12 Hacks for Better Sleep

Sleep. Most people agree on two things:

  1. Sleep is crucial
  2. We aren’t getting enough

When hormones, stress, anxiety, illness, or fill-in-the-blank kick in, it seems our sleep is the first thing to be affected.  And dang it, often times it’s the best remedy for our issue.  We can face so much more in our days when we’ve had good quantity and quality sleep.

“I wish I didn’t sleep well,” said no one, ever.

If I could figure out how to box up a good night’s rest and sell it, I’d have more cash than I know what to do with.  Or at a minimum, if I could package Grace’s ability to sleep, I’d make a killing.

Instead, I’ll share some hacks that work for me and other offerings from the Graced Health Facebook tribe.

I feel like I should protect myself and add some disclaimers, even though I know my Graced Health readers are smart and discerning.

  • I’m not a doctor, consult yours if you have serious issues.
  • I recommend trying one at a time to see what’s effective.
  • Home remedies may help, but they’re not always the answer.  Again, see a doctor if necessary.
  • Too much magnesium is not a good thing unless you want to have frequent visits to the bathroom the next day.  Don’t try the Healthy Skoop AND Calm at the same time.  Trust me, please.  

Amy’s Hacks for a Successful Sleep

  1. Foam roll my back.  I have no scientific backing for this, but I notice when I roll 3-5 times from the middle of my back to my shoulders, I sleep deeper. There’s differing opinions on the safety of this.  Obviously if you have lower back injuries, issues, etc., opt out of this hack.  Here’s a great video with instructions.  I just stick to the upper back and don’t bother with the lats for the purpose of sleeping better.  Please pay attention to his caution with rolling the lower back.
  2. Tart Cherry Juice Capsules.  Tart Cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, the “sleep hormone.”  Additionally, they have anti-inflammatory properties.  Bonus! You can drink your tart cherries in the form of a juice or concentrate.  It’s more sugar than I prefer right before bed, so I found these capsules from King Orchard.  Pop two and nighty-nite.
    tart cherry capsules
  3. Magnesium.  I like Natural Calm brand.  It comes as a powder to which you add water.  If you travel, I recommend purchasing the individual packets.  Otherwise, the housekeeping staff may see your snack-sized Ziploc bag and mistake it for another white powder.   Oops.
  4. Yoga. I really thought I was onto something new and brilliant.  But then Google told me the Harvard Review, among other news outlets, reported a national study stating that over 55% of people who practiced yoga reported improved sleep.yoga helps with sleep
  5. Limit alcohol – especially red wine. Vino is tricky; it puts you to sleep, but incessantly taps you on the shoulder at 2am.  It’s like a toddler in your bed at 6am on a Saturday and won’t let you go back to sleep.  too much wine impacts sleep
  6. Move during the day.  Don’t overexert yourself; I’ve noticed this can create insomnia for me.  Just move enough that you’re utilizing all your energy in the day, rather than having some leftover when you turn out the light.move during the day to help sleep
  7. Salad.  I wrote about this last year.  Again, I can’t explain it medically.  It just works.
  8. Healthy Skoop Sleep Protein.  You can read more about it on Healthy Skoop’s site.  It also has the aforementioned melatonin, as well as tryptophol, that ingredient in turkey that makes us sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal.  Dr. James Rouse actually created it for his daughters, who were looking for a bedtime snack.  I’ll give this to my bottomless pits when they’ve blown through dinner and are hungry right before bed.  One serving has 90 calories, 8 grams of protein and just 4 grams of sugar.  It’s a much better option than mint chocolate chip ice cream (see #9).  The one phenomenon I experience is while I sleep like a rock, I tend to wake up early.  Maybe it’s a quality over quantity thing?9.  Limit Sugar. Oh, you sweet, white granule.  You explode in my mouth and make me want more.  Why do you taste so good yet have so many drawbacks?  I notice my sleep quality is significantly less when I overindulge.  Watch the Dove chocolates, Amy.  too much sugar impacts sleep10.  Sit outside at sunset.  I know, that’s tough to do.  Between dinner, kids activities, and life, it’s hard to do this.  A few years ago, Mr. Poppins and I spent two evenings a week watching our boys at football practice.  I noticed those evening I slept like a rock.  I’m convinced watching the day transition to night helped kick in that melatonin.watching sunset helps sleep

I asked my tribe on my Graced Health Facebook Page and they offered some other ideas:

  1. Meditation.  Learn to calm your mind and just witness the thoughts go by, rather than get wrapped up in them.  
  2. Essential Oils.  Peppermint, lavender, cedarwood with lavender, and a combo of lemon, peppermint, and lavender.  

Remember – I’m not a doctor.  Please please please consult with yours if you have ongoing or serious issues.  But friend to friend, these are what work for me.  If you try them, let me know.  

Want a cheat sheet of this?  Click here to receive a free download you can take a screenshot of and easily reference. Sweet dreams!!

One more note: as with every product I mention, it’s just one I love.  I’m not affiliated with any of them and receive no compensation.  The exception is Skirt Sports. I explain here that I’m not selling it, but I want you to buy it.

Did I miss anything?  What works for you?

 

 

Graced Health is a ministry of my heart.  If you enjoy these, the best gift you can give me is joining my email list. You can read why this is such a gift on the Mission and Promise page.

Featured Image Photo Credit :  Adam Grabek

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