Insomnia - Tips on Improving Your Sleep
Updated: Jun 14
Insomnia has been a struggle for me the majority of my life and of course a pandemic hasn’t helped matters. Sleep is a precious opportunity for your body and brain to detoxify, repair and grow stronger. Not getting enough sleep can lead to both short term and long term consequences that will impair ones health and well-being. Just like you need food to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need good sleep hygiene.
Between 1am-3am is the "time of the liver" and the time when the body should be asleep. During this time, toxins are released from the body and fresh new blood is made.
I'd like to share with you the following tips below that I have started incorporating into my nighttime sleep routine:
PUT YOUR F*!KING PHONE AWAY - Put your phone away an hour before you're getting ready to go to bed. For me, I have to take a stronger approach and I need to leave my phone outside of my bedroom or I will pick it up if I cannot sleep and will scroll all night long. I realize for some people that is not an option, so do what works for you.
BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING EYE GLASSES - If you do not already have them, purchase a pair of blue light blocking eye glasses ASAP! I just ordered a new pair from Warby Parker so if you don't have a pair, I suggest checking out their fantastic selection here.
MAGNESIUM - Before taking either of these, you should consult with your doctor first. I was taking 0.5mg of Ativan prescribed by my doctor (as needed) but I really want to work on my sleep hygiene without the aid of the Ativan and instead try a more holistic approach. If you don't want to take magnesium orally, Trace Minerals makes a Pure Magnesium Oil that you can lightly mist on your body to relax.
CBD - As for CBD, I like the brand, Veritas Farms. They make full spectrum CBD and are third party independently tested and 100% grown in Colorado. The flavors I like are the watermelon and peppermint flavor tinctures. Tinctures are a great way to administer herbs because it bypasses the GI tract and circumvents gut absorption issues.
GIVE YOURSELF A BEDTIME - I'm training myself to be in bed between 9pm-10pm. It's important to stick to a sleep schedule and proper bedtime.
RELAXATION WITH MEDITATION + GENTLE STRETCHING - I'm realizing that hopping directly into bed after watching tv or a movie doesn't work for me. I need to unwind in a different way. My mind is still too stimulated by screen time, so I'm starting to incorporate meditation and gentle stretching prior to bed. Gentle "yin" yoga poses are great to slow your heart rate, giving you a gentle stretch for a better sleep. I've also been listening to this sleep music below. It's called "Enter The Astral Realm / 432 Hz Deep Lucid Dreaming Sleep Music," by Astral Circle.
If guided meditation is your thing or you would like to give it a try, this "Guided Meditation Hypnosis for Sleeping" by Jonathan Stephenson below may help.
SUNLIGHT EXPOSURE UPON WAKING - Seasonal depression ( I'm officially over these east coast winters ) + clinical depression + a pandemic + OCD + clinical anxiety has been a recipe for disaster. Since I'm no longer living in California or Florida where it is typically an "endless summer" the majority of the year, I'm looking into getting a red light box. Red light has been shown to help people sleep better and can positively impact your circadian rhythm. Sick of feeling strained and inflamed? Red light therapy also has the potential to greatly reduce joint pain, inflammation and so many other health benefits. The following brands make red light boxes in various sizes and price points: Biolight / Sauna Space / GembaRed . It is important to consult with your doctor and seek their professional medical advice before trying red light therapy.
DIFFUSER WITH ESSENTIAL OILS - Lavender has been suggested as an excellent natural remedy to treat insomnia and improve sleep quality so I've been using that particular oil at nightime to create a full sensory experience to help myself relax. If you don't have a diffuser, I love my Saje Wellness diffuser which you can find here . Be sure to contact me, so I can give you 15% off your Saje Wellness purchase!
If you have more helpful sleeping tips, please share them in the comments below!
Special Note: A resource on Ativan misuse and treatment can be found here