I've coached over 10,000 people in my career, and I've come across plenty of poor souls who do not get a deep night's sleep. While I felt for them, I never quite understood their pain. My husband will tell you it takes me a whole 30 seconds from the time my head hits the pillow to when I'm deep breathing (not snoring, I'm a classy broad after all.)
But, this third trimester of pregnancy has turned me into a full-blown insomniac. Straight up, I see every other hour on the clock. The other night I almost bought an at home dermabrasion kit, because Instagram ads turn into infomercials after 3 am.
Some things I do make it better, some things worse. So I've compiled this list for you: my best tips on how to get a restful night's sleep!
Do This To Get Your Zzz's:
Sleep in a completely dark room and keep it cold.
If your room has too much light shining through, your cortisol will be stimulated and it will wake you up. The same thing will happen if your body temperature rises too much, so lower the A/C, use your covers and wear one of those fabulous eye masks.
Eat a snack right before bed.
Normally I would tell you to stop eating 3-4 hours before bed, but if you have trouble sleeping, allowing your blood sugar to drop too much during the night can wake you up. Something small and simple will do the trick: a few spoonfuls of almond butter, an egg cooked in ghee, or a glass of cashew milk are my go to's.
Take this wonder supplement.
All melatonin is NOT created equally. I've taken it before and had it either not work at all or turn me into a morning zombie. Kavinace PM is a special combo of melatonin and 5-HTP, and besides the outstanding research on this product, it has a 99% positive feedback rate from everyone who tries it. Neuroscience, the company who makes this wonder pill, does not sell this online anywhere, I can't even sell it on my website. If you want to try this sleep aid, just let me know here and we will ship one to you for free (the shipping is free, not the supplement, you have to pay for that.)
Stop drinking water 1-2 hours before bed.
Here's another tip that contradicts my normal advice, but the less you drink at night the less likely you are going to wake up to pee.
Have a mantra.
Do you experience being "tired but wired?" This means that you are physically exhausted, but your mind has decided that 1 am is the perfect time to ponder all of life's intrincacies. I use a mantra to help busy my mind so I can fall back asleep. An old yoga teacher of mine taught me "just this, just now." You can also go through the alphabet and assign a food word to every letter (A is for almond, B is for butter...) It also might help you to keep a journal by your bed in case any thoughts come up that you don't want to forget!
Absolutely DON'T DO THIS if You Want To Get A Good Night's Sleep:
Let yourself fall asleep on the couch first.
If you fall asleep on the couch and then have to wake up to get ready for bed, you are messing with your body's natural hormonal output and it will have you staring at your ceiling fan as soon as you get comfy. If you feel yourself dozing on the couch, get up right away and get into bed. Brush your teeth and wash your face before sitting to watch tv so you can slip right into bed if you are nodding off.
Stay awake for longer than 30 minutes without getting out of bed.
If you are tossing and turning for 30 minutes, get out of bed and do a simple task or two: the laundry, clean up the kitchen, straighten up the house, make your to-do list. Then get back into bed and try to fall asleep.
Skip your workout.
I have the hardest time sleeping on the days that I don't get enough exercise. The body needs to get it's energy out, and if you have a sedentary job, you have to ramp up the movement even more. We used to think that exercise right before bed stimulated you, but new research shows that it can actually help you get a deeper night's rest. An after-dinner walk or 20 minutes on a stationary bike or elliptical will do the trick.
Weekly Cookup - Where I share my weekly batch cooking plan so you save time and follow my lead.
Since I’m in Florida this week on my babymoon (check out my Instagram pics), here’s an oldie but goodie:
Chicken Stew Provencal - I made some modifications to this recipe. I used gluten free flour, added red potatoes to the crockpot and am going to serve it with a side of cauliflower.
Mediterranean Plate - This is my vegan meal for the week, although I have made it before with grilled chicken thighs if you are feeling meat-y. I buy store bought hummus, roasted harissa slathered eggplant in the oven, roast some butternut squash that I toss with arugula, EVOO, S&P and some dried cherries, and put together a quick Israeli salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, mint, EVOO, S&P.
Burgers and Carrot Fries with a Side Salad - If you pretend the carrot fries are tater tots, you will really enjoy this meal. I buy gluten-free hamburger buns because it makes me feel special.
Chicken and Broccoli with Sesame Noodles - I was missing those cold sesame noodles I would eat growin’ up as an NY kid ordering greasy Chinese. I found this recipe for NY Style Cold Sesame noodles and created a meal around it.