It’s 6:30 am. Your alarm clock goes off. The first thing you do is take a big stretch. Damn, that feels good.
After a few breaths, you check in with yourself. You’re tired. Again.
Next thing you know, you're scrolling your phone trying to wake up, while brainstorming how you can finally get deeper, more restful sleep. Sleep is one of the foundational pillars of health. Good sleep is crucial for us to show up and function to the best of our ability.
What if we told you with just a few, easy habit shifts you can achieve a night of restful sleep? Sleep takes time to hack. So, with a little commitment, you’ll be dozing even deeper (and waking up more rested too).
Movement is magic. Studies show that aerobic exercise has the power to induce deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep. Slow-wave sleep is the most restorative stage of rest. This is when our heart rate decreases and our muscles and mind relax. In this stage, your body repairs organs, cells, and muscles. Consistent, moderate physical output will use up energy stores in a healthy way, preparing you for deep rest.
Exercise also has been shown to reduce stress. Stress is a common factor that keeps us from falling and staying asleep, as well as feeling rested. Endorphins, endocannabinoids, and dopamine, the brain’s happiness chemicals, are increased by exercise. These chemicals combat stress and support our sleep hormones.
Think of it this way, if we’re able to balance out stress with movement and activate happiness, the deeper we’ll sleep. Try an hour of movement in the morning - we love a strength meets cardio class or a run around your neighbourhood.
Weighted blankets have been shown to support better sleep. Now you might be asking, “How do weighted blankets support better sleep?” Good question.
Weighted blankets use Deep Touch Pressure (DTP) Stimulation. DTP is a fancy name for the simple process of evenly distributing deep pressure throughout your body. We’ve seen how puppies can be rhythmically petted to sleep, we’ve seen the benefits of babies being swaddled during nap time, and we’ve felt soothed when receiving a long hug - the process here is similar.
During DTP, your breathing slows, your heart rate decreases, and your brain pumps out serotonin, an important happiness hormone. These actions encourage restorative, stress-free unwinding, activating rest and digest. We’ve signalled to our body that it’s safe to sleep. Boosting serotonin is a key component of restful sleep. Serotonin decreases cortisol, our flight or fight hormone.
If you’re ready to experience the transformative sleep benefits of a weighted blanket, let us introduce you to Hush. Hush is a Canadian company that specializes in weighted blankets - truly our go-to. They’ve created the perfect product to add to your nighttime routine. The grounding, supportive addition to your sleep toolkit helps you feel calmer, happier, and as a result, well-rested.
Magnesium is a deep sleeper’s best friend. This nutrient has hundreds of roles in the body, from supporting muscle recovery, making DNA, supporting blood sugar balance, and reducing stress in your system. Magnesium is also essential for reaching deep sleep.
Magnesium plays a supportive role in maintaining levels of Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) - a neurotransmitter that boosts sleep. GABA can reduce brain activity, turning off wakefulness. When GABA stores are full, deep sleep is achieved. When individuals experience sleep issues like insomnia, this may be an indicator of low GABA activity, and simultaneously a call for more Magnesium.
Magnesium has also been shown to support the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is also known as your rest and digest system. Magnesium's ability to calm you down may be due in part to its ability to maintain serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain.
It’s now abundantly clear that a calm, happy mind will pave the way to deeper, more restful sleep. We love Canprev’s Magnesium Bisglycinate or Natural Calm’s Magnesium Citrate Powder - tried and tested. Well-worth the addition to your nighttime routine!
You’ve hit an energy slump at 4 pm. Quick fix, a cup of coffee. That simple cup could be disrupting your sleep. Caffeine has been shown to stimulate your nervous system, making it hard for you to fall asleep.
Caffeine’s full impact can kick in in 30-60 minutes. Once it has made its way into your stomach, it is distributed throughout your body and crosses the blood-brain barrier. At this point, it can confuse your body into thinking it is your primary energy source. Studies have shown that caffeine can remain in your body for six to eight hours and can delay the timing of your internal clock, also known as your circadian melatonin rhythm. These artificial bouts of energy trick your system, making it crave that false fuel once the caffeine has fully moved through your body. Completely disregarding natural sleep-wake cycles.
The trick is in timing your caffeine intake. It’s best to enjoy that cup of hot coffee earlier in the day to honour our natural energy patterns. Opt for a cup of tea in the afternoon or evening to support a deeper sleep.
Did you know specific breathing patterns can lull you to sleep? Well, that’s the power of our breath. The way we breathe can take us into a calmer, peaceful state by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.
You can learn how to breathe your way into deeper sleep. We’ve created an interactive, immersive app to engage your mind and promote greater well-being. Meet Othership Breathwork App.
Our guided meditations and breathwork sessions are curated for a wide variety of states. When it comes to sleep, we recommend trying out our Daily Down or Sleep Journey. Breathwork has been shown to influence our parasympathetic nervous system. With each breath, we communicate to our body that we are safe. That sense of safety eases the mind, supporting proper rest. When practicing slower breath patterns, our heart rate is lowered and melatonin production is increased. Melatonin is integral to our sleep-wake cycle and is our primary sleep hormone. We’ve laid out all the science of breathwork for you here, be sure to give it a read.
Our gift to you: Othership Breathwork App. You’re a couple of breaths away from deeper z’s.
Experimenting with our 5 sleep hacks is sure to help you sleep soundly and perform optimally. Make time for movement, grab yourself a weighted blanket, try out magnesium, and tune into your breath with our Othership Breathwork App.
Habits take practice. That includes sleep. Integrating these tips into your routine will support a healthy practice and may have you feeling a little more refreshed next time your alarm clock goes off. Happy sleeping journeyers.
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