When I think of proper sleep management, I think of protocols, habits and most importantly the type of stress that I am exposed to that ultimately impacts my life on a whole. I want to be focusing on sustainable life long habits that have not only worked for me yielding dramatic results, but so you can apply them to your life as well.
Here I have organized what I believe to be the top 10 best natural ways to cure insomnia.
We want to be focusing on maximizing our sun exposure THE RIGHT WAY. If you have sensitivity issues to the sun, then you need more of it at the right times. The most important thing is to get out in the sun first thing in the morning. For starters, look 10-15 degrees below in the direction of the sun. When sunlight hits our eyes first thing in the morning, our bodies release serotonin and puts you on track for more melatonin production during the night. Try to be outside with the sun during sun rise and sun set. *TIP* I like to combine this with daily standing meditation, which I usually do for around 8-20 minutes after my "sun standing ritual".
#2 Artificial Light
Now that we have the right light exposure (sun) at the right times, we can move on to the next most important step. That is mitigating your exposure to Artificial Light, also known as "blue light". This includes: Your Computer/Tablet/Phone Screens, Led Lights, Household Lighting and other various blue lights such as your back lit keyboard and various plugins. The most important time to avoid these (and you must) lights are at night (post sunset). If your body thinks you are still awake, via blue light (which should be from the sun) then you literally shut off your melatonin supply for 4 hours.
Solution? Install "Melatonin Light Bulbs (Red)" Every where in your house, which you access at night. Red light has the least power to suppress your melatonin and disrupt circadian rhythm. They are actually very nice and calming, click HERE to see the ones that I recommend On top of this I recommend adding in True Dark blue blockers, which you can buy HERE (check out our full true dark review HERE). Together, these are the most powerful solution for getting you back on your body's natural circadian rhythm to ensure a deep & restorative sleep every night. *TIP* try downloading the app "Iris" onto your computer to mitigate blue light even more!
#3 Proper Supplementation
I will be posting a more in-depth overview of supplementation under the nutrition tab in the near future. For now, I recommend starting with: 1. Magnesium 2. DHA 3. Ashwagandha 4. L-Tyrosine (all 4 in the morning) 5. L-Tryptophan as well as 6. L-Theanine. (both mid day or at night). Try combining all of the amino acids in your coffee, not the DHA or Magnesium. They will not only help to optimize your dopamine levels, but also improve the production of melatonin. Your main focus should be to optimize your nervous system, endocrine glands and detoxify/rebuild your G.I. Tract (a lot, which is covered by your environment alone).
The more you can be physically active, the easier you will be able to fall and stay asleep. Whether you only have time to take a short walk, or walk up and down stairs, consistency will be your key. There are many reasons why exercise helps the body sleep better, not only does it tire you out, but the proper dosage of exercise (I recommend 20-45 minutes 3-5x per week) will ensure your hormones are working optimally.
#5 Nutrition & Hydration
Proper eating habits will impact your ability to sleep. Avoid eating 3-4 hours before bed to allow your body rest and chances of your blood sugar rising. Take a look at our Dietary Guide for eliminating certain things that will disrupt sleep. Hydrate yourself earlier in the day time and limit any liquid intake at least an hour to two before bed. I recommend doing daily cyclical (intermittent) fasting, which includes 4/6/or 8 hours of eating and 20/18/or 16 hours of not eating. During this fasted state you will consume 0 calories and you will make sure to properly hydrate as much as you need with the right fluids such as tea, R.O. water (You can buy this Here) (w/ minerals) and elixirs (coming soon in the nutrition tab)
If you haven't noticed by now, I love nature. Connecting yourself back to nature is the most important thing you can and should be doing on a daily basis. Planting your bare feet into the ground, walking, hiking in nature, breathing the air, absorbing the sunlight. All of this is critical to your health, vitality and well-being. There are products I would recommend, but nothing beats getting outside every day as much as you can. This will allow your body to absorb the negative ions need to maintain a state of balance and homeostasis, it's not hippy bogus… It's science.
#7 Deep Breathing & Meditation
One of the most under looked aspect of proper sleep is to consciously breathe. Most of us are sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) which makes us anxious and stressed. Deep breathing allows us tap into our parasympathetic, or calm and save zone. We like to think of as the ‘parachute’. Starting with 10-15 deep breathes, 2-3 times a day is a great start. Try combining this with 15-30 minutes of meditation per day! Remember, if you don't have "time" (make time) then start with just 8 minutes of standing meditation during your morning ritual inside or outside, consistency is key!
#8 Only use your bed for sleeping
Treat your bed as a sacred ground, a ritualistic/spiritual place to regenerate your body. What does this mean, set the mood, create the environment, lavender, candles, black out your room, whatever works for you, all which will set you up for success. Try not to study, work or chill in your bed. Instead use it only for sleeping when you need to.
#9 Elimination of Non-Native EMF’s
Turning off your wi-fi router during night time, shielding your smart meter, and turning your phone onto airplane mode will mitigate your exposure to these damaging fields, try to also unplug unused devices and keep them in another room.
#10 Essential Oils
Using essential oils is very common now a days. Benefits include, improved endocrine function, relaxation, respiratory health and many more surprisingly beneficial healing properties. The top essential oils for sleep include: lavender, valerian, neroli, clary sage, chamomile, and patchouli.