Sleep - we all need it, we all know it's important, but most of us aren't getting enough. It can be very easy to prioritize other things over sleep like work, cleaning, tv watching, kids, and the list goes on. Also, many people suffer from insomnia which can cause them to lay awake all night.
However, if you really thought about how important it was for your short-term and long-term health, perhaps you would do more to prioritize it! Sleep is critical to our health. Adults should be getting 7-9 hours and children and teens even more.
What happens if we don't get enough? We are tired and unable to concentrate during the day and are more susceptible to serious health conditions because sleep supports our immune system and promotes detoxification, restores and repairs cells and tissue while we sleep and supports digestion
I know it's not simple, but working on time management and following some of my simple tips below is a good start.
What might be disrupting your sleep?
- lack of sun exposure throwing off your natural cues to sleep and wake up
- overuse of technology, especially right before bed
- kids - I can't offer any solutions to that ;)
- stress and overthinking while trying to sleep
- poor diet which includes too much coffee, sugar and alcohol and results in unstable blood sugar levels
Key tips to promote sleep:
- Create an evening routine. This can include things like having a tea, turning off your phone 30 minutes before bed, reading, stretching, etc. When you start to do this every day your body will start to recognize that its time for bed
- Decrease screen time. Turn off your phone, tablet, and tv at least 30 minutes before bed
- Write it down. Journalling is a good practice but also writing down what you have to do tomorrow, how you're feeling etc., can be a good release and prevent you from thinking about what you need to do. Another thing I recommend, if keeping a pen and paper beside your bed in case you forget something and know you won't fall asleep until you write it down. I do this sometimes, so I don't have to turn on a light. It can be as simple as a word to give me a cue on what I needed to remember.
- Reduce consumption of coffee, alcohol and sugar, especially in the afternoon and evening.
- Drink calming teas like peppermint and chamomile
- Look into supplementation such as calcium and magnesium. There is a brand called Calm Magnesium that as a powder you can add to teas before bedtime.
- Don't go to bed hungry but also make sure your hunger isn't being mistaken for dehydration
- Create an inviting place to sleep in your room. Make sure there are not artificial lights, annoying sounds, and keep your phone away from your bed.
- Don't do work in your bed (I am totally guilty for this!)
Decaf earl grey
A perfectly warm and sweet tea that is suitable for people who do and don't drink caffeine!
- One large serving
- 10 oz brewed decaf earl grey tea
- optional: brew with dried lavender
- 8 oz of steamed dairy-free milk (I prefer coconut milk)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp coconut butter
- 1/2 scoop vanilla collagen protein powder (or collagen/protein of choice). Adds a great flavour!
- optional: add pure maple syrup instead for sweetness
- Brew tea
- Heat the milk in a saucepan until hot but not boiling
- Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until well mixed.