Updated: Mar 24
Do you struggle with sleep? Follow my top 5 wind-down tips to prepare for a more restful night.
1. Start with a cool down
Your body needs to lower its core temperature to reach restful sleep. In fact, your body makes more melatonin (the sleep hormone) at a cooler temperature! Aim for a cool 65 degrees, give or take.
2. Own your environment
Invest in tools that make your room quiet and peaceful. Got a snoring bedmate? Get ear plugs. Do street lights wake you up? Get a plush eye mask. Wake up with neck pain? Invest in an ergonomic pillow. You spend 1/3 of your life in this space; make it worth your time.
3. Find your rhythm
Sleep researchers tell us the biggest factor to creating restful sleep is consistent sleep and wake times. Assess for yourself - what is a good bedtime and good wake time to get enough regular sleep? Then, keep it up.
4. Kick the cortisol
I'm coming for your phone next (you knew I would!). Blue lights from our modern devices promote cortisol, our daytime hormone. Cortisol should naturally rise first thing in the morning and taper off by afternoon so our natural melatonin wave can rise and whisk us off to sleep. staring at screens before bed inhibits our melatonin production and makes it harder for us to fall and stay asleep.
Avoid screens for 1-2 hours before bed. If you must be on your device, use a blue-light filter and consider getting blue-light blocking glasses.
5. Avoid liquids after 6pm
You all know I am a big fan of drinking water. Start your day strong and finish your water goals by 6pm to avoid going to bed with more liquids for your bladder to process. This includes alcohol. Although alcohol can help some folks initially fall asleep, it causes worse-quality sleep and more frequent waking.
If these tips aren't enough to help kick a bad sleep cycle, schedule a visit to discuss more personalized options. Depending on your health goals and needs, Dr. Sand has a variety of herbal, nutritional, lifestyle, and holistic approaches to improve sleep.