If you don’t think that going to bed late, sleeping lightly or waking up in the night is affecting you, here’s your wake-up call (pun intended). Regular poor quality sleep WILL slowly ruin your health. We’ve showed you 6 things to AVOID before bed, now here are 6 things to DO before bed, if you are tired of being tired, having broken sleeps and suffering with other sleep or energy problems.
1/ Turn off the wireless, power points and mobile signal
The frequencies from man-made electro-magnetic devices can interfere with our natural frequencies and bodily rhythms, including our circadian rhythms, aka sleep cycle.
There is much debate in the scientific community about how much electro-magnetic frequencies (EMFs) and electric fields affect us. However, there are several international studies which suggest that they pose a significant threat to our health, and tons of anecdotal evidence of people feeling the negative effects of EMFs. This should not be ignored. If you want to research this topic more on your own, start with the non-profit organisations Power Watch and H.e.s.e. Project.
In the meantime, instead of waiting decades to see what the long-term effects really are on us, how about just limiting your exposure whenever possible? Especially at a time when it doesn’t inconvenience you, like when you are sleeping.
We have had several clients report an immediate improvement in their sleep or their child’s sleep when they removed electric items from their bedroom, pulled the plug at night, turned off their wireless modem before bed, turned off the mobile phone signals at night, and/or re-routed any electric cords that were running under or around their bed.
2/ Take a shower
Several sleep research organisations suggest cold showers for insomniacs, while other research and testimony swears by the sleep-inducing effects of warm showers. Either way, it seems a shower will relax you and help regulate your body temperature for sleep. So what have you got to loose? Just your poor sleep habits.
3/ Have Sex (alone or with your partner)
We already know that men have no problem falling asleep quickly after orgasm, but did you know that sex or masturbation ensures deeper, more restful sleep for both sexes?
Sex boosts the production of sleep and relaxation hormones such as oxytocin, prolactin and estrogen, and decreases the production of cortisol – the hormone that prevents relaxation and sleep. So now you have another good reason to have sex or masturbate. Your Primal Health coach has prescribed it to you!
If your sex drive is low, you better read this!
4/ Write your thoughts
Even if you are laying in bed exhausted, if your mind is still active, it will keep your body awake. And it’s usually when you finally stop and do nothing, that all the good ideas come to your head and you remember all the things that you want to say and need to do. Therefore, by writing your thoughts at bedtime, you benefit twice: you get tons of great ideas and organised plans, and once you get all that clutter out of your head, your mind and body can finally get a restful sleep.
I recommend laying in bed for a few minutes with your eyes closed to let all the ideas and mind chatter flow. Then using a dim light, write down as much as you need, whether as lists, notes or in journal form. Then enjoy your blissful sleep.
5/ Eat, swallow, rub or spray Magnesium
Research has shown that magnesium deficiency and chronic insomnia go hand in hand, and even marginal deficiency can prevent the brain from settling down at night. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota, and is constantly backed up by numerous testimonials of people who have finally gotten the rest they need after taking magnesium supplements before bed.
Of course, you can get magnesium from real foods, and that is the optimal scenario. Good sources include green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, and almonds. However, many of us have compromised digestive systems which lead to mineral deficiencies even with a nutritious diet. Therefore, a good quality magnesium supplement may be needed to greatly boost intake and sleep health.
One of the most absorbable forms of magnesium is magnesium citrate powder. Other good chelated forms of magnesium are ascorbate, orotate, glycinate, or ideally a mix of them. Some sensitive people get diarrhea from higher doses of the citrate form, so listen to your body. Additionally, if you have long-standing digestive issues, you may not absorb oral supplements so well, and instead can look at magnesium creams or sprays. Many good health food/supplement shops have naturopaths in-store which can assist you.
*Note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together for best results.
6/ Breathing exercises and/or meditation
You might be getting tired of me talking about meditation and breathing. But when you find something that is so easy to do, costs nothing, and is so beneficial to your health, you want to spread the word! These practices, even when done for as little as 5-10 minutes, can have an extremely relaxing effect on your bodily systems and prepare you for the best sleep ever.
You can sit up straight or lie in bed, dim the lights or turn them off, use a guided audio meditation or just take some deep breaths feeling your belly expanding and your body relaxing. It doesn’t matter so much HOW you do it, just that you DO it. Regularly.
Other sleep articles by Primal Health:
6 Things to Avoid Before Bed, For a Good Night’s Sleep
Are Your Daily Habits Affecting Your Sleep Quality? Take the Quiz.
How My Body Swelled Up From Sleep Stress
Which of these or other pre-sleep rituals have helped you get a better night’s sleep?