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How to Wake Up Rested

You’re tired.
I see you.
 
It’s safe to say you’re not a “morning person"... in fact, there’s a good chance interacting with people before your first dose of caffeine is hazardous to their health – or – at the very least, their feelings. Amiright?
 
Most days are a blur - like you’ve gone through the whole thing on auto-pilot.
 
Can you even remember the last time you woke up feeling rested?
 
Of course not, but you’re definitely not alone.

“We all have an intimate and unique relationship with sleep. Even when we fight against it, it’s like an intense, on-again, off-again relationship with an ex who’s never moved out. Sometimes it’s healthy and supportive of everything we do while we’re awake, and sometimes it’s wildly dysfunctional and destructive.” – Arianna Huffington


As a population, we’re very demanding; connected 24/7.

Today’s high pressure society has convinced us "there’s not enough hours in a day" to climb the corporate ladder, enjoy family time & a social life, so we look for something to cut. Unfortunately, sleep is an easy target and sadly, success is synonymous with burnout.
 
Far too often, Big Pharma swoops in, eager to ease our health-care responsibilities, or we fall prey to sophisticated marketing for products that promise boundless energy, health & happiness.
The problem is, we’ve been lied to & we don’t ask enough questions. 
 
You should know, your body isn’t out to get you.
I promise.
Although, what you put into your body (the quality of your sleep, food, exercise & mental chatter) will determine what it's capable of giving back to you.
 
Have you been treating your body like a temple, or a garbage disposal!?
 
Think about it... your body is pretty freakin’ amazing! #truestory
 
In fact, 
“There is no other mechanism that science has been able to invent that can be compared to the body. Its complexities, its miracles that it goes on doing for you…and you don’t even say thank you. … You go on eating all kinds of things without bothering what happens when you swallow them. You don’t ask the body whether its mechanism, its chemistry, will be able to digest what you are eating. But somehow your inner chemistry goes on working for almost a century. It has an automatic system for replacing parts that have gone wrong. It goes on throwing them out and creating new parts; and you have nothing to do about it, it goes on happening on its own. The body has a certain wisdom of its own. It is not your foe, it is your friend. It is a gift of nature to you. It is part of nature. It is joined with nature in every possible way. … You are bridged from everywhere; you are not a separate island. Drop that idea. You are part of this whole continent, and yet… it has given you an individuality. This is what I call a miracle.” – Osho
 
The truth is, you’re not sick or tired; you’re malnourished, dehydrated & excessively stressed. No wonder you can’t sleep!
 
Lack of quality sleep directly contributes to unwanted weight gain, decreased immune function, mood swings and cravings for sugar & stimulants.
 
Long story short, quality sleep is critical to our health & well-being; that’s why I’ve put together this quick guide to help you hack your beauty sleep and wake up feeling refreshed & rested!

8 ways to hack your beauty sleep:

1. Make lunch your largest meal.

A large meal at the end of your day is not the most effective use of the digested energy and your digestive juices may not be up for the challenge. Our digestive functions try to slow down with the light of the day so melatonin can start doing it’s job. Rearranging your meals so breakfast or lunch is larger than your evening meal will positively affect your sleep habits and your waistline.

2. Avoid late-night snacks, especially the sugary ones

Sugary snacks and starchy carbs as a late night snack, or even for dinner, can negatively affect your sleep patterns. This is due in part to the role they play in raising insulin and cortisol. Check out Meg's Sweet Treats instead.
FYI: save the carbs for lunch. 

3. Shut the screens off an hour before bed

Melatonin is a hormone that helps you fall asleep & aids in physical and psychological restoration, but, it’s part of a series of negative feedback loops (meaning you need to produce enough of it in order for other things to happen).
The body produces melatonin in the absence of light and generally likes to do so before midnight.
Therefore, the later you stay up watching TV, sitting in front of your computer and snacking on those late-night munchies, the less melatonin you’re able to produce – equating to less restoration time, regardless of sleep length.

4. Move your body

In other words, exercise. Anytime, every day.
“The body benefits from movement, the mind benefits from stillness.”
I don’t necessarily recommend HIIT training (or any other intense sport) right before bedtime but, if you find yourself restless as you’re trying to settle down, I’ve found yoga to be a wonderful choice before bed; it allows the muscles to stretch and helps quiet the mind.

5. Do some deep breathing exercises.

Stress is likely a major culprit in your crappy sleep cycle.
High cortisol not only affects sleep but also memory, bone density and even suppresses the immune system, plus it can literally steal crucial building blocks meant for sex hormone production.
Try a slow, deep breath in for the count of 4, slight pause, and slowly exhale for a count of 8 – Repeat as necessary.
Deep breathing exercises can immediately lower anxiety and stress – essential for high quality sleep (and good sex). 

6. Try herbal teas, essential oils or an Epsom salt soak.

There are many herbal remedies to sooth and aid with sleep; try chamomile or valerian.
Even better, sip your favourite soothing tea while soaking in a salty eucalyptus or lavender bath (or simply soak your feet).

7. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than usual.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Start by going to sleep 15 minutes earlier than the previous night. The idea is to get to bed 15 minutes earlier EVERY night until you’re routinely hitting the hay between 9-10 pm; but be kind, progress over perfection.

8. Sleep in complete darkness

Yes, that light from your alarm clock is negatively affecting your sleep.
Do whatever-means-necessary to remove any and all light sources from your sleeping area – get black-out blinds, wear a sleep mask, cover the alarm clock with a dark shirt, towel or electrical tape.
Bonus points: remove any source of electronics or EMF waves from your room – & ffs stop sleeping with the phone under your pillow! #airplanemode
 
Summary: Benefits of the 10 pm Bed-time include:
  • Weight regulation
  • Mood balance
  • Boost immune system
  • Decrease insulin resistance
  • Balance blood sugar
  • Improve memory
…and so much more.
 
You can expect natural energy, stamina, improved recovery, healthy body weight and sex drive, clear skin, enhanced brain function and stable moods.
Quality sleep really is the key to having it all!!
…& the best part is: IT’S FREE
 
 

Sleep well,

meg xo

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