Do you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day? Do you think your sleep patterns and routines are supporting or limiting your health? In our modern culture that is so focused on being productive and values results over process, it’s easy to undervalue the importance of quality sleep in our life. But poor quality sleep can impair your memory and learning abilities. According to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, poor sleep habits is associated with physical disabilities in older adults. So, are you ready to take your sleep health a bit more seriously? Awesome. Today I have gathered up 5 simple (but admittedly kind weird) hacks that can improve your sleep quality.
Sleep in Complete Darkness
You’ve probably slept in mostly dark rooms for your entire life, but did you know that you get optimal rest in 100% darkness? Studies have actually shown that a mask over your eyes is not enough to keep light out… your mitochondria in your cells of your skin will think it’s day time if they get exposed to light sources at night time… the weird part? There are black out stickers specifically designed to address our modern conveniences that have lights at night time… it’s $4.99 on Amazon! I can’t say I have ever tried it myself, but with such a high rating and such a cheap price, I’m definitely curious! If you want more info on the value of darkness for your sleep quality, check out this post by Dr. Mercola that explains the science in more detail.
Protect Your Eyes for Better Sleep
What about light exposure after dark but before bedtime? Well, there’s a weird solution to that too… Blue blocker glasses. They can block the spectrum of light that can disrupt your circadian rhythm and also contribute to eye strain when you are staring at a screen too long. There are lots of brands out there and they vary widely in quality and price. It’s tricky to know which company is reliable, but according to this Consumer Reports article which reports the testing results of 3 varieties, this one this one is an affordable option that is more effective than more expensive counterparts… although it’s definitely not the most fashionable of the bunch!
Sleep Better by Improving Your Morning Routine
You might not be thinking about improving your sleep by altering your morning routine, but you can do just that! If you wake up at a regular time every morning, incorporate movement that gets your blood pumping to increase your cortisol levels and make sure to get at least 10-20 minutes of morning time in the sun, it will support increased awakeness during the day and better sleep at night. Need some inspiration? Here are 6 Ways Waking Up Early Can Improve Your Health(improved sleep is #6)
Sleep Supplements that Support Your Snooze
A cup of hot, non-caffeinated tea (my current favorite) with a tablespoon of collagen powder in it can be very relaxing to your body AND boosts your recovery of your muscles and other soft tissues overnight. While you’re drinking the tea, go ahead and either spray on some magnesium oil or pop some magnesium pills… it will help you rest better as well! While we are on the subject of supplements, it would be irresponsible of me to not address melatonin. Ideally, you need to be supporting your own body’s natural production of melatonin through these other methods instead of supplementing with them externally. This isn’t the post where I can fully explain the reasons for it, but here is an article on Huffington Post that expresses most of my concerns related to this often misunderstood supplement.
Electricity for Better Sleep
Okay, this last one might be the weirdest of all. The theory is that our modern lives have disconnected us with the natural energy of the earth. And by “energy” I am actually referring to the natural ground current that is present in the soil. The basic amenity of shoes with rubber soles and homes with floors designed to protect us from lightning has created this “disconnect”. So, the weird hack? Get grounded… this can be through direct contact with the earth by walking in your yard or you can ground yourself with a mat like this a mat like this one you can place at your desk for use with bare feet or even under your keyboard to rest your arms on. For more info on the research, check out this article on the Wellness Mama blog that answers lots of questions on this topic in much more detail. So what do you think? Do all of these sound crazy? Does one or two stand out as ones you want to try? Or do you think they are all too out there to work for you? Do you have any weird sleep hacks to add to this list, because I’m sure there are lots more! For further reading, check out these sleep tips from the guy who wrote an epic book on sleeping smarter