Riding The Wave
How To Sleep Like a Baby and Wake up Rested
Sleep for some is a simple reprieve. They lie down, close their eyes, and wake up before their alarms go off.
For the rest of us, it can be like a tumultuous, passionate–sometimes toxic–relationship. Some days you fall asleep fast, then boom, you’re wide awake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Other days your mind is racing, or your body is twitching (or both), and it’s the middle of the night before your eyes fully close. Maybe you feel like wine, or a nip of alcohol, is the only thing that helps you sleep. Maybe it’s a pharmaceutical or watching TV until you fall asleep.
Truth is, none of those things are perfect. We know those things only make us feel worse when we wake up in the morning. So what can we do? How can we conquer that behemoth we call sleep, and wake up rested, energized, and looking radiant?
We have outlined a six-step ritual that will take your sleep game to the next level.
1. Hit the hay satiated, but not full
Finish eating 3-4 hours before bed. Going to bed with a full stomach or while you’re still digesting, can cause discomfort and distraction when trying to fall asleep. It can also interrupt your sleep by waking you up in the middle of the night.
2. Shut it down
Turn off the TV, put your phone on do not disturb, and close your laptop at least one hour before you’re ready to get into bed. That hour before bed is sacred. Think of it as your optimal self-care time, or time to connect with your family. It’s the beginning of your wind down, and one of the most important parts of the sleep equation. Find non-stimulating activities like going for a walk, reading a book, taking a bath, or doing yoga, then make a daily or weekly ritual out of it.
3. Hydrate and nourish
Having one tall glass of water 1-2 hours before bed should allow for the ideal amount of hydration. This is also the perfect time to take your STUNN PM. Everyone’s body is different, but giving the ingredients 1-2 hours to work their magic and provide you with that luscious, calming relaxation in time for you to climb into bed should be optimal.
4. Get warm to cool down.
Our body temperature rises at night. Though it may seem counter intuitive, having a hot shower before bed helps to regulate and lower our core body temperature before getting into bed. The calming nature of a warm shower can help us mentally shift into a more neutral headspace, letting go of the day behind us.
5. Limber up
Most of us spend all day sitting, hunched over our computers. Too often we neglect gentle stretching, which can lead to aches, strains, and knots that can keep us up at night. Taking 5-10 minutes before getting into bed to stretch your back, neck, calves, hamstrings, and any other sore muscle groups provides you with physical relaxation to ride that wave into sleep.
6. Embrace the dark
Melatonin is a chemical our bodies naturally produce when it gets dark. Before we had electricity, our bodies would start to produce melatonin when the sun set, providing us with the natural sleep support we needed. Nowadays, we need to manually give our bodies the nod to start producing melatonin by dimming the lights before bed, and sleeping in the dark. If you sleep with a lamp or nightlight, you may never allow yourself to get into the deepest level of your sleep cycles. So embrace the dark, and let your body do what it was built to do.
Turn your wind down time before bed into a sacred routine. Make it something that you look forward to at the end of each day, rather than a battle you dread. Yes, life will get in the way, but making your nighttime routine a priority will make a huge impact on your overall sleep-wake cycles.
Next week we will visit the other side of this equation and dive into improving how you feel when you wake up, and crafting a killer morning routine to get you energized for your day.