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How To Get the Best Sleep of Your Life Naturally

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Two insomniac's journey to naturally having the best sleep ever through nutrition, habits, and holistic approaches to health! How me and my husband have improved our sleep during our half-marathon and triathlon training.

So, me and my husband decided a few week prior to our wedding that we were going to do a half-marathon and then just under two months after that, we would do an olympic triathlon. This should probably go without saying, but we were training twice a day for such a long time and we needed to speed up our recovery for the races. I can talk more about recover in another blog, but here is the thing I have found helps me most with recovery during training: SLEEP!!

My husband and I honestly are not great sleepers. I have always been one of the those people who needs at least 7.5 hours of sleep in order to not be a grumpy-pants in the mornings, but I have also been one of those people that just can never fall asleep well-- until almost a year ago! I now get AMAZING SLEEP on a regular basis and I swear by it. I have compiled here, for you, my friends! MY tippy top tips for the best sleep of your life!!

Tip #1 - Build A Night Routine

We see all the TikTok and Instagram influencers do it-- *the night routine!* But I am here to say that it doesn't have to be a 10 step skincare routine with a Gua Sha stone to the skin, $500 pajamas, and weird teas that no one can pronounce (although that would be nice..).

It doesn't have to be pretty! It really is whatever works for you. When I lived by myself, I would love to take a shower, moisturize, light a candle, and then read a book as the nightcap. simple!

Now that it is me and my husband, it is not always easy to curl up with a book, but we try. I love to still light candles when we can, clean the kitchen so I can not think about it once I go to bed, do a quick skincare routine, and then we will get in bed with our books. We have been watching YouTube whenever we don't read our books and I notice a difference in our sleep when that happens.

Which brings me to my next tip:

Tip #2 - Avoid Bluelight

The phone, iPad, or TV! I have heard a lot of the health experts that I listen to and read say that they have started even cutting off their wifi router and lower the electromagnetic radiation that is in their house while they sleep. Turning off my phone not only helps me to feel more calm, as sometimes being overstimulated can cause some anxiety, but it also is just generally a good idea to get rid of the blue light 2-3 hours before going to bed. If that's not possible, try just 1 hours before bed. If you have a spouse or family that keep bluelight on, try wearing bluelight glasses at night to help with the exposure.

Some problems that BlueLight can cause:

  • Eye strains

  • Lowers overall eye health

  • Disrupts circadian rhythm

  • Decreases quality sleep

  • Disrupts need

  • Impairs focus

Sensitive to most lighting? Try switching your bedside lamps to red light, don't use overhead lighting before bed, or light a candle for dim lighting! Observing Sunrise and Sunset is also a good way to control your sleep cycle since it has an affect on circadian rhythms.

Tip #3 - Create An Environment for Sleep

In addition to adjusting your light, there are also other things that you can do to improve sleep.

Studies show that sleeping in a cold and very dark room can help with sleep cycles. We sleep with the thermostat on 67 degree F and have blackout curtains (however, beware-- blackout curtains do make it hard to wake up in the mornings).

I also received a sound machine for Christmas a few years ago and this has been my saving grace for so many years when it comes to sleep! From loud college dorms to annoying birds chirping at 4:00 am-- the sound machine (on the fan setting) is my absolute favorite tool for sleep!

This may be obvious, but it does matter how your bed feels! Sometimes, we don't get good sleep solely because of what we are sleep on. We got a 3 inch mattress topper that feels like a cloud and always makes me sleep great! Another item we got were new pillows and bedding. I use to always sleep with a weighted blanket before Tucker and I got married, now, I have him to cuddle with. But I still love a heavy blanket, so we have a heavy comforter. I am about to order a fluffy, heavy-duty comforter stuffed with feathers. I use to always sleep with a comforter like this at my grandparents house and it never failed me when it came to getting the best sleep ever.

Tip #4 - Eating for Sleep

As a dietitian, I just HAD to add a nutrition caveat to this post. Good sleep requires natural melatonin and serotonin. You can actually eat to increase the serotonin! We want foods high in tryptophan, since that is a precursor to serotonin!

Great Foods for Sleep

  • Salmon

  • Tuna

  • Cherries

  • Turkey

  • Cacao or dark chocolate

  • Oats

  • Cheese and milk

  • Nuts and Seeds

  • Eggs

Tip #5 - Magnesium and other Supplements

Last, not certainly not least, magnesium. The great provider of optimal sleep! Many people think "melatonin" when they don't get good sleep, but I am here to tell you to throw away your melatonin. Wanna know why?

Melatonin supplements can cause your body to make less melatonin naturally on its own. You can become dependent on melatonin supplements if you regularly take them.

Most of the time, when we aren't getting good sleep despite the dim lights, night routine, and sound machine-- we are really just deficient in Magnesium! Studies show that most Americans are magnesium deficient which explains why so many people don't get good sleep and have poor mental health.

Another good supplement to take are mushroom extracts. Adaptogens are great for brain health and sleep! Reishi naturally calms the body to prepare it for sleep. With that being said, here are my supplement recommendations that have worked for me:

  • Four Sigmatic Reishi Cacao powder

  • OM Sleep Mushroom extract capsules

  • Doctor's Best High Absorption Magnesium (Lysinate Glycinate 100% Chelated)

  • Bare Performance Nutrition Peak Sleep Powder

Benefits of having great sleep on a regular basis

  • Improved mood and mental health

  • Better focus and brain health

  • Recovery for physical training

  • Less cortisol spiking, leading to less cravings and glucose spikes

  • Higher energy levels for the day

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