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Your Guide to Better Sleep
The best behavior, environment, and supplement recommendations for sleep quality.
Get outside for 10-20 minutes within 30-60 minutes of waking. Having direct sunlight access (ie not through a window or sunglasses) helps reset your circadian rhythm, essentially telling your brain to fall asleep later that night. Even when it’s cloudy or overcast, you’re still getting the benefits of photons (light energy) emitted by the sun. For an added sleep-boost bonus, take a walk again in the evening around sunset, as this will also help regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
Limit use of devices in the hours before bedtime, and instead focus on relaxing practices, like yoga nidra, reading, meditation, or self-hypnosis (try the Reveri app, which was created by Dr. David Spiegel, a psychiatry professor at Stanford). All of these practices help train the brain to relax when it’s time to fall asleep.
In the hours before bed, dim overhead lights and use floor or table lamps as much as possible.
Lower the temperature and keep your bedroom cold at night. You don’t have to be freezing when you sleep, just make sure the room itself is cold. Pile on the blankets as needed. If you tend to sleep hot, or have a partner with different temperature preferences, devices from chilisleep or 8sleep can help.
Keep your sleeping environment dark, by using blackout curtains and wearing an eye mask (I love this weighted one).
Supplements to Consider:
If the above recommendations don’t bring the refreshing sleep you’re craving, consider adding these supplements. Discuss these with your healthcare provider before adding to your routine. These supplements can be taken 30-60 minutes before bedtime.
Magnesium can be taken orally to promote relaxation and improved sleep. Forms like Magnesium glycinate (200-400mg) and Magnesium l-threonate (100-200mg) can be useful; glycinate may cause some GI distress in more sensitive cases.
Magnesium can also be administered topically, by using a magnesium spray, lotion, or taking an epsom salt bath– as a bonus, this also alleviates muscle soreness.
L-theanine is another supplement that can promote relaxation and help sleep quality (100-300mg at bedtime). Use caution if you’re prone to vivid dreams and/or sleepwalking.
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