How To improve my quality of sleep
Do you know the feeling of getting up moody and exhausted? What if your good-night rest has a truly rejuvenating effect on you instead? A restorative sleep supports cell regeneration more effectively than many a supplement on the market and acts as a fountain of youth. Sleep is one of our most essential needs. How come that many of us lack a restorative quality of sleep? Due to stress, environmental pollution, watching television extensively in the evening, or being stuck on electronic devices, too much cortisol is also released in the evening, but too little melatonin, which is supposed to promote restful sleep. If possible we should avoid late intake of alcohol, but also of foods that are more stimulating than regenerative. How happy and energized we feel in the morning, greatly depends on our evening habits!
A fateful experience
For my 42nd birthday, my husband sent me for a meridian massage with a great therapist. Actually, I had absolutely no time, because I was planning to cook for my parents and had sooo much to do. Later, however, it turned out that exactly this holistic therapy session would completely change the course of the year that followed. I was quite out of balance and not at all grounded, the therapist immediately realized. I instantly claimed:"I eat a healthy diet anyhow! To which she replied: "Nutrition is only one of five pillars of health." Obviously, I was not being careful enough with my own resources. I did not pay enough attention to the feminine energy (a topic on its own rights), relaxation, and most certainly, sleep... at the time I felt sleep was overrated and was surprised that I was out of balance?!
Why restful sleep so crucial
According to the latest studies, restful sleep plays an extremely important role, especially when it comes to the regeneration of our physical and mental functional mechanisms. Truly restful sleep increases productivity supports fat loss, helps prevent illness, improves concentration and mental clarity. One of my favorites in this field is Shawn Stevenson. In his best-selling book Sleep Smarter, he explains all the aspects that need to be considered to optimize sleep quality. Of course, the biohacking guru and owner of Bulletproof, Dave Asprey, must also be mentioned in this context. For him, sleep plays a particularly important role in connection with longevity. Living in sync with our circadian rhythm is the most crucial factor when talking about the quality of sleep. Still, it is one of the hardest things to fit in our modern lifestyles. So what is the circadian rhythm? I found a great source, that explains it in depth… find out here. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, but this is by no means time wasted!
6 benefits you get from a restful sleep
- By ensuring a deeper sleep at night, you support the burning of fat. Weight-loss the easy way. I’m sure that Sleeping beauty knew that.
- You are mentally fitter and you have a clearer mind. You will also find it easier to concentrate and you have a better memory. This increases your effectiveness and therefore your quality of life by achieving better results in every area of your life. Become smarter with a restful sleep!
- Many people sacrifice sleep to achieve more. They hardly know that the quality of work can be severely affected by sleep deprivation. Restful sleep can radically improve productivity, you manage to do more with more ease. Unfortunately, at this point, maternal care must also be mentioned. During the first years of a child’s life, mothers seldom feel well-rested and often do not reach the desired sleep level. In this case, it is all the more important to make the most of the little sleep the young mother is allowed.
- The stress load on the body can be significantly reduced by restful sleep. In other words, the simplest prevention of many stress-related, often chronic diseases is good quality sleep.
- Millions of people suffer from lack of energy and chronic fatigue. Good sleep, in favor of a more effective regeneration, gives us the energy that makes life worth living. Everyone who has ever suffered from severe fatigue understands the importance of life energy.
- Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are reaching epidemic proportions. Certainly, you too have known people who suffer or have suffered from one of these diseases. Here an optimization of sleep can also make a significant preventive contribution.
Biohack your sleep
- Reduce exposure to blue light: especially in the evening – from about three hours before bedtime – activate a blue-light filter on all electronic devices or use protective blue light filter glasses.
- Use blue light apps: for Android, I recommend f.flux or Iris. A hack for Apple devices is Night Shift. Just wipe the screen from top to bottom and hold down the brightness button briefly; the Night Shift button appears, so you can turn it on or off.
- If possible, switch off all screens two hours before going to bed.
- Get as much bright light as possible in the mornings before noon – preferably sunlight (15 – 20 minutes of sunlight is sufficient). Alternatively, 300Watt halogen lamps will do… This will increase your performance and delay the aging process.
- Eliminate all light sources during sleep and if possible all electronic devices.
- Athletes use blackout curtains ahead of an important match to be as “rested” as possible;
- Caffeine: avoid drinking coffee and energy drinks after 2 PM and also avoid other stimulating foods that disturb your circadian rhythm.
- Stay cool! Keep the room temperature below 20 degrees.
- you can enhance deep sleep with Isochronic Tones and Binaural Beats. I really like the brain enhancing deep sleep music by my breathwork teacher, Michaël Bijker from Yogalab.
Special nutrients for effective regeneration
Bliss balls, flapjacks with dark chocolate, and Chaitee’s are pleasantly stimulating company for the evening. More on Chill-Out Tea.
Selective nutrients: food or supplements for better sleep
A. Regenerative & sleep-boosting vitamines
- Vitamin C: Studies show that people with vitamin C deficiency tend to have difficulty falling asleep and tend to wake up more frequently at night. Super Foods such as Camu Camu, Amla, or Acerola berries, but also simply fresh red peppers, berries, or some fresh lemon are also great Vitamin C suppliers. Also, eat green leafy vegetables with your meals.
- Vitamin D3: We can also support the circadian rhythm with this vitamin, which is actually a hormone. The best vitamin D converter is of course the sun. However, in winter at the latest, we should help this hormone to get going, for example with porcini or shiitake mushrooms, sardines, tuna or mackerel, gouda cheese, or butter from hay milk. Between April and September, allow yourself a daily sunbath of about 15 minutes (depending on your skin type)… Preferable, without sunscreen and as naked as possible.
- Vitamin B6: Pyridoxine is found in bananas, natural yogurt, cashew nuts, fish, spinach, avocado, sweet potatoes, algae, eggs, and much more. As a supplement, B vitamins should always be taken as a B complex, if possible not in synthetic form.
B. Regenerative & sleep-boosting minerals
- Potassium: If you wake up often during the night, this may be an indication of a potassium deficiency. consume this alkaline trace element by eating more potatoes, greens, broccoli, mushrooms, and avocado.
- Magnesium: This is another important mineral with a calming effect: Here I would like to mention Zechstein Magnesium Oil. Zechstein magnesium chloride is mined from 1500 meters deep-sea underground and 250 Million years in the making, is the purest magnesium salt source in the world. Bottled in a hand-spray bottle, I use it in the evening, especially spraying onto the feet. As a foot bath, it also has a detoxifying effect. In addition, I even use Zechstein oil as an effective deodorant.
- Calcium: according to a study published in the journal European Neurology, calcium deficiency is associated with REM disorders. To increase your calcium consumption with foods with high bioavailability, such as cabbage leaves, sardines, algae, sesame seeds. Beware of food supplements that contain mainly large calcium structures such as carbonates. Moreover, sufficient vitamin D3 and preferably also vitamin K2 should be taken with calcium so that calcium reaches the cell and does not only calcify the arteries.
- Selenium: many people in our latitudes have a lack of selenium. This even has a negative effect on the thyroid gland. Well, this is how you can help your selenium balance: Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, chicken, or beef, just to name a few.
C. More fancy micro-nutrients for better sleep
- Tryptophan: This amino acid is an essential building block for the metabolism of the neurotransmitter serotonin- an important hormone for the evening hours. Tryptophan is found in avocado, eggs, sweet potatoes, bananas, dates, almonds, pumpkin seeds, leaf green, hemp seeds, chia seeds, leaf green, etc.
- Omega3: This anti-inflammatory superfood fatty acid promotes deep and restful sleep and you will find it in linseed oil, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, hempseed, algae, and in free-range eggs as well as in fish from cold waters – preferably from wild-caught fish.
- Melatonin: The release of this hormone can be promoted by promoting specific foods, including sour cherries. Walnuts, tomatoes, bananas, and asparagus also promote the release of melatonin.
- Ashwagandha: This sedative adaptogen with tranquilizing effects can have a very relaxing effect on your nervous system. However, you should be a little patient. If necessary, the effect may take a few months. I have discovered for myself that I prefer Ashwagandha in the form of pressed tablets, as it takes some effort to eat the powdered form. Urgh, it tastes so bitter! Alternatively, you can have a delicious evening tea…
Slurp your calming evening tea...
Recipe for Ashwagandha-Chaitea
- 1 TS Ashwagandha-powder (alternatively, if you have pills, you can grind 2-3 for the tea preparation)
- 1/4 TS Turmeric powder
- 1/4 TS Cardamom powder, best: freshly ground
- 1/4 TS Cumin, freshly ground
- 1 pinch of clove powder or 2-3 whole cloves
- 1 pinch of cinnamon (Ceylon or Cassia)
- 1/4 liter almond or oat milk
- then sweeten with some honey according to taste
Lightly roast the spices, then add Ashwagandha and the plant-based milk and heat it up. Add the honey only after it is no longer boiling hot.