Let’s face it, sleep is important. In fact, research shows that getting 7-9 hours of sleep flushes out toxins in the brain that could lead to mental illnesses, improves memory and concentration, and can help with weight loss by regulating our digestion.
We aren’t ourselves when we don’t get a full night’s sleep. And when we’re feeling anxious or indecisive, we literally “sleep on it” and have clarity in the morning when we wake up.
It can be difficult to get calm and transition into sleep at night after running a mile a minute all day – so we’ve rounded up our favorite products that help get us relaxed before bed and staying asleep.
These block the blue light that’s messing with your sleep cycle and your mood. Research shows lack of (enough) exposure to natural sunlight and overexposure from the blue light in our devices makes for less restful sleep and can contribute to anxiety and depression and irregular hormone production. Since modern life means we can’t rise and sleep with the circadian rhythm of sunrise and sunset – and our devices are part of our lives – we started incorporating BLUblox glasses into our nighttime routine. We typically put our BLUblox on when the sun goes down – and whenever we’re looking at our devices after dark. We’ve noticed better sleep and an improvement in anxiety.
There is a tiny bit of artificial light that can still get through even with the lights off and it can impact the quality of our REM and deep sleep. We love this mask because it is so comfortable to wear and it provides 100% light blocking. It’s also great to take when traveling and especially on a plane where we’re not in control of our environment.
Magnesium is an incredible supplement and this particular one is meant to be taken at night for high quality sleep and muscle recovery. Take it a half hour before you’re ready to go to bed – it helps with falling asleep and the quality of sleep. We notice a we don’t sleep as well when we don’t take it.
Reishi’s calming effect supports the body’s sleep cycle and helps us wake up more refreshed. This adaptogen is best taken right before bed. We love Four Sigmatic’s Elixer Mix – the handy individual serving packets make them perfect for travel.
If you have trouble falling asleep but not staying asleep, this herb is for you. We love valerian root because it kicks in within 15-30 minutes and we fall asleep right away. It also doesn’t result in a drowsy feeling in the morning. This isn’t something we take every night – just when we need extra help. We love the the Gaia brand’s organic liquid format – allowing for a more customized dose.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen used in Ayurvedic Medicine. Adaptogens work by regulating a stable balance in the glands associated with the stress response. This one has a calming effect on the nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety. We’ve noticed a big difference since incorporating it into our routine. We love putting it in coffee, tea, or just plain water. We’re big fans of Sun Potion brand – we love that they source their ingredients from small organic farms in Northern India and offer an organic cold-water extract of the Ashwagandha root.
Want more on the sleep topic? Listen to our latest podcast episode with Ben Mackinnon on how we can use our dreams to positively impact our waking lives.
Important Note: When introducing any supplements or herbs, it’s best to see a practitioner first to see what the underlying issue is and what specific regimen makes sense for you. This article is not a substitute for professional advice or treatment.