Having trouble sleeping? Lack of a good night’s sleep will zap your energy, mood, and ability to focus during the day. Ranch Nutritionist Linda Illingworth shares valuable sleep tips – from natural supplements to how to create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Wake up at the same time every day no matter when you got to bed.
- No daytime naps!
- Optimize your bedroom: • 68-70 degrees, dark • Only for sleep and sex • Keep TV/phone/tablets in another room.
- Limit all blue light after dark: • Set Apple device to “Night Shift” sunset to sunrise (Settings, Display & Brightness) • Install flux program on computers
- Exercise daily, ideally outside with at least 30 minutes of bright light exposure without wearing sunglasses, AND finish at least 3 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime, alcohol within 2 hours of bedtime.
- Establish a daily relaxing ritual to start at least 1 hour prior to bedtime. • A warm bath – try adding 2c Epsom Salts, 1c Baking Soda, 1 tsp Lavender essential oil, and soaking at least 20 minutes • Reading fiction • Listening to audiobooks or soothing music with “sleep mode” timer • Slow walk, meditation or prayer.
- Continue relaxing activities outside of the bedroom until tired, then can go to bed. If not asleep after about 30 minutes, leave the bedroom at least 30 minutes and continue relaxing activities until tired, then repeat.
- Set up a regular late afternoon / early evening ritual of writing down all to-do’s prior to starting your relaxation ritual—can prevent the mind wandering to “to-do list items” in bed.
- Helpful supplements include: • Bedtime teas: Soothing caramel Yogi Bedtime, Sleepy Time, Rooibos, Chamomile • Designs for Health Brand Magnesium Buffered Chelate 2 caps (300mg) every evening • 3mg sublingual dissolvable melatonin just prior to entering the bedroom.
Linda Illingworth is one of the nutritionists at Rancho La Puerta, founder of Nutrition Muse and the current Director of Nutrition at Lifewellness Institute in Point Loma, CA, where she is responsible for patient clinical care and corporate wellness education for local and international corporations.