brittany’s sleep hacks:
Did you know that sleep is our number one optimization tool?! It’s so easy for us to get obsessive about diet and exercise — but what if I told you the true secret to feeling incredible everyday, being enormously productive with ease, and actually just killin’ it as an all around badass is SLEEP?? My friends, this is the secret weapon you’ve been looking for!
This past year, I’ve been on a journey to truly hack my sleep and get into a routine that regularly leaves me feeling incredible every single day — and I feel like I’ve finally nailed it! I felt really overwhelmed when I was first learning about sleep, so I’m going to break things down for you & spread them out over a few emails to make it super easy to implement these ideas so you can start feeling amazing too – this one will focus on evening habits for sleep (you can check out the morning habits edition here!)
Evening Habits for Sleep:
evening sunlight! watching the sunset/being outside during evening light helps signal the production of melatonin and let’s your brain/body know it’s time to wind down. Only 5-10 minutes outside is necessary – and just like in the morning, it’s best if you’re actually outside and the light is going right into your eyeballs (rather than through a window.) You can also get a sunrise/sunset alarm clock that mimics the sun when you’re going to sleep/waking up – I have one and I’m totally obsessed! (I’ll do a separate email with sleep tools/gadgets)
early dinner: eating your last big meal of the day at least three hours before going to bed is important so you body can actually rest during the night, rather than actively work on digestion! Yes, a small, easy-to-digest snack before bed is probably okay, but eating dinner earlier means more restful sleep.
no phone at least an hour before bed: not only does the light from your phone delay the production of melatonin (which makes you overall not get as much through the night) but the stimulation of looking at things – positive or negative – keeps your brain in an active state. (Another plug for an alarm clock so your phone can stay safely out of your bedroom!) I cannot speak highly enough of being more detached from my phone – you guys – THIS WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. My phone is on do not disturb from 7pm – 8am.
low light: as I’m winding down for the evening (usually about an hour before going to bed) I dim all the lights in my house/use as much low light as possible. The lower light helps signal to the brain that bedtime is approaching (and keeps the melatonin production on schedule!)
hot bath/shower & cool room: heat will cause your body temperature to drop (as your body tries to cool itself down) and lower body temperature is one of the best ways to signal the body that it’s time for sleep. I love to take a hot bath at night! (And when I’m taking a bath, that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking a bath. I’m not taking bath and reading or taking a bath and watching netflix or taking a bath and listening to something – I’m JUST taking a bath. This has been one of my favorite parts of my evening routine to get my brain in a restorative state, ready for high quality sleep!) When I’m in the bath, I love find a gentle focus on things/areas of my life where it’s very easy to feel satisfied/positive.
daily sleep habits:
- evening sunlight!
- early dinner
- no phone for at least an hour before bed
- low light
- hot bath/shower & cool room
- avoid alcohol/marijuana
- keep a consistent morning & evening routine
avoid alcohol/marijuana: contrary to perceived belief, neither are helping you sleep! They may help with initially falling asleep, but both will negatively affect the quality of your sleep. Learning to manage stress and anxiety during the day will likely be way more helpful. (more meditation/mindset tips coming soon!)
keep a consistent morning & evening routine: the more consistent you are with your routine, the better! Ideally, you go to sleep and wake up within the same hour window seven days a week. Yep! Even on the weekend. When I first learned this, I was like nooo way – I love to get extra sleep on Sundays especially! But honestly, the more I’ve been consistent, the better I feel, and I don’t feel the need to play catch-up on the weekend when I’m getting enough sleep during the week.
Start implementing some of these evening habits and let me know how it goes. I’ll be back soon with some sleep tools/gadgets I have found most helpful!