Functional Medicine & Wellness

How to Create a Successful Sleep Routine

Need a Restful Nights Sleep? Here are Dr. Jacqui’s Top Sleep Tips

In this blog we are going to be talking about sleep. Sleep is a topic that doesn’t get enough attention. We all know how important sleep is! We’ve all experienced sleep deprivation at some point for whatever reason. In those moments you just don’t feel like yourself. Mostly likely, you’ve felt irritable and tired. 

Sleep is something that you need to pay attention to if you want to be healthy long term. We hear people use the excuse that they don’t have the time for it and that 4 hours of sleep is all they need. However, that’s not true. A person who thrives off of 4 hours of sleep is such a rarity in this world. We all really need about 7-8 hours of sleep. There are exceptions out there! Some people may need more and some people may need a little less. 

Why is sleep so important?

It’s the time where our bodies can heal. It’s when our cortisol goes down and we shift out of our chronic stress mode, that fight or flight energy. When sleeping, we’re in parasympathetic activity, where our body rests, digests and heals. 

It’s been shown if you have chronic sleep deprivation it can increase your risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because you’re missing that important time in the sleep cycle where memories are put into our deep brain. 

Track Your Sleep

There are different ways you can track your sleep. First, is just paying attention to your fatigue throughout the day. If you wake up feeling energized and ready for the day, great! But if you wake up feeling tired then you may need to do some investigating as to why!

Some of us in the office use an Oura ring to track our sleep. There are other products out there like the Whoop Band, Apple watches, or a FitBit. Use these products to get a baseline of where your sleep is.

Create a Bedtime Routine

After having a baseline, you may need to do some tweaking. That’s where creating a bedtime routine becomes really important. For example, go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Try to not shift these times too much! If during the week you’re going to bed at 10:00pm and waking up at 6:00am but on the weekends you stay up till 2:00am – and then Monday morning you have to get up at 6:00am again! That time shift is called social jet lag and is comparable to flying from LA to New York every weekend. That’s why Monday mornings can feel so rough! Your body just got shifted and shifted and then shifted back. We suggest that you try to avoid that when you can and keep your bedtimes consistent.

Turn Off Your Devices

Another way you can create a bedtime routine is by turning off your devices. You knew that was coming, right?! We suggest turning them off an hour to 45 minutes before bedtime. If not, blue blocker glasses are an effective way to prevent the blue light from disrupting your sleep. The blue light from your devices can actually delay your sleep initiation by 45 minutes. 

But really, just turn off your devices!! Instead, try reading a book, take a bath or visit with your family members. 

Set your bedroom up for a successful night’s sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark, use light blocker curtains. Have a quiet space, make sure your tv is off. Lastly, turn down your room temperature!

How to Turn Your Mind Off

If your mind is what typically keeps you from falling or staying asleep – one tip would be to try a brain dump. In this activity, you’ll write down all the things that you are thinking about and then put it aside and forget about it! Or try the Calm App, maybe try to meditate!

Sleepy Time Supplements

Lastly, there are some supplements that can be helpful for sleep. *Please consult your doctor before trying any of these supplements.

  • Melatonin 

  • Magnesium Threonate 

  • L-theanine 

  • Phosphatidylserine

If you think sleep is a problem for you make sure you are taking the time to figure out why. Especially if snoring is an issue for you! If your partner in bed is saying “Oh my gosh, you’re miserable.” If they say you’re snoring and thrashing around you should really get that looked at. Having long-term sleep apnea can be a huge driver of your health overtime.
 

Please, pay attention to your sleep! Like we mentioned, use a tracker, set up a routine, there are supplements you can take and talk to a provider if you need too! 

Sleep is huge! Get your rest so then you can be your best!

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