SLEEP like a baby tonight! The ultimate guide on how to have a good night sleep
Okay so if you have been struggling with sleep for a while it may take you more than just a few days to achieve baby status of sleeping! I found some of these tools very helpful to achieving the ultimate night of sleep.
I struggled with insomnia for about a year; consistently getting around 2 - 3 hours a night of sleep. It would take me 2 -5 hours to fall asleep. I would wake up at all times of night but always around 3am wired, and then drained when I finally did wake up at 5 or 6 am. I would toss and turn, felt panic and anxiety in my heart, tightness in my chest often. I would wake up with a racing heart, night sweats and a speeding pulse. It felt a lot like a nightmare but worse - because all I wanted was sleep (so an actual nightmare would have been welcome :P). I dreaded going to bed at night for fear that I knew my body wouldn't let me rest.
Gratefully, my body is now on track and I believe sleep is ABSOLUTELY crucial to live a fulfilling life. Without rest the body is not supported and you lack energy. When you don't have energy, you can't show up in the world with passion and commitment to follow your deepest desires. Everything seems so much harder. It is also super important for detoxing and repairing the body's cells.
I don't want you to struggle. It is my hope that by sharing some of these insights you can improve and achieve baby sleeping status like you deserve! These are the tools and tips that helped me finally get on track, but first I think it is important to understand the BASIC bodily functions and hormones going on. I'm no scientist but this is my understanding and experience.
For sleep to happen, a delicate and beautiful balance of hormones must occur. There must be enough melatonin to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Having elevated cortisol (stress hormone) interrupts this process. It is a vicious cycle when you don't sleep well as this increases cortisol further. Producing enough serotonin throughout the day is essential to trigger the production of melatonin later so you can fall asleep. Serotonin is a feel good hormone.
So essentially our body is wired to do things that we love all day long and we are rewarded with sleep. Another reminder to follow your passions every day :)
This will look different for everyone. I encourage you to find what works for you to help you relax and come into the present moment.
I have tried various forms - all amazing. Relaxation, Breathing (most people don't breathe naturally and deep into the belly), Nature, Walks, Chanting, Qi Gong, Kundalini Yoga, Breathwork, Sound Healing, Yin Yoga.
The aim is to bring down cortisol and increase serotonin production, learning how to give your body what it needs.
This one is interesting. I had to stop a lot of forms of exercise because my body was so stressed out that a gym session seemed to cause a lot more flare ups in my symptoms. I focused on gentle yoga and stretching to bring my body back into alignment. I actually lost weight because the high cortisol in my body was causing me to hold onto belly fat. This is why sometimes you can feel like you are doing everything 'right' when in fact you are putting your body under too much stress. Tune into what FEELS good. Not what you SHOULD do.
INCREASE YOUR VIBRATION
Incorporate lifestyle changes to increase your vibration. Be around nature, plant based foods, meditation, spirulina, drink fluoride free tap water, form deep connections with supportive human beings. Decalcify your pineal gland. When we live in a lower state of vibration - illness, anxiety, energy, fatigue, depression and a myriad of symptoms occur.
REDUCE STRESS - including alcohol, stimulants and caffeine
These things lower your vibration and increase cortisol in your body, impacting and draining your vital organs, not to mention life force. Start by reducing the amount you have. Cutting something out completely can be a challenge.
I incorporate a hot cacao with stevia to replace my morning coffee sometimes. When you are sleeping better you will not need the coffee as you get energy from good rest.
Equally - a mindset of 'trying to do EVERYTHING right' can cause emotional stress and raise your cortisol. So at the end of the day, accept you are doing your best and send yourself some love. The way we think (about the action we do) is more powerful than the action itself sometimes. E.g. if I eat a tim tam and worry about it the rest of the day, that is much more damaging than actually eating the tim tam :)
Great natural supplement. I find a dose of about 300 - 600 mg 30 minutes before bed really helped to fall asleep. You can also take a second dose if you wake up again wired at 3am.
It is essential to help metabolise over 400 other minerals, vitamins and nutrients in your body. Great for balancing blood sugar, insulin and a whole host of other bodily functions. One of the top on my list of supplements to take.
Hot Epsom Salt (magnesium) baths with lavender were my saviour for a long time. REALLY relaxing.
GOOD FOOD = GOOD MOOD
Serotonin is predominantly produced in the gut. Eating a mostly plant based, high vibration diet with lots of fermented foods has been key to transforming my sleep AND life. Also try to eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bed.
Morning AND Night ACTIVATION
Activate your body's natural sleep and wake cycles. By having a good morning routine it sets me up for an awesome day and this usually flows on to a great sleep. Equally fill your evening with a few things that get you feeling relaxed and ready for entering the dreamworld. It is essential to send signals to your body that you are ready for sleep. Mix it up and see what you like :)
~ Essential oils and burning lavender or sage
~ A tranquil and inviting sleep environment. Comfy sheets, nice smells, cleanliness and an organised environment.
~ Valerian or chamomile two 1-2 hours before bed
~ Relaxation music, meditation
~ Turning off all electronic equipment 2 hours before bed or at least blocking the blue light
~ Chats with your partner, sharing what went well that day
~ Watching the sunset
~ Gratitude + journalling
INCREASE NATURAL MELATONIN PRODUCTION
I use Flux (software) and blue light blocking apps on all my electronic devices. TV and blue light sends a signal through your eyes and blocks your body's ability to produce melatonin, which is essential to sleeping like a baby!
Sun gazing (please research how to do this SAFELY) and grounding first thing in the morning and late in the evening (within an hour of sunrise / set) helps your body adjust to it's natural circadian rhythm.
Decalcify your pineal gland. The pineal gland is responsible for producing melatonin. Incorporating activities to raise your vibration, avoiding fluoridated water and eating raw cacao can help in this process.
Sleep in complete darkness
*only in severe cases, you can see a holistic practitioner to get a compound made up of melatonin - do not use the synthetic melatonin available over the counter. I had to use specially formulated melatonin to help get into a flow but this is NOT long term supplement you want to be taking. It can damage your body's natural ability to produce melatonin.
QUIT YOUR JOB
This one is my favourite :)
Might seem extreme. But I realised all of my health issues were related to an unfulfilled destiny and desire to do more than I was in the world, to contribute in a big way and listen to my inner being.
Is there something you dream of doing? What do you spend a lot of your spare time doing that you enjoy and are interested in?
Now my best night of sleep occurs when I have had a fulfilling and enriching day according to my highest value. I wake up, move my body how I want and eat in a way that feels good. I live moment to moment as much as possible.
I would love to hear from you! Please comment below and let me know if this resonates with you or if you have any questions. If you struggle with sleep, please make a booking for your initial complementary session below.
Much love xxx
*If you are waking up consistently at 3am it is also a sign of liver issues, anger or emotional issues. It may mean your are suffering from elevated cortisol and adrenal fatigue - in this case stress (cortisol) reduction, both emotional and physical is KEY.
**You can do all of these things but if you don't address the root cause or issue underlying why you aren't sleep it won't solve the problem.