We’ve all heard of “eating clean” but what about the wonders of “sleeping clean”? Much like clean eating’s promise of feeling better and more healthy, “clean sleep” purports to deliver more lengthy and quality rest once you get the hang of it. Whether or not you like the term, getting good sleep is just as essential to a FIT life as nutrition and exercise, so today we share tips for improving your habits.
- Drink herbal tea! Calm yourself with a warm cup of unsweetened herbal tea. Chamomile is a longtime favorite of many, and we love Yogi’s Bedtime tea, which updates that classic with an infusion of Passionflower, Licorice, Cardamom and Cinnamon.
- Avoid meals and snacks within 2 hours of bedtime. Trying to digest food while also falling asleep often leaves you feeling bloated or unsettled, and makes it much harder to give your body a 12 hour detox window.
- No wine or booze before bed. The sugars will make your energy spike and interrupt your wind-down.
- No caffeine after lunchtime or early afternoon. It takes about 5 hours for the average healthy individual to metabolize caffeine, however some folks can feel the effects for up to 9 hours afterwards!
- Ambient: Turn on a white noise machine and dose away. This is especially useful for city-dwellers.
- Music: Spotify has nice playlist options in their “Ambient Sounds” genre.
- Meditative audio: Sleep With Me Podcast is very soothing and progressively gets more boring until you fall to sleep. Jon Kabbat Zin’s body scan tracks as part of his Mindfulness Meditation Audiobook are amazing.
- Tension release head massage – Place your fingertips on the back, center area of your head near the hairline at the base of the skull. Apply moderate pressure and move fingers in small circular motions to release trigger points.
- Take a warm bath – Use soaking salts, dim the lights, apply sleep oil, and do whatever else you can to treat yourself and let the hot water soothe tense muscles.
- Dab essential oils onto temples and wrists – Saje Wellness makes a collection of sleep oil blends that are extraordinarily soothing. Other calming and fragrant options we love are Sleep Therapy by H Gillerman and This Works Deep Sleep Super Blend Essential Oil.
- Put on soft pajamas – shop some of our favorite, most luxurious picks here:
These are some of the most commonly recommended supplements to take for improved ability to fall and stay asleep. As with all supplements, consult a doctor if you take prescriptions, are pregnant or have serious health ailments.
- Melatonin – A natural hormone the brain produces to regulate sleep and releases during the evening / pre-bed hours. Exposure to light at night blocks our bodies Melatonin production, but you can take it in supplement form to help get to sleep. Take it in capsule or liquid form.
- Magnesium threonate – An easily digestible form of Magnesium that is believed to improve memory, assist with sleep, and enhance overall cognitive function. Consume in capsule form.
- L Theanine – This amino acid (building block for proteins) is found in green tea and used to treat a range of health problems including anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure. Theanine has a chemical structure similar some of our bodies naturally occurring amino acids that help transmit nerve impulses in the brain. Consume in capsule form.
- Lithium orientate – Wellness practitioners recommend taking low doses of this to help calm the mind in preparation for sleep. This supplement is an organic form of lithium, the essential mineral that helps our bodies perform and regulate key neurological functions. Consume in capsule form.
- Cannabis – We recently discovered and fell in love with dosist’s ‘Sleep’ vape pen. The device vibrates once you’ve taken a perfect 2.25mg dose, so you can use it without feeling too loopy and it puts me right to sleep.
Our devices are useful connectivity tools but they seriously confuse our brains with bright, stimulating blue light – which is the opposite of what your brain needs before bed. If you’re a self described tech addict, start with just one of these practices and add a new one into your pre-bed routine each week. By the end of a month of this practice, it’ll feel like second nature and you will rest better!
- Set your screens to dim and warm in color as bedtime approaches – I use f.lux (free program) on my computer and the “Night Shift” setting on my iPhone.
- Don’t bring any technology into your bedroom – This includes your phone! It’s a reason to buy a fun alarm clock, like this modern one or this retro one.
- No screens one-hour before bed – If you must look at a screen close to bedtime, wear orange glasses. These may sound dorky, but they effectively counteract the stimulating blue light emitted from laptops, iPads, etc. and reduce eye overactivity and fatigue.
What about you? Comment any other tricks you’v found helpful below!
Images by Deiji Studios (maker of incredible sleepwear), Debby Hudson, Anthony Tran, Jessica To’otoo and Nicole Honeywill.