as she gets older she may find it weird. Anyways, when she goes to sleep she is OUT! She sleeps alllllll night long and wakes up with an abundance of energy. I wanted that! I wanted to wake up all bright eyed and bushy tailed! I didn’t want to keep waking up feeling fineeeeee, I wanted to wake up feeling like the energizer bunny! So that desire for quality sleep led me to go on a little experiment that turned into a BIG experiment because I had lots of trials and errors to go through before I got it all right, and now I can share it with you, awesome one, so you too can get the kind of sleep that is so deep and healing you don’t notice when your mama sneaks into your room and just stares.
Before we get into these awesome four remedies that are gonna have you sleeping like a baby, let’s discuss the importance of sleep, because believe it or not, many of you think of sleep as optional! Ha! No! Sleep is not optional it’s a PRIORITY BITCHES!!!
Why oh why do we seem to think it’s acceptable to cut back on sleep when our to do list gets long? That’s crazy! You want to be able to lose weight and maintain the weight loss? Get enough sleep. You want your body to heal and cleanse itself internally so you don’t die from disease? Get enough sleep.
Sleep is soooooo critically important to your health, weight, sanity and overall life. You’re meant to recharge your batteries nightly and if you don’t do that you start to bear the consequences. Da da dummmmm!!!
SLEEP DEPRIVATION AFFECTS:
3. Food cravings. Lack of sleep makes you want
to eat more the next day
6. Function (performance)
7. Our bodies repair while we sleep. Without
sufficient hours of shuteye, our bodies do not heal the way they need to.
18. Hormones become unbalanced
Quantity isn’t everything. It’s one thing to go to bed for 8 hours, and it’s another to actually sleep for 8 hours. I was getting 8 hours every night with no problem. Butttt, it wasn’t 8 hours of full on, deep sleeping. I’d wake once or twice a night, toss and turn, and I never really experienced that knocked out sleep….until I tried the remedies below.
4 Natural Sleep Remedies That Actually Work!
Magnesium is one of the most powerful relaxation minerals available! Up to 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient and yet we need it to perform more than 300 actions in our bodies. If you have anything that is tight, irritable, crampy, and stiff, (not just a body part but your mood as well) it can be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Lack of magnesium can also cause an imbalance in calcium levels that creates its own host of health problems. Magnesium helps with PMS, constipation, sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, brain fog, body aches, gut disorders and so much more.
Not only will taking magnesium before bed help you get drool worthy sleep, but it will also have an incredible impact on your health as a whole since there’s a good chance (statistically speaking) that you’re magnesium deficient. I recommend the product Natural Calm. It has an excellent calcium to magnesium balance and its in powder form so it allows you to vary your dose and work your way up. If you don’t want to supplement than eat foods high in magnesium such as:
Kelp, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens, and garlic.
What I do: I take half a cup of hot water & mix in 2 tsp of magnesium calm and I drink it about an hour before bed.
*The minimum recommended daily amount of magnesium is about 300 mg a day. Most of us get far less than 200 mg. Some people such as myself who train hard like an athlete, have a history of depression & anxiety benefit from taking more than the minimum. Most people benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day.*
Gelatin is rich in amino acids proline and glycine that help relaxation and sleep. Now when it comes to the gelatin itself, I’m not talking about that artificial, neon, sugar shit you see at the store. There’s many different powders out there but the one I trust does NOT come from ground up hooves. It’s a kosher, raw, grass-fed food source. It’s the brand Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate. Great lakes has two types of gelatin. The green can which I use, or the red can. Either the red or green work just fine. The difference is that the green container is easier on your digestive system and won’t gel up like the red container. The green dissolves easily in cold and hot drinks but the red container dissolves only in hot drinks. Gelatin has a shit load of other benefits. So many I even wrote its own post so read that to learn more about the awesomeness that is gelatin.
What I do: Until recently I used to add gelatin to my morning green tonic, but since I’ve gone on to experiment with these sleep tips to become a master at sleeping deep & hard (dirty!), I now take gelatin at night. I take a cup of hot water & mix in my dosage of gelatin (2-4tbsp) an hour before bed. Sometimes in order to minimize the liquid I consume before bed, I just mix the magnesium & gelatin in one glass and drink it together.
So tart cherry juice is an unusual remedy that works oh soooooo good!!!!! Listen to this…
Researchers from Louisiana State University had seven older adults with insomnia drink eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks, followed by two weeks of no juice, and then two more weeks of drinking a placebo beverage. Compared to the placebo, drinking the cherry juice resulted in an average of 84 more minutes of sleep time each night.
Tart Cherry juice is a natural source of the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan. “Proanthocyanidins, or the ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan, letting it go to work longer in your body,” says Frank L. Greenway, director of the outpatient research clinic at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU.
What I do: I honestly didn’t expect this tart cherry juice to work as good as it did. I was worried I might wake up groggy from the melatonin but unlike the melatonin in pill form, the natural compound in cherry juice left me feeling refreshed instead. Whoo hoo! Points for natural versus man-made! I drink a tablespoon of tart cherry juice about 20 minutes before bed.
4. Raw Honey & Himalayan/Celtic Sea Salt
Finding the right dosage for this sleep remedy was a freaking pain in the ass! A few times I took too much honey before bed and had the craziest dreams. Other times the amount made me restless and sort of hyper. And other times I just kept waking up every couple of hours. Butttttt, after much trial and error, I found that sweet spot dosage that really triggers excellent sleep without going overboard to the point you don’t get any sleep or get shit sleep.
So honey and salt before bed contribute to better sleep because it helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar levels are EVERYTHING and that topic alone deserves its own post, cuz it’s those dang levels that determine whether you lose weight or store fat. If you’re happy or pissy. Tired or full of energy. I gotta make a note to write about blood sugar levels, it’s so important.
Okay, back to sleep: So how this work is that the salt helps lower cortisol levels and balances out those blood sugar levels which is great because it’ll help you fight that, “Why do I feel like shit even though I slept for 8 hours last night?” feeling that we sometimes get in the mornings. Now honey which is a natural sugar slightly elevates your insulin which also helps lower cortisol. Honey is a carbohydrate, and it’s been shown that carbs of any kind can also help tryptophan cross the blood brain barrier and improve the production of melatonin. This combination of sweet and salty in small amounts has resulted in a more restful sleep.
What I do: After I do my little shot of tart cherry juice, I follow it up with 1/2 tsp of a raw honey that has a sprinkle of either himalayan or celtic salt.
Other tips for better sleep:
-Establish a rhythm of sleep, go to bed at the same time nightly and get up at the same time.
-Take short naps if you missed sleep the night before (20 minutes is optimal)
-Supplement your Vitamin D (if you aren’t sure,
have a blood test and get it checked…then
-Get some sunshine during the day
-Get exercise during the day
-Turn off your television, computer and iPad at night
-Turn lights down at night
-Have a comfortable bed
-Block noise out
-Block light out
-Make sure your bedroom is cool
-No caffeine in the late afternoon
-Don’t eat anything three hours before bed (other than the remedies above, of course. Duh!)
-Envisioning your peaceful place
Make not just getting enough sleep, but getting QUALITY sleep your number one priority! Experiment with these tips. I can’t emphasize enough just how tremendously important sleep is to good health! Getting quality sleep will equal a happier, healthier, and more patient you. And this alone affects all those that have to put up with you..er..I mean are around you.