I usually have no problem falling asleep, because, you know, #momlife. But there are times throughout the year where I’m super restless with lots of thoughts and to-do’s on my mind. It’s not unlike me to feel a bit overwhelmed when I am working on too much - aka RIGHT NOW. I am a mom, plus I own two businesses, and each of those businesses has multiple moving parts. Right now I am launching some new programs and content for HCP before baby comes, and I am my only employee...ha! Many things, many hats, but all good.
I have a few strategies I employ for these times in my life. I know how vital sleep is (to my health, to my pregnancy, to showing up for my business and my kids).
Step One - Brain Dump
Before bed, I will dump everything I didn’t get a chance to work through, or things I don’t want to forget about, onto paper or my phone. Now, experts will tell you that you shouldn’t look at blue light for 2 hours before bed, but I live in a reality where that is not possible and I feel better getting some work done before bed, watching Food Network, and dumping to-dos onto my phone. You do you!
Step Two - Meditation, but maybe not what you expect
Meditation. Not always possible, but I do *try* to get this in daily. My meditation probably looks very different than what you expect it to be. Yeah, sometimes I listen to an app for 5 minutes, but often times my meditation is zoning out in the morning, or at night, for 5-10 minutes without any distractions. I’m usually laying with one of my sleepy kids, and I just try to use this time to not think about any to-dos and focus on the good things I have. It usually is the time, too, where I come up with new ideas - which probably goes against what meditation is about (haha) and so then I have to go back to step one, brain dump, so I can sleep soundly (even though I’m usually super excited when this happens). They say your best work comes while you aren’t forcing it, right?!
Step Three - Magnesium
My nightly “beauty” routine involves brushing my teeth, washing my face, and massaging my feet with magnesium oil -or!- having it as part of a late afternoon or nightly warm beverage.
Let’s talk about magnesium: It’s a mineral that’s crucial to the proper functioning of over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. And you probably aren’t getting enough of it: studies show up to 75-80 percent of Americans may be deficient. Want less stress, better sleep, stronger bones, more flexibility, less constipation, and all of those 300 bodily reactions to be working properly? Read on.
When you don’t get enough magnesium, melatonin can be thrown out of whack. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your sleep. Another hormone dependent on magnesium? Serotonin, which relaxes the nervous system and makes you happy. And stress depletes magnesium - so it’s all one big circle of insanity!
Natural Vitality CALM is a fruity, effervescent drink that promotes healthy magnesium levels and balances calcium intake. From their website, because they said it best! -- “A delicate balance must be maintained between the levels of magnesium and calcium in your body—especially at a cellular level. For example, calcium makes muscles contract, while magnesium allows them to relax. Calcium is needed for blood clotting, but magnesium keeps the blood flowing freely. The good news is your body knows exactly how to create this balance—that is, when it has the right amount of these two fundamental nutrients available.” (You can find Natural Vitality CALM on Amazon, too!)
Other things to note:
A highly processed diet will be low in magnesium, obviously. But even if you are doing all the things right - our food isn’t what it used to be; farming practices have depleted the soil of much of the magnesium. The RDA for magnesium is around 400mg per day (but consult your Dr. of course), and the average amount in an American diet is around 150mg per day.
There are many different forms of magnesium: oxide, chloride, citrate, gel, sulfate, etc. Each has a slightly different way of functioning in the body and absorption level varies among them.
Tying 1 and 2 together - some forms of magnesium, in larger amounts, can have a laxative effect. (Which also could be what you need if you are looking for digestive support!) The key is to start slowly and see what works best for your body by keeping an eye on your stools (ie when they start to get too soft). I don’t notice any laxative effect from magnesium spray/gel, but magnesium oxide can go right through you causing diarrhea.
I hope these 3 steps are easy and helpful! Are there any other things that you have found to work well when it comes to stress and restful sleep?
* Natural Vitality sponsored this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.