Establishing a bedtime routine and creating a stress relieving environment is the key component your sleep is missing!

Kids aren’t the only ones who need bedtimes. Your body’s circadian rhythm, as well as keeping your body feeling primed, both depend on a healthy sleep schedule. Studies have shown sleep can significantly improve weight loss. Also, people who don’t sleep an adequate amount tend to consume 500 to 600 more calories per day than those who sleep an average of 8 hours per night. The easiest way to see physical improvement, mental improvement, and behavioral improvement is to find a way to get yourself to bed at the same time each night. Guess you won’t opt for that next episode of Netflix during your binge session now knowing your body weight may depend on it! Not sure where to begin in order help establish that routine? Not to worry we’ve come up with 7 easy items that could help your sleep immediately.

7 things you NEED to help get a restful night’s sleep;

1. Create a repeatable routine each night
2. Set the right temperature
3. Keep electronics out of the bedroom
4. Eat melatonin rich/melatonin producing foods
5. Supplement magnesium
6. Utilize essential oils and aromatherapy
7. Journal before bed

1. Create a repeatable routine each night
Whether it is a quick read, journaling, brushing your teeth, or taking your nighttime supplements create something that you can replicate each night. The making of a routine before bed should be something you can look forward to, and something that can put your body and mind into the right sleep environment.

As the father of a newborn I found the easiest way for me to create a repeatable routine was actually getting my baby boy ready for bed. As mother gets herself prepared to give the baby boy his bedtime feeding I begin prepping myself in a similar manner. It is the steps of gathering all of my bedtime essentials that actually helps me trigger a tired feeling for my body and mind. As a result I now have repeatable routine that helps tell my body it is time for bed! Guess that is one benefit of having children, thanks Zeke!

2. Set the right temperature
The goal here is to find a temperature that is slightly chilly. Nothing too cold as you will probably wake up shivering, but nothing too hot as there is nothing pleasant about waking up in a puddle of sweat. Try setting the thermostat between 60-75 degrees and determine the appropriate sleeping temperature.

3. Keep electronics out of the bedroom
Keep the integrity of a bedroom. It is meant for two things. Sleeping and sex. Don’t bring a TV, computer, or phone into the equation as it will trick your mind into thinking the bedroom can be another spot to get work accomplished. Try and shut down or refrain from using your electronics about an hour before bed. Remember, the bedroom is for relaxation and release, not Fortnite and Facebook.

4. Eat melatonin rich/melatonin producing foods
Melatonin is the hormone responsible for maintaining your body’s circadian rhythm. Production of melatonin is typically triggered by darkness, but production goes down when there is light. Another reason why we want to stay away from the light emitted from our electronics. We can also help stimulate melatonin production with the addition of some foods about an hour away from bed as a snack. Those foods include:

• Bananas
• Barley
• Ginger
• Cherries
• Oats
• Radishes
• Red wine
• Rice
• Tomatoes

Another way to help produce melatonin is to produce serotonin. Eating foods containing tryptophan helps with serotonin production, thus aiding melatonin production. Try eating some tryptophan-containing foods in the evening such as:

• Beans
• Chicken & Turkey
• Eggs
• Fish
• Grass-fed dairy products
• Nuts
• Rice
• Sesame seeds
• Sprouted grains
• Sunflower seeds

5. Supplement magnesium
Individuals in western diets are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium can aid in keeping inflammation down in the body. It also plays a vital role in producing energy along with aiding many processes in the body and promotes restful sleep. In addition, many illnesses have been linked to some form of magnesium deficiency. An easy way to ensure you are consuming ample magnesium is by adding supplementation before bed. Women should start with 300mg and men 400mg about an hour before bed with dinner, or in their nightly routine.

6. Utilize essential oils and aromatherapy
It’s no secret that many people struggle with winding down after a stressful day of work. Essential oils and aromatherapy can be a welcomed addition into your nightly routine. They are safe, natural, and therapeutic. They encourage your body to unwind when it needs it most. Give lavender oil a try by either ingesting a tincture or using it in a diffuser to bring in a wave of relaxation and serenity into your bedroom. Other essential oils to consider would be chamomile, ylang-ylang, orange, and vanilla.

7. Journal before bed
When falling asleep is troublesome it is often due to our own thoughts. We’ve all been there before, a million ideas running through your mind right as your head hits the pillow. An easy way to combat an overactive mind is to write down ideas before lights out to help address ideas and thoughts from the past day. Also, during this time one could devise a plan for the following day. Great ideas such hitting target macros, planning meals, and setting goals will help one feel more prepared for the following day.

Use this list as a quick guide to help gain a better night’s rest. Experiment with 1 or 2 changes for about a week at a time before adding additional changes to the routine. This approach will help see which idea most impacts your sleep quality.

Again, the 7 things that can impact your sleep are the following:

1. Create a repeatable routine each night
2. Set the right temperature
3. Keep electronics out of the bedroom
4. Eat melatonin rich/melatonin producing foods
5. Supplement magnesium
6. Utilize essential oils and aromatherapy
7. Journal before bed

Sleep well!

-Marcos

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