This second pillar matches up with your SACRAL CHAKRA. Your sacral or Svadhisthana chakra is your second primary chakra and is all about stability. It manifests desire, confidence sexuality, intimacy, joy and restoration. The best way to reenergize this powerful Chakra is through our rest cycles.
We all love that feeling of crawling into a bed with crisp clean sheets, waking up refreshed and ready for the day, but most of us don’t really take our sleep seriously. If you want to feel AMAZING and get a deep, deep, sleep on a regular basis, I am talking the type of sleep where you are drooling on your pillow waking up refreshed and ready to attack the day, you need to approach sleep like you would any other fitness regimen. Be dedicated to doing your research on the subject and become a little expert on your personal sleep routines. Become as regimented with your sleep as you would your diet and exercise. In this chapter we are going to educate you on what sleep is, what it does, and then give you the tools you need to get the best sleep of your life!
If you are like most of us, sleep is something we struggle with. We all know that sleep is important, but don’t really understand why, nor do we take it seriously. We go to bed at sporadic times throughout the week and maybe even take sleep aids to help us fall asleep. We wake up with the alarm mercilessly going off and hit the snooze button again and again until we begrudgingly get up. We drink a much-needed strong cup of coffee loaded with around 200mg of caffeine just to jumpstart our brain and heart. We go to work where we hit that midday crash and swear, we could fall asleep at our workstation if given the chance. We get home, have dinner, watch a movie, then find ourselves either wide awake or tossing and turning in bed again. It’s a vicious cycle that CAN be broken with just a few simple sleep hacks that I am going to share with you. But first let’s go over what sleep actually does and what role it plays in our mental focus, overall health and longevity of life.
We need to understand that out of all the ways to stay healthy and happy, sleep could be the most important one of them! Circadian rhythms in today’s modern times are way out of whack and understandably so. Before the invention of the lightbulb, nighttime would fall sending signals to our brain to release melatonin, getting us tired and ready for the days end. In these modern times, we can artificially produce a day like atmosphere 24/7. Our sleep patterns differ each night depending on what events we have planned, or what TV shows we want to watch. We find ourselves looking at our phones late into the night, sending signals to our brains to stay awake. It was not always like this for mankind. In the Middle Ages dinner was around 5pm in the summertime, and in the wintertime, we would eat before it got dark at around 3pm. In the 50’s the average family had dinner around 5:30pm. In today’s society the dinner bell is being pushed farther and farther back to 8pm, 9pm or even later! This new eating right before we go to bed, coupled with late night snacking, has our digestive systems on overload and we are paying the price! How many of us have eaten a pint of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, or a frozen pizza at 11pm watching a movie? Or gotten up at 1am to make a snack because your tummy is growling? How we sleep at night is directly affected by what and when we eat. When we sleep, the body has a chance to use its energy to repair itself on a cellular level. But if our bellies are full, the energy it would have used to fix and repair, is being used for digestion.
Cellular repair happens when we are in a deep alpha brain kind of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends around 6.5 to 7 hours of sleep a night. Most adults are sleeping fewer hours than they need so they can generate cellular repair on daily basis.
Between a third and half of all Americans have insomnia and complain of poor sleep. Sleep problems are such and epidemic now that many are turning to pharmaceutical drugs to put them to sleep. These sleep aids have an array of side effects. They can make you groggy and just not feeling quite like yourself the next day. You may even tend to oversleep and eventually get addicted.
Others may resort to drinking alcohol. Alcohol will make you sleepy yes, because it depresses the central nervous system and has a sedative effect to help you relax, but this can also be very addictive. Also, you may find that you wake up in the middle of the night restless and have a hard time falling back to sleep. You could even have a slight hangover, brain fog, and be a walking zombie the morning after. What also tends to happen is the body starts to get acclimated, one or two drinks simply won’t be enough. So, some must go a step further and they begin to mix their medications with their alcohol just to fall asleep at night. Sounds crazy right, but this is how many are living, and it is happening all over Northern America! Furthermore, western doctors simply don’t have an answer for you because they are trained to fix the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. The only solution they offer you is to increase the strength of your medication(s). So, what do we need to do to get a good night sleep? Well before you start to breakout the Don Julio each night, try some of the proven LifeSpanners sleep hacks we are about to share with you. First you need to approach your sleep seriously, just like you would any other fitness program. We try to exercise every day, make the right food choices, we drink plenty of water, take our supplements and maybe even do a bit of meditation. But sleep is something we simply don’t take the time to research and become intimately acquainted with.
How does your diet affect your sleep?
Let’s first start here with the foods you eat and how they can affect your sleep. When it comes to losing weight, your diet can be an easy equation to solve. Simply stop taking in more calories than you are burning. When it comes to your sleep however, it’s a bit more complicated. You need consider what to eat, what not to eat and more importantly when to eat.
Let’s look at all three of these dietary protocols:
What to eat?
Getting wholesome natural blue planet to plate foods and staying clear of processed garbage foods throughout the day is a must. If you are on a western diet consisting of mostly bad carbs and bad fats, a bad night’s sleep will be your reward. Consuming a healthy diet of natural food, the way mother nature intended us to eat consisting of good carbs, good proteins, and more importantly good fats, will improve your quality of sleep 100-fold! How you ask? Well proteins have essential amino acids. Essential meaning that we cannot produce them on our own, so we need to get them from our food. One of these essential amino acids is called tryptophan. It is found in protein rich sources like turkey, chicken, red meat, eggs, fish, spirulina, and some nuts. Consuming all natural fats and good quality carbohydrates along with these proteins gives you the necessary tryptophan needed for your body to produce serotonin and melatonin.
Good natural fats are essential and show the body what to do with the proteins you consume. Fats help the amino acids from the protein get delivered to your muscle tissue and wherever else it is needed. The one amino acid that is not delivered to your muscles is tryptophan. As a result, you will have an abundance of tryptophan floating around in your blood waiting to be activated at night. When the sun goes down, and if your circadian rhythm is on point, your body will signal your tryptophan rich blood to go past your Brain Blood Barrier (BBB), into your brain where it will then be converted into serotonin. Serotonin is the precursor to melatonin, and this is the hormone that makes you tired. Bottom line is, if you don’t have the right dietary protocol, your sleep can be greatly affected. More on what the right dietary protocol is in the next chapter on nutrition.
Top five foods to eat for a better night sleep
Tart Cherries– Organic tart cherries are known for being one of the best foods for sleep and they naturally contain melatonin. If they are not organic stay clear from them! Nonorganic cherries are one of the most toxic foods you can eat.
Raw Honey-Honey stimulates melatonin and shuts off orexin in the body. Orexin is the neuropeptide that makes us feel sharp and alert. A mug of hot water, caffeine free tea, lemon and honey is a great way to wind down the day.
Bananas-Bananas are a great all-around food are usually eaten for breakfast. But did you know that this exotic fruit is one of the best foods for sleep due to its high levels of magnesium? Magnesium relaxes the muscles and calms the mind.
Kiwifruit-Kiwis are rich in tryptophan and antioxidants, both of which boost your serotonin levels improving your sleep quality.
Fatty fish-A research study found that fatty fish, also referred to as oily fish, is a great food for a better night’s sleep. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout, help you sleep better by providing a good fat source, a healthy dose of vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids, both of which are involved in the body’s regulation of serotonin.
What not to eat
What you avoid eating can be even more important than what you eat. Making a simple switch to certain foods and certain drinks, can help you to enjoy quality sleep without any fuss. Avoid eating high glycemic carbohydrates like rice, breads, cakes, cookies, potatoes, and crackers at night. Also stay away from some fruits such as melon and pineapples late at night, as these will spikes your blood sugar impacting your sleep. Your evening meal should be your smallest meal of the day. It should mainly consist of protein rich foods and dark leafy greens. Avoid late night deserts that are high in sugar and avoid cheese. While cheese is generally considered a comfort food anyway, cheese along with fast foods, is the worst food you can possibly eat before bedtime. It will not only throw the scale off, but it will disrupt your sleep cycles. And it should go without saying, avoid late afternoon or evening CAFFEINE!
When to eat
Lastly, when you eat, or more importantly when you should stop eating, is critical for a good night sleep. There are so many different opinions and contradictions on what to eat and what not to eat when it comes to sleep. If you google what foods help you to sleep 10 times, you will get 10 different answers. But the one thing that everyone agrees on is that eating right before bed is a no, no. When we eat late at night, the muscles that digest and metabolize our food are forced to keep working through the night. So even if you do fall asleep after a late-night snack, the energy used for this late-night digestion is the same energy that should be doing cellular repair and clean up your body! On top of that, late night snacking can make you restless, delay your ability to fall asleep and prevent you from moving into an alpha brain deep sleep. A good rule of thumb is to stop eating at least 3 to 4 hours before bedtime. If you can stick to this rule, there is some wiggle room on the type of foods you eat. With that said, everyone’s body is unique, and we react to foods differently. Track what you are eating and take note on how well you slept that night.
10 simple techniques for an epic night’s sleep!
Avoid eating a large meal at night– Give yourself at least 3 to 4 hours after you eat before bed. Had to state this it again because this one sleep hack cannot be stressed enough!
Go to bed around the same time each night– Between 10pm to 10:30pm is optimum.
Melatonin-Take a melatonin at night. Melatonin is a supplement we all should be taking whether you have good sleep habits or not, it has been shown to have many health benefits other than just assisting your body to fall asleep. No more than 3 to 5mg is recommended.
Magnesium- If there is one supplement you need to start immediately, it is magnesium. Magnesium Glycinate has massive health benefits. One of them is it promotes better sleep. Magnesium has a calming effect on your brain, and it helps to relieve anxiety. CanPrev Bis-Glycinate 200 is a solid brand and LifeSpanners approved.
Try to keep your room cool– Room temp should be at or around 60 degrees.
Use blackout curtains- Making your room dark as night, will tell your body it is time to sleep.
Read- Once you crawl into bed, grab a bedside book that is not a brain buster. Read a story by a good author preferably not one on fitness or business. You don’t want to bend your brain at night. Also grab a real book with paper pages! Not a Kindle or eBook, as these have blue light. Blue light signals the brain it is time to wake and will keep you up.
Use a 4-7-8 breathing technique- also known as relaxing breath. It involves breathing in through the nose for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds and exhaling out through the mouth for 8 seconds. This technique calms your nervous system and relaxes the body. Try it right now and you can feel the relaxation spread instantly throughout your entire body!
Follow the 10- 3- 2- 1-0 rule for sleep- 10 hours prior to bed don’t drink caffeine. 3 hours before bed is the time you will not eat or drink anything outside of water. 2 hours before bed do not do any business or strenuous brain work. 1 hour prior to sleep do not watch TV, instead try reading a book. 0 is the number of times you will hit a snooze button upon waking. Eventually, once your circadian rhythm is balanced, you will not need an alarm to get up. Your body will automatically just know when it is time to wake.
Have lots of morning sex! – Tell your partner its doctors’ orders. Morning sex will reset your circadian rhythm. Just had to toss that in, you can thank me later!
STILL HAVING TROUBLE SLEEPING? Try some of these additional helpful hacks!
Stay hydrated: Your cells need both minerals and water to maintain an adequate PH Balance associated with sleep. Try adding Redmond’s Salt to your water. Most get hydration confused with simply drinking enough water. What your body really needs is electrolytes. As you sweat you lose salt. Adding salt to your water has amazing hydration benefits and your body will thank you for it. If drinking saltwater, has you grimacing, try this, squeeze a little fresh cut lemon, a dash of stevia and Redmond’s Salt to your water. Pour it over ice and you will have a delicious electrolyte lemonade. For you Hot Yoga junkies and those with active lifestyles, try LMNT electrolytes by elemental labs for a quick electrolyte boost for before, during or after class or activity. www.drinklmnt.com
Don’t drink caffeine after 12 noon: If you are a Pacific North Westerner like me, coffee is non-negotiable, and we will not give it up! But be caffeine smart. Avoid coffee and those sugary energy drinks in the late afternoon or at night. If you do find yourself needing that afternoon cup of Joe, take 200mg of theanine. This will act as a neutralizer of the caffeine, blocking it from passing through your blood brain barrier so you can get the rest you need at night.
Get plenty of exercise: Regular exercise in the morning will keep your circadian rhythms on track. If you can’t workout first thing in the morning, working out in the afternoon is the next best thing. Avoid strenuous exercise at night. Yoga is the one exception.
Meditate before bedtime- Try 15 minutes of meditation before bedtime. This will relax you, slowing down your heart rate and putting you in a tranquil state of mind.
Restorative Yoga-Try restorative yoga for relaxation and a deep sleep. It is a terrific way to release everything you are holding onto mentally or physically before sinking into a peaceful night of deep sleep. Restorative yoga is easy to do and can be as simple as putting your legs up a wall for 5 minutes. You can find restorative yoga sessions on YouTube. An app I like to use is called alomoves.
Buy a new mattress-Invest in your sleep. Consider the fact that you will be spending 7 to 8 hours a day in bed. A good mattress will last up to 10 years. A mattress can affect your overall health and well-being. A good mattress will help support a good night sleep and keep you happy and healthy. Spend a little more than is in your comfort zone. Most people try to go on the cheap. You don’t want to buy a cheap mattress and be stuck with it for 10 years. Investing in your bed, is investing in you. You should also look into replacing those old pillows, sheets and comforter. Think long term when you are shopping for a good one. Trust me on this, you will thank yourself down the road and there is no better feeling then crawling into crisp, clean, sheets and a yummy mattress after a long day.
Bedrooms are for Sleep and Sex-Treat your bedroom as a room for sleep or sex and nothing else. In a recent study, scientists instructed insomniacs to get into bed only when they were tired. If they could not fall asleep, they were instructed to sit in a different room until they became sleepy. Overtime, subjects began to associate the context of their bed with the action of sleeping, and it became easier to quickly fall asleep when they climbed in bed. Their brain learned that sleeping, not browsing on their phones, nor watching TV, was the only action that happened in that room. Oh, and sex of course! Speaking of which, did you know that having sex first thing in the morning will reset your circadian rhythm? Even if it does not help you sleep your day will be a lot better! There should be lots of action in the bedroom and if there isn’t, keep reading this book, because you MEN will be waking up in FULL SALUTE more often, and you LADIES will be waking up with that twinkle in your eye.
Still tossing and turning all night? It is time to get more aggressive!
- Get all artificial light out of the bedroom! No cellphones, laptops or tv’s. If you must charge your cell phone in the bedroom, put it on airplane mode. This will keep the EMF’s (electromagnetic fields) at bay.
- No evening naps! If you are watching a movie (in the living room) before bed don’t fall asleep! Taking a nap before bedtime ES NO BUENO! If you are that tired go to bed. Listen to your body!
- Cold therapy. Taking a morning ice cold shower helps the entire body to relax, which reduces anxiety and soothes tired muscles slowing the heart rate down. Cold showers are best kept for the mornings and have amazing health and sleep benefits. This is a form of hormesis.
- Try Grounding once a day. Take your shoes off and put your toes on the earth as often as you can. Other grounding methods are swimming in the lake, hugging a tree, grounding sheets or grounding pads. I will talk more about all this in chapter 7 Becoming Superhuman part II.
- Try other sleep supplements like Gaba, Tryptophan and L-theanine at night.
- Try a “Mindfold” Blackout Sleeping Mask. They are about 12 bucks on Amazon, but pretty much any blindfold sleep mask will work as long as it blacks out all light.
- Listen to white noise. Have Siri play ocean sounds or nighttime sounds or have a fan on.
- Zen CBD Nasal Spray. mitozen.com It is a safe all-natural essential oil that calms the mind.
- Invest in an OURA ring. It will track your sleep patterns and give you feedback on how to improve your sleep. https://ouraring.com
Before Bed LifeSpanners Sleep Stack
- Take 2 tablespoons of tart organic cherry juice. PURIUMs Apothe Tart Cherry is highly recommended as it is high in natural occurring melatonin. ishoppurium.com
- Next take one tablet (750mg) of “GABA”
- Next take one tablet of (1000mg) “Tryptophan”
- Next take up to 5mg (more is not better) “Melatonin”
- Optional-For a more aggressive approach for your sleep, try a Cannabidiol (CBD) sleep aid. Ben Greenfield recommends; BioCBD+ Total Body Care for Optimal Health. Or for those stubborn insomniacs, try Lazarus Naturals Full Spectrum CBD, CBG, CBN Oil (CANABINOID TINCTURE). It is a powerful high-dose CBD Oil that will help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
LifeSpanners Aging Forward – “SLEEP” Quick Tips
Quick Tip #1 -Invest in a grounding pad for your bed. This is a game changer. If you are serious about taking charge of your sleep, stop everything you are doing right now and get one today. www.earthing.com. Just do it! You will thank us later! For more information, skip to chapter 7 Becoming Superhuman II and read all about Earthing- Vitamin “G” Grounding
Quick Tip #2- Start to develop a more consistent sleep routine. Make your last meal at least 3 to 4 hours before bed. Start to go to bed around the same time each night, preferably around 10:30pm.
Quick Tip #3- Get rid of all electronics in the bedroom to include TV, radios, and laptops. If you must have your phone on a charger in your bedroom, put your phone on airplane mode.
Quick Tip #4- Take your melatonin and magnesium at night. For a more aggressive approach, take CBD and your LifeSpanners Sleep Stack together.
Quick Tip #5- Keep your room as cool as possible. 60 degrees is optimum. For a more aggressive approach, have some kind of white noise, like a fan, in the background. My fav is asking Siri to play nighttime sounds or ocean sounds.
Like anything in life, practice make perfect. Just like your first day at the gym, it takes time to get into sleep shape. Don’t worry, your sleep results will come a lot quicker than it will take to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Just don’t give up.
Keep doing the right things, staying on point and I promise you that you will fall into a good sleep pattern. It will take a little time to adjust, and a good positive mind set. Your words and thoughts are so powerful. If you verbally say “I can’t fall asleep” the universe will grant you your wish. Instead, tell your body “It’s time to rest”. It works like magic!
Sleep is so important for your brain. It cleans up cellular garbage that cause brain fog. It literally reboots your brain so your memories from the day before can be filed away. A good night’s sleep resets your memory banks with fresh RAM so you can store more information the following day. Start taking your sleep seriously. Treat it just like you would any other heath protocol. The key to a long, happy, metabolically heathy life, with crystal clear thought, starts with establishing good consistent sleep patterns. You will optimize your performance at work, play and in the bedroom after a good night’s sleep. More importantly, sleep lets the body recharge, recover and repair! Mastering this one health protocol will elongate your life by years…maybe even decades! And this is what makes “SLEEP” your LifeSpanners #5 health hack.
Reads and Sees:
Why We Sleep–Matthew Walker, Ph.D. Walker explains in his book how sleep is universal in the animal kingdom and explains circadian rhythms.
LIGHTS OUT –T.S. Wiley with Bent Formby, Ph.D. This is a fascinating view on how the invention of the lightbulb has caused us to lose our circadian rhythms and suggests that this could be the main reason for inflammation and ultimately most diseases we are plagued with now as a society.