by Katrina Stotelmeyer September 18, 2019 3 translation missing: en.blogs.article.read_time

So, you know you need 7-8 hours of sleep. If you missed it or need a quick recap, check out our post on why you need your beauty sleep. But the question becomes, just how will you get that beauty sleep?

In today’s world many of us struggle with insomnia, waking in the middle of the night, or needing a cup of coffee to get us going in the morning & a glass of wine to unwind us at night. Our busy schedules keep us going all day, and when we finally make it to bed our brains don’t turn off. So how do we make those 7-8 hours a reality?

the most important step...

First, you have to make a commitment to help yourself. Being sleep deprived—especially when it’s chronic sleep deprivation—brings a host of troubles with it. You’re at risk for disease, premature death, memory loss, poor decision making abilities, decreased resilience, and many other problems. NOT sleeping is more selfish than sleeping, as you put yourself and those around you at risk & decrease your own ability to show up & contribute. So schedule your time for sleep—ideally 10pm-6am, as each hour of sleep before midnight is worth 2 after midnight—and guard it zealously! Keeping your body on the same schedule, even on the weekends, helps your body get in the right rhythm for healthy sleep & an energetic, vibrant life.

eliminate blue light

Next, turn all your electronics off at least an hour before you go to bed. This means reading a physical book, doing your evening social media scroll earlier, and not bingeing on your latest show in bed. Develop an evening routine, starting with your skincare so that your skin can absorb as much as possible before your head hits the pillow and the process will relax you as well.

The blue light from electronics stimulates your brain, suppressing your body’s melatonin production. Melatonin relaxes the brain, helping you to fall asleep, so when your brain is racing at night? You probably have low melatonin. This can be from too much exposure to blue light late in the day, or it can be caused by gut dysfunction. Most of your melatonin is produced in the gut, where it helps protect and relax the walls of the gut. If the gut is in trouble, your melatonin levels will be, too. Trouble sleeping? Try running a pathogen screen or leaky gut test to see if your gut could use some support.

cultivate routine

Remember that evening routine we mentioned in the last above? Start with your skincare and then spend an hour or so relaxing & getting ready for bed. Find something that creates a vacation in your day, as self-care for one person could be self-torture to another.

Some relaxing ideas to get you started: gentle yoga, read a (physical) book, journaling, bath, conversation with your partner, prep your lunch & lay out your clothes for the next day, pray, practice diaphragmatic breathing (deep, belly breathing), write a letter, light a candle, or diffuse some essential oils. Doing the same routine, rhythm, or ritual, whichever name you prefer, every night helps signal to your body that the day is ending and it’s time for bed.

eat a {balanced} snack

Do you wake in the middle of the night? Many people find themselves waking for (apparently) no reason sometime between 1 and 3 in the morning. If that happens, don’t stress. Honor that time and practice some diaphragmatic breathing (deep belly breathing) until you fall asleep again. Then, the next night, grab a handful of salted cashews or another snack with a balance of healthy fats and protein before bed. Often, that middle of the night wakefulness is caused by a blood sugar crash. In order to raise blood sugar, your body produces cortisol, which initiates a stress response & wakes you up. A healthy snack before bed can stave off the crash and keep you safely slumbering until morning.

hydrate

We’re pretty big onhydration around here and hydrating before bed is an important one. 7-8 hours is a long time without water, and you lose water just by breathing. Help your skin stay hydrated & fresh by downing a bottle of water earlier in the evening and using a more hydrating night cream to restore moisture on the skin (We recommend RESTORE).

darkness

Turn out the lights, close the blinds, draw the curtains, and put on an eye mask if all else fails! Darkness signals to the body that it’s time to sleep, and any amount of light can disrupt sleep.

final thoughts

Do you have any favorite tips or evening routines? Leave them in the comments to inspire others in their sleep routine journey!

Katrina Stotelmeyer
Katrina Stotelmeyer