A large portion of our lives is spent sleeping. The things we do while we are awake can drastically affect our sleep performance, and this can be often overlooked. We tend to jump to finding supplements or changing things like pillows or our beds, all of which cost money. While some of these things can help, we can consider a few habit changes as well. Check out a couple of things you can do to get better sleep below.
Consider What and When You’re Eating.
The quality of food we eat can have an effect on your sleep. For example, high sodium foods can keep your resting heart rate elevated. A higher resting heart rate can decrease the quality of your sleep. The timing of your meals can also affect your sleep. If you eat right before bed, your stomach can feel uneasy. If you sleep on your stomach, this can definitely be an issue. It might take you longer to fall asleep, or having you waking up through the night. Consider eating more than an hour before sleep. If the only time you have to eat dinner is right before bed, try eating something lighter at this time.
Calm Your Mind, Keep it from Racing.
Sometimes the body can be genuinely tired but kept awake by a racing mind. Stressful matters from the day, or upcoming stressful situations can keep you awake at night. If you get occasional and mild anxiety that keeps you awake at night, try guided meditations, white noise apps or machines. These can help you shut down your mind by helping you focus on your body and breathing and preparing your mind to go to sleep. If you don’t want to be bothered with an app, you can also try deep, even breaths and counting down from a thousand.
Look at Screens Less Before and While in Bed.
We stare at screens more than ever since the pandemic hit. With this has come a rise in awareness of blue light and the potentially harmful effects it can have on us. One of the big effects that are mentioned in countless articles is sleep quality. Blue light blocking glasses and screen protectors are rising in popularity. While they are useful for reducing harmful blue light waves, another option can be to just limit the use of your cell phone before bed. Consuming social media content late into the night can also be causing your mind to race and think about things when you could otherwise be asleep. You can make a rule for yourself to not look at your phone while you’re in bed, leave it on the other side of the room, and maybe read a dry, boring book instead.
There are More Supplements Out There That Aren’t Melatonin.
At LI LIVE we typically recommend supplements as a last resort. Adding an additional cost to your regular wellness regimen can be a pain, but sometimes it can be the solution to better sleep. There are a number of supplements to choose from for sleep that aren’t melatonin. People tend to go for high doses of melatonin for sleep without realizing it. This can leave them groggy in the morning, or worse, sleeping right through their alarm clock. Check out some other options below.
GABA: GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid naturally produced in the brain. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which means that it helps inhibit neural activity in the brain as well as the central nervous system. This helps facilitate sleep, as well as reducing stress both mentally and physically. The GABA in our bodies can have low activity, which results in things like insomnia and anxiety. Supplementing GABA helps raise the activity. There is a lot more to the benefits of GABA that can be found on the internet, but we decided to focus on the sleep benefit for the sake of this blog.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a very common mineral and can be found in quite a few foods. Supplementing magnesium has shown to help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, relax the muscles, and aid in sleep. Magnesium helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which gets your body and mind to calm down and relax. Adversely, being insufficient in magnesium can negatively affect your sleep. Magnesium supplements come in a variety of forms, from tablets, to powders, to capsules.
CBD: At this point, most of us have heard of CBD. CBD affects the endocannabinoid system in our body. The endocannabinoid system affects functions like circadian rhythm, sleep, appetite, and mood. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, aiding in sleep, reducing anxiety, and more. CBD is available in oils and tinctures, edibles like gummies, capsules, and more.