As they say, “the best thing to do first thing in the morning is to go right back to sleep.” We’ve all been there, right? Turns out there are actual tangible things you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Here are a few of my favorite tips for sleep (that work!).
Yes we talk about this alllllll the time, but truly this is a game changer. Getting adequate protein at each meal with a well-balanced diet can help with dopamine production, blood sugar regulation, and hormone production. All of which are crucial for great sleep. Also a no brainer–avoid that caffeine if it affects you! Easy to forget about this one. For some people as we age, the half life of caffeine gets longer and longer meaning it lasts in your system much longer than it used to.
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I see you rolling your eyes again. But it is true. Getting in a good workout, even just a morning 20 minute walk, can really help with sleep. High intensity workouts are best done in the morning for most people. Some will do great with that evening work out, but keep in mind that it can potentially spike cortisol, make more energy, and make it hard to fall asleep. Perimenopausal and menopausal women typically do better with the high intensity in the morning. Of course, do what works best for you.
I love magnesium. There are different forms of mag and the best form for sleep is magnesium glycinate taken before bed. It is calming and avoids the potential GI effects. This is generally well-tolerated and easily absorbed. Check with your doctor the best dose for you, but a common starting dose is 200-400mg.
Another option is an epsom salt bath. Your skin absorbs what is put on it and the magnesium in the salt is easily absorbed this way. It is very calming and just feels great… (trust me, I’ve tried it).
There are many calming supplements on the market. An easy one to find at any grocery store is Sleepytime tea. My personal favorite is an adaptogen called Reishi, specifically this Cocoa with Reishi. I seriously get the best sleep whenever I drink this before bed. Especially for a busy mom like me burning the candle at both ends, this also supports the adrenals.
There are true medical causes that can be hindering your sleep. One of those can be a low ferritin level (your iron stores). Correcting this level helps with dopamine production and helps decrease restless legs.
If none of these tips work, it might be time to consider checking in with your doctor to ensure you’re not suffering from a deeper root cause. Our team of personalize medicine practitioners can help! Book your Wellness Assessment here.
Jenikka Tomashek is a Certified Nurse Practitioner with a doctorate degree in Nursing and 10 years of experience. Jenikka is a diagnostic magician—she understands disease process really well, which gives her a leg up to be able to apply functional medicine principles to her knowledge base. Working in internal medicine, she’s experienced many patients who didn’t heal with conventional treatments. She found functional medicine to be a complement to traditional medicine, and she’s found the combination to be the best way to serve patients.
Nursing, which Jenikka’s experience is grounded in, is founded on compassionate, dedicated patient care that also cares deeply about the individual and their story. She believes in the philosophy of finding and treating the root cause of symptoms, educating patients, and focusing on the prevention of future disease.