I was lying in bed, focusing on deep belly breathing, trying to relax my jaw, to watch my thoughts float away like they were a hot air balloon… anything I could try to help me fall back to sleep. I have a busy brain and often go through periods where staying asleep all night is difficult.
Our hormone production is pretty much dictated by our circadian rhythm – the 24-hour cycle our bodies operate to. The body’s internal schedule of physiological processes like when to sleep and when to wake. Getting sleep between 10pm and 6pm helps your body regulate these functions and will support healthy hormone production.
A lack of quality sleep is a form of stress on the body. You know how exhausted you feel when you haven’t had enough sleep. You end up relying on sugar (carbs) and coffee to give you the energy you lack throughout the day. This often leads to weight gain. High cortisol levels and excess weight are two major contributors to fertility issues.
These things can help:
- Magnesium spray – magnesium is a super important mineral, which is required for around 300 bodily functions. So without enough, these bodily functions can be compromised. It is involved in regulating your circadian function like getting enough sleep. Because magnesium is best absorbed through the skin, a spray is a great way to boost your magnesium intake. I spray it on my feet before bed every night. I honestly do feel like it helps me sleep better. Check it out here.
- Yoga poses – vigorous exercise at night is not recommended as it can get you feeling amped and wired. Some gentle yoga poses is a better way to get your system calmed ready for sleep. Childs pose, forward fold from a seated chair or gentle inversions like legs up the wall are very calming and grounding for the body. Or you could try a gentle yoga routine from my pal, Yoga with Adriene.
- Regular bedtime routine – let your body prepare for rest. We all know that we shouldn’t be on devices until late at night, but it can be hard to drag yourself away. Just for one week, try putting your phone away by 8pm and see how you feel. Be consistent with your bedtime routine. And keep it simple. Something like this:
- Wash your face, scrape your tongue + brush your teeth
- Apply your magnesium spray or a little massage oil to your feet (try this with a little lavender oil for the ultimate in relaxation).
- Spend a few minutes journaling, meditating or doing some of the yoga poses above to let go of the day.
- Hop into bed to read + a few pages of a novel – no career related informative books that will get your brain going!
- Avoid alcohol – alcohol is a stimulant and your body will have to work hard to process it. This means that you will not get the deep, restful sleep you need. Anything more than two glasses per week is considered moderate consumption. Moderate consumption is related to higher rates of miscarriage. Not good.
- Avoid caffeine – but I’m tiiiirrreed! Caffeine can put more stress on your drained adrenals so if you aren’t getting enough sleep regularly, you’re definitely only making things worse if you then use coffee to pep you up throughout the day. Take the hit for a few days and wean yourself from the coffee hit.
- Let it go – so much of the tiredness we feel is because we are spending the wakeful hours trying to get back to sleep, stressing about getting back to sleep and overthinking the impact of not getting back to sleep (... come on, just sleep, I want to be fresh for my meeting!). Just go with it and you’ll be surprised at how you can power through. Although we know a lack of sleep is not good for our long-term health, there are a lot of successful people throughout history that were known to exist on very little sleep. Let’s try and focus on them in the wee hours, rather than stressing about not sleeping.