A Holistic guide to better sleep
1. During the day make sure you’re protecting your eyes (and body) by using blue light blocking glasses.
Ever since I started using my blue-light blocking glasses while in front of my laptop or phone I’ve had less headaches - I really notice how amazing theses glasses are when I forget to wear them for a few minutes! Here’s why we wear them:
- To sleep better: blue light messes up your circadian rhythm. It makes you alert and delays the production of melatonin.
- Minimize eye strain: like I said above, if you’re getting headaches or your eyes hurt after working in front of a screen too long, this will make a huge difference
Here’s a link: https://amzn.to/3kJPhKZ
2. A few hours before bedtime, wear amber glasses (biggest game changer!)
Ya’ll this is the absolute biggest game changer for us. It has 100% changed our sleep game. We got ours 2 years ago and use them religiously every day. When Cole is on the night shift he’ll actually wear them on the way home from the hospital so that his brain can produce melatonin without any issues We especially use them when we watch a show/movie before bed!
Here are a few options:
- The glasses we got - we did not mind getting some better quality glasses because I knew we’d be using them in bed and on the couch and would be snuggled up. I didn’t want the flimsy ones that would break on impact.
- Cheaper (but still effective) ones that you don’t mind replacing once in a while
Link here: https://amzn.to/3kJPhKZ
Cheaper version here: https://amzn.to/3eMPrxt
I got Cole the Large and I use the Regular. Worth EVERY penny!
Here is a less expensive version:
3. Change your light bulbs
We take sleep seriously here! At about 5pm, I change the lights to a yellower color. At 7pm I switch to the red color. We use these bulbs in the following areas:
- Kitchen (in a lamp, not the ceiling light)
In the rest of our home we use warm colored bulbs. Thankfully we’ve been blessed with large windows so for the most part during the day we go without any lights on (unless it’s gloomy and depressing).
My best tip: don’t use these bulbs for your normal ceiling lights - the “white” light on these bulbs is very cold and depressing. Only replace light bulbs in lamps that you mainly use at night (except in the bathroom, I don’t mind the colder white color).
Link here: https://amzn.to/3iDorSk
We also use salt lamps around our home as “night lights”. We have one in the guest room downstairs, kitchen and living room.
4. Supplement with melatonin if you’re having a hard time falling asleep
I don’t use melatonin, but has been using it for a few months now because of how weird his schedule is (he has no consistent schedule, which really messes up his circadian rhythm). Because of that Cole supplements with a few drops of liquid melatonin at night. Now,, I know that melatonin is VERY controversial. I don’t pretend to be a pro but I will say that melatonin is incredibly misunderstood and can be abused by some people. A few facts about melatonin:
- Primary protector from stress
- Something our body produces nautrally
- Some suggest it has the most efficacy when taken 3-4 hours before sleep (with your amber glasses)
- Your microbiome takes its signal from melatonin release and deep sleep
- Melatonin is 400x higher in the gut than the brain
- If you’re groggy after melatonin, you’ll almost immediately wake up by being in sunlight (or using the blue colored bulb!)
- Melatonin is anti-aging because it buggers oxidation in the skin
- read more here
Note: we don’t use sunglasses. We’ve realized that it’s important for our eyes to see how sunny it is outside so that it sends signals to the rest of our body. I think this has helped us not burn (that and avoiding seed oils completely and eating lots of fat). Note 2: not medical advice at all - quite the contrary. Talk to your doctor or health provider if sleep is an issue or you have questions about supplements. Organic Liquid melatonin: https://amzn.to/3eMvAyC liquid Pills: https://amzn.to/3izZQh1 Other options: https://amzn.to/3iBedBP (make sure it’s organic or good quality!)
5. Block out the sun
Either get light blocking curtains (here) or do what we do with an organic eye mask like this one here. I prefer not to use curtains like that because I love our light ones visually a lot more than the light blocking ones we’ve had in the past. But I know it’s vital to get a good night sleep, especially if you live somewhere with lots of light coming into your bedroom. On a full moon where we live you can pretty much read a book outdoors in the middle of the night without any issues!
Eye Mask: https://amzn.to/3eMuH9g
6. Use Essential Oils
We use lavender a lot in our home! I put organic lavender petals (are they petals?! leaves? Stems? I don’t know!) in our tea and diffuse essential oils often. It’s a well researched oil and has many benefits: better sleep, less stress, etc.
Here is a diffuser I got because it was so inexpensive a few years ago - it’s still working just fine! I also have a Young Living diffuser that is definitely fancier. If you need a rep I know a great one for YL and Doterra.
Essential oil diffuser: https://amzn.to/3kJNgPd
Lavender essential oil (organic) https://amzn.to/3eHaMZm
7. Protect yourself from toxins in your mattress, pillows, and bedding
This one bums me out a little bit because I know we’re sleeping on a toxic mattress but we really can’t afford to get a non-toxic one right now. But, I did find something that has made a big difference: a very nice mattress cover.
Mattress cover: https://amzn.to/36SnRKP
Now ideally we will be able to get a non toxic mattress at some point, but in the mean time this has helped me feel more at ease. We also use only organic bedding (good prices online!) .
Organic bedding: https://amzn.to/3hWXaej
8. Use an air filter
This one is an investment but for us it was 100% worth it. The AirDoctor Pro is VERY good. It’s 100x more effective than ordinary air purifiers. It’s been proven to capture 100% of airborne particles as small as 0.003 microns in size:
- Dust Mites
We have ours in our kitchen because it’s close to our bedroom - the AirDoctorPro covers a HUGE amount of space. It was one of the purchases I was most excited to make a few years ago. #noragrets #notevenoneletter
Link here: https://amzn.to/3eJcSYH the price right now is VERY good! Never get it full price, they have it on sale often.
9. Use Magnesium Lotion nightly
This has quickly become one of my favorite evening habits. Because of how crazy Cole’s schedule is I like to rub his feet or back before bed to help him relax. I use a blend of a massage oil + magnesium lotion. Here is what I’d suggest for you:
10 . Fix your circadian rhythm
This is also a game changer, and totally free! How do you do it?
- Get in the sunshine right away in the morning, ideally without shoes on so you’re grounded and getting rid of all the nasty effects of EMFs
- Get sunshine throughout the day
- Watch the sunset or go outside when the moon is out!
It’s so simple! Ideally you’re also walking every day, one of the easiest ways you can help your body attain great health!
11. Keep your phone on night mode or even more red
I keep my phone and laptop constantly on “night shift” in terms of the amber tint on the screen. You can actually make it even more red with this trick:
- Go to settings
- Search for “Color” and click on “Color Filters”
- Scroll down to Color Filters and turn it on
- Click on Color Tint and pick the red, then the intensity you prefer
To make it into a shortcut where all you have to do is click on the red lock button to the side of the iPhone 3 times to turn the red on or off:
- Go to settings
- Search for “Shortcut”
- Click on “Accessibility Shortcut”
- Turn on “Color Filters”
How to make sure your night shift is on all the time (amber color)
- Go to Settings
- Search for “Night Shift”
- Schedule Night Shift from 1am to 12:59pm
Finally, be mindful and wise
If sleep is a real struggle for you, ask yourself a few questions:
- Am I stressed out?
- Am I exercising enough? Too much? Not enough?
- Am I eating healing foods?
- Am I eating sugar and seed oils, foods with dyes in them? (don’t!)
- Am I eating very late at night? Don’t do this!
- Am I watching stressful shows before bed?
Am I grounding? Getting sunshine? In tune with the moon/sun?
If you’re really struggling with sleep it would be wise to work with a functional doctor! You could be dealing with deeper issues that will not be fixed without a smart practitioner by your side.