I have been a troubled sleeper for a long time. When I was younger it was my anxiety that usually kept me up throughout the night and will occasionally still pop up when I’m working through something. For the most part when I stopped drinking and began doing deeper spiritual work my anxiety and night anxiety mostly disappeared. I thought that would mean I would be sleeping like a champ from then on, but in the last 7 years I had even MORE trouble sleeping.
The new trouble was due to the fact that I’ve been dealing with adrenal fatigue, under active thyroid and hormonal imbalance for the last 7 years I was a zombie for the majority of the time until I discovered the below things that really helped me regulate my sleep. When I stray from them my sleep gets deregulated and I know it’s time to get back to my routine. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about sleep on my IG (due to my highlight of He Shou Wu helping me sleep at night) so I wanted to share what helps me the most!
Balancing my blood sugar— This is a tip Lacy gave me and it truly changed the game for me. I talk about this in my adrenal fatigue post and it is essential if you’re experiencing any endocrine issues. The protocol is the thing I would recommended the most if you’re experiencing the issues I’ve talked about in this post because it really works! Is it tough to give all the things up? Kind of, but honestly getting good sleep is so important to my health, I genuinely don’t care! I also don’t have to be as strict with all of this anymore like I no longer need to balance my blood sugar with protein every three hours. I still avoid all stimulants. The protocol is as follows:
No stimulants— no caffeine, sugar (only low sugar fruit like berries and citrus) or cacao
Protein within 30 minutes of waking and then eating protein every three hours. I’m plant based so when I did this I did lentils, nut butter, seeds, etc.
Strict bedtime routine- going to bed at the same time everyday and waking up at the same time everyday. The routine REALLY helps you get consistent sleep.
The ideal sleeping situation- for me this is making sure the room is dark as possible as I hate wearing eye masks and having any light means I will not sleep soundly. I also need it to be pretty quiet- white noise machines work VERY well for this- and a good temp. It sounds high maintenance, but sleep is essential so I make it a priority.
Journaling before bed— This is helpful for nights when I have a lot on my mind or I’m feeling stressed. Journaling right before bed allows me to get all the thoughts out and begin to find some peace before I sleep so I can have a quiet mind when I start to get ready for bed.
No phone 2 hours before bed— I’ve gotten less strict with this and I noticed a slight decline in my sleep. It helps me keep a quiet/peaceful mind before bed and the blue light screws up our natural melatonin which tells our body it’s time for sleepy time. It’s also just nice to disconnect and read before going to bed too.
Supplements— I have found the melatonin doesn’t help me so I never take it, but some supplements that do help me are: He Shou Wu, 5 HTP and magnesium.
I’m not a doctor or a sleep expert by any means, but the above seriously changed my sleep game. I hope these tips help you like they did me.