As many of you probably know by now, our family has officially grown from two to three with the birth of Baby Sweet Potato. I am taking some time off from blogging to settle into my new role as a mother so for the next month I have authors from around the web stopping by to tell their stories and share their favorite recipes. I hope you enjoy all they have to say, I look forward to being back with new posts and recipes of my own soon!
Today’s post is by Michelle Hoover of Unbound Wellness.
Hi, there! Michelle Hoover from Unbound Wellness here. If you don’t know me, I’m an NTP, blogger, and have used real food and lifestyle to overcome chronic gut issues and Hashimoto’s disease. Under the lifestyle umbrella, sleep is huge… and something that poor Samantha is probably struggling with right now with a newborn.
Sleep is one of those obvious health needs like drinking water, or getting exercise, but that doesn’t mean that people actually get enough of it it. Especially for those of us with chronic illness, sleep can be hard to come by, and incredibly important to heal. It’s in times of rest that our body rebuilds, and sleep is our built in rebuilding time every single day.
Trouble getting asleep and staying asleep is common in many autoimmune illnesses and related conditions, so what do we do to get more of it?
Here are my top 5 tips For Better Sleep
Get Sunlight Early and Avoid Light Before Bed
From the time we wake up, our bodies are already preparing for sleep the next day. Regulating our circadian rhythm is hugely about getting enough sunlight during the day. It doesn’t have to be an hour every morning. Even taking a 10 minute walk around the parking lot at your place of work can be enough to get your body into the groove.
Just as important as getting sunlight early is avoiding light at night. Blue blocker glasses are popular for late night screen time, however, I urge you to just try and avoid screen time altogether and opt for other night time activities like reading. (Using amber light bulbs like THESE are also helpful)
Move During The Day
Most people have jobs where they sit all day and expend little energy (myself included) which is bound to result in a poor nights sleep. Moving your body during a short walk, time at the gym, or even just playing with your kids can have a drastic effect on your sleep
Eat a Good Fat Snack Before Bed
Many of my own clients report to me that they have issues with waking up at 2am and not being able to get back to sleep. This is typically caused by cortisol and blood sugar shifts from stress to the adrenals, or a drop in blood sugar from a poorly balanced diet. When this happens, I suggest trying a good fat snack before bed! This could be an avocado, some coconut butter, or a snack like my anti-inflammatory coconut turmeric bites.
Photo by @mydallasobsession.
Get a Night Time Routine Down
Morning routines get talked up a lot for productivity, but night time routines are just as important. Sleep helps us to be more productive during the day!
Focus on getting down a routine that works for you. This may change on the week versus the weekend, or in different seasons of your life. It could be anything from a restorative yoga routine before bed, snuggling up with tea and a book, or whatever floats your boat! As long as it’s something that relaxes you and makes you want to keep doing it, go for it.
Make it Non-Negotiable
We put value on so many things in our life… why not sleep? Make it non-negotiable to get to bed early, and do everything you can to make your sleep restful.
My husband and I like to hold each other accountable for things like this, and I highly recommend leaning on partner, or a even a daily reminder on your phone to go to bed!
I hope these 5 tips are helpful! Sleep tight!
For more information on sleep and autoimmune disease I encourage you to read my post on how I decided to buy a non-toxic mattress and how it helped my health – Samantha
Michelle Hoover is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner from Dallas, Texas who after being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s as a teen, turned to the paleo and autoimmune protocol diets to manage her autoimmune disease and heal her gut naturally. She is now the author behind the blog Unbound Wellness and you can follow her on Facebook and Pinterest.