If you’re doing everything right in your diet, but you don’t seem to be progressing. You may need to address your sleep.
Many don’t like to think that their sleep could be an issue or maybe it’s that they don’t want to face another challenge like sleep. If we don’t get consistent and quality sleep, you put yourself at risk for chronic illness. Mentally it affects your mood, mental health, reactions, mental clarity, memory, and so on… Physically, sleep is known to aid in the repair of your heart and blood vessels.
Sleep deficiency is linked to obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure!
It is super important to get enough sleep!
One tip we tell our clients is to create a “wind down” routine before bed. Routines can help tell our brains that it’s time to go to sleep. Try to keep the activities consistent and keep the bedroom for bedroom activities! Try not to watch TV in bed, scroll your phone, or work in bed.
A wind down routine means turning the screens off for an hour or so before bed. Blue light is a real thing and messes with our sleep patterns. Use blue light glasses as often as possible until screens off.
Gui (who is not a great sleeper) even goes as far as to turn off all artificial light during his wind down routine and uses only candlelight to navigate the bedroom.
There’s so much we can do that doesn’t involve a screen…
– Yin Yoga/Stretching: a great addition to any wind down routine
– Meditate/Breathing exercises
– Read a book
– Listen to a podcast/audiobook
– Prepare for the next day
– Check in with family
We also recommend people to go outside in the morning and absorb some morning light. This will help reset your circadian rhythm and promotes melatonin release at night time.
You may need to exert more energy throughout your day. As you improve your diet especially focusing on a ketogenic diet you will experience more energy. So you may need to move more than you usually do to feel tired enough at night to fall asleep.
And after all that you feel like you still need more help to sleep better; there are natural supplements that you can try. These are listed in order of what we recommend to our clients.
1. Glycine: Gui’s preferred option. Glycine is a natural amino acid present in bone broth, cartilage, gelatin and other collagenous tissues. In supplement form it has a sweet taste and he uses it frequently to sweeten his drinks.
2. Magnesium: Part of more than 300 different metabolic processes in the body, magnesium promotes muscle and nerve relaxation especially when is bound to glycine to make magnesium glycinate. It’s important to make sure magnesium is bound to something you can absorb well like: glycine, malic acid, taurine, chloride, citric acid and some others. Just make sure you don’t get magnesium oxide which is the cheapest and easiest to find but not well absorbed by our bodies.
3. CBD: Extracted from cannabis plant CBD does not have psychoactive properties The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep.
4. Valerian Root: Referred to as nature’s Valium, Valerian is a herb native to Asia and Europe. Its root has been used to promote relaxation and sleep since ancient times. Valerian root reduces the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, as well as improves sleep quality and quantity by inhibiting breakdown of GABA in the brain, resulting in feelings of calmness and tranquility. This is the same way medications like Valium and Xanax work without the side effects
5. Ashwaganda: Ancient herb prominent on Chinese Ayurvedic medicine classified as an adaptogen, it can help your body manage stress.
6. GABA: A naturally occurring amino acid that works as a neurotransmitter in your brain.
7. Melatonin: Use this as the absolute last resort before you try big pharma sleeping pills. Melatonin supplements tell your body to stop producing its own melatonin which creates a dependency that nobdoy wants.
Of course, we always encourage to try and manage your sleep without the use of supplements, but sometimes we need to use the supplements to get us on a schedule. It’s always good to test removing the supplements every now and then to see if your body can do it on its own.
Proper diet and exercise also play a huge role in proper sleep! Want help? Learn more about our signature 12 week Modern Caveman program.