If your bedroom isn’t the most peaceful place on earth, we’ve got some work to do.
We can really talk at length about the many glorious benefits that quality, restful sleep has on our optimal wellbeing, but we’ll save that for another time. From our hormonal balance to productivity, immune function to blood sugar balance, setting yourself up for success when it comes to bedtime is the first step in optimising your rest and recovery.
We’ll let you into a couple of our best-kept secrets that make winding down feel like the very best part of the day.
PINK SALT ROCK LAMPS + RED LED BULBS
Simply put, blue light = excitatory, whilst red/ pink light = calming.
In our opinion, the first place to start and the biggest difference made on your wind-down situation comes from swapping out junk blue light for either red LED light bulbs and/or pink salt rock lamps.
We want that bedroom to feel right at home if you stumbled across it down a side street in Amsterdam. The warm light signals to our brains that it is time to start slowing down and preps the body for sleep.
BLUE BLOCKING GLASSES + SCREEN FILTERS
If opting for a complete bedroom light overhaul is a little too much to face right now, fear not, we have a backup. Blue blocking glasses do what they say on the tin, they block blue light. Blue light from screens (be it phone or laptop) and even bright light bulbs in the home, can lower melatonin levels, the SLEEP hormone.
So, to have a successful wind-down, we want to support a lovely steady increase of melatonin by inhibiting blue light where we can.
You can buy blue-blocking glasses in many forms, from ski-goggle chic to sexy tortoiseshell frames.
To further protect yourself from blue light, consider night mode for your phone and laptop, done through the settings. You can choose the perfect sunset and sunrise times that suit you but we recommend the warm-tinge starts at least two hours before bedtime. If you cannot do this on your computer, apps such as FLUX are really easy to install and use.
We’ve gone into real depth on the many effects that blue light has on our health, which you can read about here.
DIFFUSOR + ESSENTIAL OILS
An essential oil diffusor is a great investment that will last you well beyond the lifespan of a candle. PLUS they are a hell of a lot safer to fall asleep next to. You can go as fancy or as simple as you please, there are so many on the market.
For your evening radical rest and self-care sessions, fill your diffusor with blends that ease anxiety and help create that lovely sense of calm we are all so desperate for after a stressful day at the office.
Ylang-ylang, lavender and jasmine are our most-reached for essential oils. They work on directly targeting the nervous system through receptors in the nose, triggering a parasympathetic response, also known as rest and digest.
SLEEPY TIME TEA + MAGNESIUM
Is it the combination of the calming adaptogenic herbs that can be found in sleep teas, or is it the therapeutic act of chilling out with a warm mug of tea that helps us drift off? We don’t know and we don’t care.
However, there are ancient tales and modern research done on the effect of apigenin, an antioxidant found in camomile that binds to receptors in the brain to induce sleep. Similarly, valerian root works to increase GABA, our calming neurotransmitter, increasing feelings of calm. Other soothing herbs include passionflower, lemon balm and lavender.
Magnesium, on the other hand, works directly as a muscle relaxant and on the nervous system (it also has many other wonderful functions, but we’ll stay on topic). Sipping on a glass of water spiked with magnesium bisglycinate can be incredibly useful if you’re struggling to chill out.
Of course, as with all minerals, it is important to keep an eye on areas you may be lacking or consuming too much, as a number can work antagonistically. Take caution when supplementing at first, as it really can be a muscle relaxant, and we don’t want you up all night running to the loo. Start with a low dose but always speak with your health care professional first.
A note on melatonin, for the worst insomniacs out there.
Melatonin, as we learnt earlier, is a hormone that regulates sleep and it can be supplemented with when issues falling and staying asleep occur. However, as with all supplements, it’s always best to edge on the side of caution.
Whilst it is without a doubt powerful, supplementing melatonin for some people can cause further disruptions and dependencies, as well as leaving the consumer feeling groggy and fatigued upon waking.
It’s only available on prescription in some countries, including the UK, sold over the counter and in health food shops such as WholeFoods in the US. What do we think? Consume melatonin rich foods that stimulate production before bedtime, such as tart cherries, eggs and salmon.
KINDLE + AUDIO BOOKS
Kindles and audiobooks are nothing new, but that doesn’t make them any the less effective in aiding your wind down.
A Kindle takes away the unnecessary eyestrain needed to see the page amongst a sea of red light, blackout blinds and diffusor steam as well keeping you away from the intense blue light from your laptop. Keep backlight dim on your device and read with those blue blockers on for extra protection.
When it comes to the final act of finally drifting off to sleep (our wind-down routine is a marathon, not a sprint), pop on a calming, nostalgic audiobook with the auto sleep timer on.
AEROPLANE MODE ON + A WEIGHTED BLANKET
Whilst research is limited on this one, some believe that the EMF frequencies that our phones emit can disrupt sleep. It could be all in our heads and down to the whole host of other practices we put in place, but popping aeroplane mode on during wind-down routine is another important aspect that aids in optimal relaxation.
Regardless of if the frequencies directly affect sleep or not, getting a text through from your boss about tomorrow’s meeting just before your head hits the pillow does you no favours and can undo all your hard wind-down work.
So, aeroplane most is on and all that’s left is to throw over the best thing that happened to our self-care rituals since CBD bath bombs. A weighted blanket. There have been studies done on the pressure and what can only be described as the most wonderful cuddle that a weighted blanket provides. Users reported decreased feelings of anxiety and a greater sense of calm. That’s good enough for us.
SHOP THE STORY
glow market and the content provided are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on glow market and The Scoop is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your doctor and/ or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.