Are you having problems sleeping at night? There are many ways to help you have a better quality sleep. I have always blamed my lack of good quality sleep on my menopausal hormones, and that might be partially correct. But the major portion of my problem with sleep comes from sugar. Poor quality sleep keeps your blood sugar high during the night affecting key hormones that help regulate fat and cravings. It is a vicious cycle that can be broken when you remove sugar from your diet.
Even with sugar detoxing, sleep, and good quality sleep may be hard to come by. Here are some ways you can help get to sleep and stay asleep.
Ways To Help You Sleep Better At Night
Chose Your Dinner Wisely
Your dinner meal needs to be no sugar, carbohydrates, or caffeine. Chose a meal that has a good protein and healthy serving of vegetables. Watch out for any foods that may produce stomach issues or gas. Try to avoid spicy foods for dinner. I have found too much red meat like steak can cause me to have “steak dreams” and I wake up exhausted. Plan to eat your dinner as early as you can (no late-night meals) to give your body plenty of time to digest. I have found lately that I am not hungry for dinner.
No Evening Snacks
Break the habit of an evening snack. These tend to be full of sugar anyway and we are trying to live a sugar-free lifestyle. If you must eat a snack, choose a healthy protein or fat. Nuts and hard cheeses make a great snack that will not mess with your blood sugar.
Importance of Drinking Water
Do you have to get up multiple times a night to go to the bathroom? Chances are you are actually dehydrated. Try drinking more water during the day and with meals. Stay away from caffeine in the evening as this is a diuretic and can cause frequent trips to the bathroom at night. Your body needs water to function properly. Try to avoid liquids 1-2 hours before bedtime if you suffer from frequent nighttime urination. Empty your bladder before bedtime
Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Thinking a glass of wine before bed to help your sleep- think again. Avoid alcohol before bed, as it can reduce nighttime melatonin production and lead to disrupted sleep patterns. Alcohol is known to cause or increase the symptoms of sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns. Also, alcohol at night disrupt digestion and cause stomach issues and acid reflux. Remember, alcohol contains sugar so it will elevate your blood sugar during the night. If you must have a glass of wine, it is best to have it 2-3 hours before going to bed.
Exercise Before Bedtime
Need to wind down after a hard day in order to have a good nights sleep? How about a long evening walk on the treadmill or in the park. Studies have shown that exercise does help you fall asleep quicker. Key is to not do anything overstimulating like a Zumba class in the evening. Increasing your exercise, especially aerobic exercise during the day can improve sleep quality. I know when I played my evening tennis league during the summer, I slept like a baby. Tired, worn out and ready for a good night’s sleep.
Relax and Clear Your Mind in the Evening
To help with a better quality nights sleep you need to clear your mind and relax. Many people have a pre-sleep routine that helps them relax. Relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and are another common technique used to treat insomnia. Try massage, yoga, stretching, pilates, or using a foam roller to relax your body and get ready for a good night’s sleep.
Other strategies for clearing the mind include listening to relaxing music, reading a book, meditating, deep breathing and visualization.
Take A Bath Before Bed
Another way to help with a good nights sleep is by taking a relaxing bath before bedtime. Several studies have shown that warming your body by taking a bath can help induce sleep when there’s enough time to cool off afterward. Try taking a bath 1-2 hours before bedtime. Add some Dr. Teal’s Lavender Epsom Salts to the bath to relax your muscles and mind. Treat yourself to a facial mask and make it a try spa experience. Not a bath person? Take a night hot shower, it does the same thing. Sleep experts note that a nighttime shower changes your body temperature in a way that may help you get to sleep faster and more easily.
Lavender Products For Calming And Soothing Before Bedtime
Increase Bright Light Exposure During The Day
Your body has a natural time-keeping clock known as your Circadian Rhythm. It affects your brain, body, and hormones, helping you stay awake and telling your body when it’s time to sleep. Natural sunlight or bright light during the day helps keep your Circadian Rhythm healthy. This improves daytime energy, as well as nighttime sleep quality and duration.
Reduce Naps And Try to Sleep and Wake at Consistent Times
Your body’s circadian rhythm functions on a set loop, aligning itself with sunrise and sunset. Studies have shown that irregular sleep patterns alter this rhythm and the levels of melatonin, which signals your brain to sleep. , Try to get in the habit of waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. I found with the reduction in sugar and carbohydrates from lunch, I am not as tired during the middle of the day and do not need my nap.
Take a Melatonin Supplement
Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to relax and head to bed. A melatonin supplement is an easy way to improve sleep quality and fall asleep faster. Take 1–5 mg around 30–60 minutes before heading to bed. If you are a frequent traveler, take melatonin to help to adjust to new time zones.
Optimize Your Bedroom Environment
Many people believe that the bedroom environment and its setup are key factors in getting a good night’s sleep. These factors include temperature, noise, external lights, and furniture arrangement. Looking to paint your bedroom, choose soothing cool hue colors such as soft grey, blue, green, or lavender. Two great gray colors are Agreeable Gray and Old World Gray from Sherwin Williams. Avoid red, orange and yellow colors in the bedroom as they are stimulating.
Remove Blue Light-Emitting Devices
Remove electronic devices such as computers or cell phones that might emit light during the night when they receive a notification. Also, remove tvs and alarm clocks that emit a glow. Add light-blocking curtains to reduce street lights and noise. A new study shows that the bright light of a computer screen may alter the body’s biological clock and suppress the natural production of melatonin that’s critical to the normal sleep-wake cycle.
Remove Anxiety Causing Clutter
Remove clutter from your bedroom. Excess clutter can cause anxiety so create a room that is calming and just for sleeping. No treadmills or laundry, paperwork, or office materials, bedrooms need to be clutter-free
Invest In Quality Bedding, Mattress, And pillows
Your bed, mattress, and pillow can greatly impact sleep quality and joint or back pain. Try to buy a high-quality mattress and bedding every 5–8 years. If you snore or suffer from acid reflux, try using a wedge pillow to elevate your head at night. Try memory foam pillows for added neck and shoulder support. Some great companies for bedding include Crane & Company, Serena & Lily, Pottery Barn
Wedge Pillow/Memory Foam Pillow
Create A Hotel Feel In Your Bedroom
Add luxury feeling sheets to your bed and hotel-style bedding to create an inviting bedroom. Scented candles in the room and essential oils such as lavender added to the pillow create a spa-like atmosphere to relax and sleep. Put on a silk eye mask to keep out light and reduce wrinkles.
Mellanni 1800 Count Microfiber Sheets Everyone Is Raving About/Lavender Essential Oil For Pillow/Silk Eye Mask For Sleeping
Turn Down The Thermostat
Body and bedroom temperature can also profoundly impact sleep quality. One study found that bedroom temperature affected sleep quality more than external noise. Increased body and bedroom temperature can decrease sleep quality. Test different temperatures to find out which is most comfortable for you. Around 70°F (20°C) is best for most people. Especially if you going through menopause and are prone to night sweats, turning down the thermostat at night is a must.
Consult A Doctor Or Sleep Specialist
There are many common conditions that can cause poor sleep, including sleep apnea. See a doctor if poor sleep is a consistent problem in your life. Avoid sleep aid medication if possible, it messes with your natural sleep cycle and does not help in the long run to develop quality sleep. Check your sugar first!
Invest In Cool Comfortable Pajamas
It is so important that your clothing in comfortable during the night. Nothing that itches, binds or pokes that could potentially disrupt your sleep. I LOVE the Cool Nights line from Soma. The rayon Spandex mixture helps the fabric feel “cool and soft” to your skin. I like them not only for the comfort but the many styles that each print comes in. You can mix and match pieces that fit your comfort level. Some of the Cool Nights fabric tends to fade so wash them on a delicate cycle and a cool dry or air dry.
Shop Soma Cool Night Pajamas
Learn more about the affect sugar has on sleep here
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