1. Get the phone out of the bedroom.
2. Pay attention to your blood sugar.
“We’re not immune to sugar crashes in the middle of the night; When they happen, it induces a stress response in your body. It’s like being hangry, only you’re asleep. Sleep hanger can jolt you awake and make you feel anxious, stressed, and wired. Prevent sleep hanger by: a) transitioning your diet away from sugarand refined carbohydrates toward a Whole30 or paleo-template diet based on real food (meat, fish, eggs, poultry, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, fermented foods, healthy fats, and relying on starchy vegetables as your source of carbohydrate); b) take a spoonful of almond butter or coconut oil (not actually “pure poison”) right before bed, and take another in the middle of the night if you wake up.”
3. Think about your caffeine consumption.
4. Try an earlier bedtime.
5. Be strategic about light.
“Experience darkness at night. Dim the lights in your home after sunset, finish the night with a candlelit bath or by reading a paper book in bed by dim lighting. Set your phone on night shift mode and download f.lux on your computer to make the screens dimmer and less blue at night. If you’re going to work on the computer, watch TV, or look at the phone at night, consider wearing orange plastic glasses (Uvex Ultra-Spec 2000 Safety Glasses) to block the circadian-disrupting blue light.”
6. Decrease alcohol.
“Though it can make it easier to fall asleep, it decreases the quality of sleep and makes it harder to sleep through the night.”
7. Take magnesium.
8. Try jujube.
9. Experiment with GABA.
10. Wind down.
“Give yourself the gift of an hour, a half-hour, 10 minutes, even just five minutes—some amount of winding down before you hit the pillow. Good options include taking an Epsom salt bath by candlelight, reading a calming paper book in bed, journaling, doing a gratitude practice, or simply shutting down electronics, sitting in your living room, and listening to relaxing music you love. Bring intention to this. This will let your brain know it’s time to transition into a different mindset.”
(By Ellen Vora, M.D.)