How To Reset Your Sleep Schedule

For a well-rested you

If you’re honest with yourself, how’s your sleep schedule going right now? Let’s see if this scenario sounds familiar — you only slept for 6 hours last night, so tonight, you’ll aim to hop in bed an hour earlier. Yet, you still feel tired in the morning. When the weekend comes, you sleep in, but you’re still tired. It’s like you can never feel rested, no matter how much sleep you get. I’ve been there, and I know how frustrating that can feel.

Lack of sleep accounts for so many unpleasant things, such as a lower immune system, extreme fatigue, irritability, etc. I know you don’t want to experience these things, just as much as I don’t want to experience them. There are a few things we can tweak to give ourselves the space to experience better sleep, and I want to share with you some ways that have helped me.

– Cool it with the eating
Aim to put the fork down 2-4 hours before you hit the hay. This will give your body ample time to digest, so that when you get in bed, your body can rest, too.

– Turn out those lights
I’m sure you turn your bedroom lights out when you go to bed, but you can also strive to ditch the blue lights from your devices, as well. Try to put the devices down at least 30 minutes before you tuck yourself in — it’s incredible the difference you’ll feel, and it’s especially helpful with slowing your mind down in the process.

– Make it colder
There’s a reason you sleep better in a colder room. Your blood flows to your skin and away from your core. This lowers your core temperature and allows you to fall asleep with ease. What’s better than snuggling up under your favorite blanket to drift off to sleep?

– Use your bedroom as intended
Don’t bring your movies into the bedroom, piles of work, or your iPad to scan Pinterest. Use your bedroom for sleep, and your body will begin to associate it with sleep, making it easier for you to slip off into dreamland.

– Go to bed earlier each day
Most of us stay up too late. Correct this habit by going to bed sooner and earlier each night until you get to your desired bedtime. You’ll wake up feeling much more refreshed, and the baby step method will be easier than attempting a complete overhaul of habits overnight.

– Step into the light
Another surprising fact about sleep is that if you get moving with some exercise and expose yourself to real daylight in the morning, it can help to reset your circadian rhythm. Try it for a week, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you’re sleeping at night. Even a brisk walk around the block will do — start with whatever you can swing, and grow from there.

Consistency is critical for resetting your sleep schedule. Start adjusting your bedtime and your habits step by step, and you’ll soon find deeper, more meaningful sleep within your reach and more energy to enjoy your mornings.

Do you sleep with your phone by your bed or in another room?

The best practice is to sleep with it in another room, but if you need to use it for an alarm, turn it on airplane mode right before you drift off to sleep.

Your alarm will still work, but your phone will stop emitting radio waves and wifi signals.  Having this long break from everything your phone emits every single night will add up to a large sum of hours these signals are not bombarding you. You’ll even sleep more soundly!

Sometimes we can get into the rut of going to bed when we feel we are supposed to, or on the flip side, staying up too late in a late-bedtime-binge. I typically fall on the latter, myself.

But what if we tuned into our bodies and noticed what it’s asking for?

What time do you feel like you could cozy up in bed and drift right off to sleep? We often ignore cues and stay on our routine instead.

This week, try listening to your internal cues when it comes to bedtime and take notice of what changes you may need to make moving forward.

 

 

 

Ways to Simplify Your Life for Less Stress

Stress is often like a runaway boulder gathering snow. It starts off small, perhaps with one or two nagging things and then… it snowballs into the kind of thing that can run you over full-steam. Let’s face it — you’re not going to ever feel relaxed if you’re running yourself ragged, panicking over deadlines, projects, social gatherings, housework, or whatever is tugging on your mind.

You might not be able to prevent stressful situations, but you can work on simplifying your life for less stress. Here’s how to make that a reality and breathe a little easier every night.

– Simplify
There is much clarity to be found when you clean out the clutter, whether it’s the physical or mental kind of clutter (or both!). Find ways each day to  make your routine simpler by lightening your load. You can even use a visualization technique. Picture a balloon filled with your stress. Picture yourself releasing the balloon and watch it waft away.

– Reclaim your livelihood
Why are you here? It’s undoubtedly not to work yourself to death. Instead, look inside yourself and remember what inspires you. Aim for that thing that ignites your passion.

– Go to sleep
I’m not talking a full-on hibernation here, but we do think that embracing your well-being through rest is critical to conquering stress. Use an essential oil diffuser with lavender and get yourself to bed earlier. You’ll find that with proper sleep, you’ll be less harried and intimidated by the things that tend to set off your stress bells.

– Get comfortable
When stress comes on, one of the best ways to chase it away is to surround yourself with the things that make you comfortable on a physical and mental level. Do things that fill your cup like reading a good book that’s not related to work, taking a hot bath while listening to your favorite songs, taking a walk around the lake on a beautiful day…whatever it is, find those things that make you comfortable with yourself and do them. Stress will naturally ebb away when you do.

With all the noise around us, either in our own heads or trying to recall what you wrote on the grocery list that you left on the counter, or outer noise from others, you have to tune back into yourself. Meditation is fantastic for this. Try to set aside the same time each day for your meditations. Listening to healing frequencies while you do so will help your mind let go of the noise, allowing you to tune into your innermost self.

Take the time to simplify your life for less stress, and you’ll find that when stressful things pop up, you’re better equipped to walk through those days without overwhelm.

Highly Effective Ways to Lower Stress Naturally

Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

1. Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.

3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!

4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.

6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.

Daylight Savings Time is coming up on Sunday, November 3rd.

You’ve likely already noticed the sun setting earlier, shrinking the daylight hours day by day.

One way you can ease your body into this seasonal change is to go to bed 30 minutes – 1 hour earlier than usual for the week or two leading up to November 3rd.

Try taking a magnesium supplement (like the Natural Calm drink) before bed to help relax your body throughout this change.  Strive for relaxing night-time routines to help your body learn its new routine.

Allow yourself to explore how rest and rejuvenation can nourish you this season.

 

 

 

What’s your average number of hours you sleep per night?

Everyone is diverse and has different needs, but it seems the average recommendation for a good nights sleep is between 7-9 hours.

Here’s how to get to a sleep schedule and stick to it:

  • Begin a sleep schedule if you don’t already have one.
  • Adopt a bedtime routine that helps to relax you.
  • Avoid caffeine or alcohol that may disrupt your sleep.
  • Ditch the electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

 

 

 

 

Do you prefer sleeping with white noise or silence?

Deep and restful sleep is so crucial for your wellbeing, and I love hearing all the unique tricks everyone uses to sleep well.  Some love still and silence, while others sleep better with a sound machine or a noisy fan.  What’s your preference?

Personally, I sleep best with silence.

Why You Might Have Brain Fog

and How to Clear it Up

Brain fog can be characterized by a lack of concentration, an inability to make decisions, frequent headaches, and nausea, to name a few. Is this something you struggle with regularly? A few common causes of brain fog could range from a nutrient deficiency, lack of proper sleep, ingesting an abundance of sugar, a thyroid condition, or even depression. Inactivity and chronic stress can also unleash brain fog, so there are a lot of factors at play when nailing down what’s causing your brain fog.

Luckily, you don’t have to keep your head in the clouds for too long. Here’s what you can do about it.

Try intermittent fasting
It’s well-known for helping you lose stubborn weight, but intermittent fasting can also improve your neurological well-being. You can ease into it by extending the timeframe between the last meal you eat in one day and the first meal you eat on the next day. A popular intermittent fasting method is 16:8, which means you’re fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. For example, this would pan out by eating dinner at 7 pm and not eating again until 11 am the next day.

Avoid sedentary behavior
Through no fault of our own, many of our jobs require us to log long hours behind a desk. Increased activity levels are known for boosting your mental acuity, so even if your schedule truly is packed, there are still things you can do to get moving. Take a 10-minute walk around the office a few times a day to stretch your legs and get your blood moving, or spend your lunch break getting some activity in. You can even invest in a DeskCycle, and you can even get a workout in AT your desk. It’s a small under the desk bicycle that allows you to “ride” a bike while seated at your desk.

Sleep on it
I don’t need to tell you your body needs enough sleep to function properly. Rest is one of the most crucial aspects of your overall health, so get that sleep you need by going to bed a little earlier every night until you’re getting more Zzz’s. If you have trouble sleeping soundly, investigate some natural ways to get a proper nights sleep, and see what works best for you.

Get into meditation
It can be hard to shut off the noise in your head, which is why many people feel like giving up when they first try meditation. Instead, download some healing frequencies that help you tune into your mind. There are also some fantastic apps you can download on your phone, such as Headspace and Calm, which can help you become a meditation pro.

Make the food you eat count
Food really is the way to balance your health. You need to make sure you are getting enough of the food your brain needs to work optimally. Eat omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and whole foods loaded with vitamins and minerals for your best brain health. Try adding some MCT oil into your morning coffee or taking it a step further for some “bulletproof” coffee (google it, it sounds strange, but it wakes up your brain in a snap!)

When most people focus on their health, they often put more emphasis on their physical aspects. But well-rounded health comes from balancing both physical and mental. Give some of these tips a shot and see what helps lift the brain fog for you.