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Practical Tips For Effortless Sleep

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

We already know how important sleep is. It’s when our body heals and rejuvenates. Yet, health sleep habits are always placed on the back burner, because we forget about it all day until it’s time to go to bed!

The importance of cultivating a proper sleep hygiene cannot be stressed enough!

It actually starts the moment you wake up:

  • Even if you haven’t slept well, never take the attitude that you are too tired to begin a full day’s activity. Don’t assume that you need to stay in bed longer to get more rest. Instead, get up and get going!

  • Wake up with the sun: try to get up naturally with or before the sun. Once the sun is up, try to get sun on your body, even through a window is ok. Ideally, you would go for a 2-10-minute walk in the sun within an hour of waking (even when it’s cloudy).

  • Start your day with a cool shower, a bit of stretching and a few minutes of deep breathing.

What you do during the day will impact your ability to sleep well:

  • Set an intention for when you want to fall asleep. Use the bedtime feature on your cellphone, which gives you a 45-minute reminder to wind down before bedtime.

  • Meditation/deep breathing/quiet time: these are tools that, at the very least, train you to handle stress and come to a place of peaceful awareness.

  • Maintain a regular daily routine: rise, meditate, eat, work, exercise, play and sleep at the same time every day. Go to bed by 10pm. If you are not used to being regular in regards to your routine, start by writing down a schedule to follow for the first few weeks.

  • Avoid napping during the day, so that it’s easier to fall asleep at night.

Diet and Lifestyle play a huge role:

  • Aim for a larger lunch rather than a larger dinner to maximize your biological rhythm. Set a target time for dinner and eat an earlier dinner to give your body time to digest. If you are going out for dinner, also consider taking digestive enzymes, so the body is not spending time at night on its own breaking down the food.

  • Avoid alcohol, especially in the evening.

  • Get outside and play: enjoy dynamic and more outdoor activity during the day. Sun exposure helps with greater melatonin production at night.

  • Laugh and Enjoy: Humorous books, laughter, play, uplifting movies or being in pleasant situations with family and friends will support healthy sleep cycles. When possible, avoid situations which tend to cause anxiety, worry or anger.

Like it or not, the number one sleep disrupter is caffeine. Regardless of caffeine metabolism, the research shows that caffeine later in the day can significantly disrupt our sleep even if you can fall asleep easily. Set a caffeine curfew and avoid caffeine after 12pm noon.

In the evening, start winding down:

  • Cultivate relaxing activities: read, drink a cup of herbal tea or warm milk with a little honey and saffron, listen to soft music, do some gentle yin-yoga poses, take a warm shower or bath, play with children and/or animals. A short walk after dinner is helpful.

  • Diffuse aromatherapy oils such as lavender, rose, jasmine and neroli.

  • Avoid work that requires energy and concentration: avoid watching TV, exercise or being on the computer for at least 1 hour before bedtime, as it stimulates the nervous system and blocks melatonin production. Blue light filters help support melatonin production, but they do not stop the overstimulation of the mind.

  • Dim the lights: use lamps instead of overhead lights and consider putting a nightlight in the bathroom to prevent waking up your nervous system as you brush your teeth.

  • In some cases, products like Ashwagandha and Phosphatidylserine are extremely effective at helping your cortisol levels remain low overnight, preventing waking at 3am and unable to go back to sleep.

The DUTCH Test shows us what your cortisol curve is doing throughout the day as well as overnight, to remove the guesswork and create a personalized treatment strategy.

In Bed:

  • Keep your room temperature cool like a cave and not hot. Allow fresh air into your room during the day. Natural fibers are most comfortable for sleepwear and linens as they don’t trap humidity next to the skin.

  • Consider separate duvets, since it’s rare that partners enjoy the same temperature at night. Tossing and turning at night is often hint that your body

  • Avoid using the bedroom for mental activities, such as reading, working or watching TV.

  • Turn off lights and wifi: ensure the room is dark with blackout shades, eye covers, and no computer or LED lights on the room.

  • Depending on the situation, melatonin taken half an hour before can be extremely helpful at making you feel very sleepy. However, note that there are significant differences in quality of melatonin products, and some products cause grogginess upon waking.

  • If you wake up in the early hours of the morning and are unable to go back to sleep, get out of bed, avoid bright lights, take a few steps, have a sip of water, and then go back to bed and try again.

Sometimes poor sleep is secondary to something else going on, such as hormone imbalance, hypothyroidism or anemia. To chat more about how to get you sleeping effortlessly, book a 15 minute complimentary Discovery Call with me to chat more.

Disclaimer: All content in this blog is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

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