A study from the Center of Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic has revealed what we pet owners suspected all along.
It turns out keeping our furry friends close at night actually helps us get a BETTER night’s sleep.
This finding flies in the face of the common advice to kick Fido and Fluffy out of the bedroom to sleep better.
The researchers found that 56 percent of pet owners surveyed let their pets sleep in their bedrooms or on their beds at night.
And the survey says, “Pets DON’T disturb our sleep”
And 41 percent of those that are sharing their bedroom with their four legged buddies said that not only didn’t their pets disturb their sleep, they made they feel more secure and relaxed which made sleeping easier. So what about the remaining 15 percent who insist on keeping their pets close at night, but have trouble sleeping?
We’d suggest checking out Dr. Allan Spreen’s simple 3 step plan for getting some shut eye naturally.
Then join Certified Holistic Health Coach Corrina Rachel below for a comprehensive and insightful discussion on how to relieve stress and anxiety so you can finally get some much-needed quality sleep.
- the one thing you should NEVER do a couple hours before hitting the hay
- how a small change to your routine that can pay off with BIG sleep rewards
- about the “strange” skin brushing method that could help you slip off to sleep
- the name of the “magic mineral” that can help level out your sleep hormones
- and so MUCH more…
Do you suffer from insomnia or anxiety? Are your stress levels so high that you have a hard time sleeping, or just a hard time feeling relaxed?
In this video I’m going to share some tips about sleep stress anxiety giving you some simple ways to improve the quality of your sleep. Leaving you feeling more energized and lifting your overall mood.
So if we want to lower our stress levels let’s start by talking about what stress is in the first place. So stress is a physical response that your body has to a situation, and it’s actually somewhat of a survival mechanism.
So think about when you’re… not you personally… but when we were running around in the wild. If there is a predator approaching, or perhaps some other threat in our environment, our body responds with this stress response. So this stress response is really there to try and help us right. So if we need to fight-or-flight we’re gonna need that surge of energy that comes with those elevated stress hormones.
Well now let’s fast forward into current times, into modern times, where most of us are having stress responses about things that don’t actually require fight-or-flight. Right? So were stressed out by work, or stressed out by impending deadlines and things that aren’t actually a physical threat to our survival.
So, where stress is there to help us it actually has ended up hurting us. So we want to talk about how we can lower these stress hormones. How we can find ways to handle stress when it does inevitably arise. And I’ll also be sharing some simple things that we can do to help improve our sleep and improve our overall levels of stress.
“Simple things we can do to help get better sleep”
So let’s start with some simple things we can do to help get better sleep.
Have you ever noticed that you can be extremely exhausted, but if you sit down in front of your television you can literally sit there almost all night, and somehow, just sitting in front of the TV keeps you awake?
So this touches on a really important point, which is that electronic devices like your TV, your computer and your cell phone emit radiation that can disrupt your sleep hormones like melatonin. So if you’re someone who spends a lot of time in front of electronic devices this can actually be something that’s making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Now in those couple of hours right before you go to sleep, this is kind of a most important time to try and reduce your exposure to those electronic devices. So turning the computer off, turning the television off, and trying to spend these last couple hours before bedtime with as minimal electronic devices on as possible.
And then definitely, once you’re actually laying down to go to sleep you want to turn those electronic devices off. Because having a lot of electronic devices running in the background in your room while you’re sleeping is another thing that can kind of degrade the quality of your sleep.
“Have a bedtime ritual”
Another simple thing we can do is to have a bedtime ritual.
So we are really creatures of habit and this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. So one important tip is not doing lots of things in your bed other than sleeping.
So if you study in bed, read in bed, or just spend a lot of time hanging out in your bed but not sleeping, then you’re kind of conditioning your body to not associate your bed with sleep. Whereas if you only sleep in your bed then you’re conditioning your body to associate your bed with sleep. So this is just kind of an important consideration to have. And just know that if you have a lot of trouble falling asleep this is one really simple thing you can do to help precondition your body to associate your bed with sleep.
Similarly, having some kind of a bedtime ritual something that you do every night before you go to sleep. Once again you can start conditioning your body to become sleepy while you’re doing that ritual. So a bedtime ritual could be something like drinking tea—you definitely want to make sure that it’s a caffeine free tea if you’re drinking it at bedtime.
Lying in bed with an eye mask on is also a great bedtime ritual. In addition to blocking the light out of your eyes there’s also the added benefit of a little bit of pressure that you get when you lay the eye mask on your eyes. For me I get a lot of eye strain from looking at computer screens all day so I find laying in bed with an eye mask incredibly relaxing. (We actually have an additional a mask and that will be giving away at the end of the video.)
So one of my personal favorite things is dry skin brushing, and this is kind of become one of my bedtime rituals. So I talked about dry skin brushing in a previous video about detoxification. We had a lot of different benefits from dry skin brushing and additionally it’s very, very relaxing and I think it feels amazing to do.
Though I love having this as one of my bedtime rituals another great bedtime ritual is journaling. This kind of has a dual purpose. In addition to it being part of a ritual that starts getting you ready for bed, it’s also a great way to take a lot of those stresses and worries that are going on a hundred miles an hour in your head… just getting them on paper, so that hopefully you can go to sleep without still having all of those concerns speeding through your mind.
Something like playing with your pet if you have a cat or a dog. I know I find it very relaxing just to pet my dog before I go to bed. And usually she will zonk and then I will zonk out shortly after. So I encourage you to get creative with your bedtime ritual and experiment with different things that help you feel relaxed.
“Dependence on our body’s hormones”
Our body’s ability to handle stress, and our body’s ability to regulate our sleep cycle, has a lot of dependence on our body’s hormones. Right? So we talked about cortisol. We can think about melatonin. These are all very important factors when we’re looking at our body’s ability to sleep.
Another thing that can be very helpful for sleep and stress is magnesium. So magnesium is a very important mineral and depending on who you talk to some people will say that magnesium is one of the absolute most important nutrients for the body.
So when we’re talking about stress and sleep it’s important to recognize that magnesium helps to balance our levels of serotonin and melatonin. It’s also going to be very key and helping our bodies to let go of physical stress. So we think about things like restless legs or muscle spasms, oftentimes a magnesium deficiency can actually be at play. And we know that those are two things that can also prevent us from getting sleep.
So I use a magnesium oil this one is by Pure Vitality minerals and I love it because you can spray it topically onto your skin or onto the bottoms of your feet, and you can also spray it into a glass of water. It pretty much has no taste at all so it’s a very easy thing to incorporate into your lifestyle.
So again, magnesium has a plethora of different benefits and roles that it plays in our bodies. So thinking about reducing our stress levels, relieving muscle tension, and helping to balance all of those different hormonal systems that are really the pinnacle of this stress response our body is having.
There’s also a great product called Natural Calm. So this is a magnesium drink. It’s kind of fizzy, so it’s kind of a fun little thing to drink at night Again this might be a good bedtime ritual, although I’m not sure if you would necessarily want to drink one every single night, you want to pay attention to the instructions on the packaging, But drinking a magnesium drink or even just supplementing more magnesium into your lifestyle is a really great idea.
And because I am a total chocolate addict I just had to throw in that cacao is also a wonderful source of magnesium. So if you needed more reasons to eat more chocolate this is a very good one. So here I have these raw cacao nibs. When you want to get the health benefits from chocolate you need to look for the word cacao. This is how you know that it’s been minimally processed and it’s going to harness most… the most nutrients that you can get from cacao.
So here I have some cacao nibs. There a little bit bitter on their own, but they work great to added into a fruit smoothie or something. You can also purchase cacao in the actual cacao bean form or as a cacao powder.
“To handle stress and get better sleep… breathe more deeply”
Another easy and completely free of charge thing we can do to handle stress and get better sleep is to breathe more deeply. So most of the time we are breathing very shallow breaths and you may notice that
your chest raises up when you take a shallow breath. Like. [Demonstrates]
So if we want to get more of the benefits from taking in that oxygen we want to breathe deeply into our full lung capacity, which actually goes, like down below your belly button, and all the way up to the top of your chest.
So if you’re taking a shallow breath [Demonstrates] you can see that you’re only using a small portion of your lung capacity. So breathing deeply you actually even feel your belly kind of push out. And what you’ll notice is that you don’t get as much of the chest raised. So a deep breath [Demonstrates], maybe you didn’t even see my chest raised at all. It’s a lot more subtle.
That’s kind of a good easy way to know if you’re breathing deeply or not is to pay attention to how much your chest is raising and if you can feel your belly expanding then you know that you’re taking a really good deep breath.
Now another way to kind of even further improved your deep breathing, and to kind of help incentivize your body to breathe deeply, is using aromatherapy. So one of the most well-known scents for relaxation is lavender.
So this is the Savasana Now eye pillow that I showed you a little earlier. It’s actually filled with lavender, which means that you get the bonus of that delicious scent when you wear the eye mask. This is just a little sachet of dried lavender and you just squeeze it slightly to release that amazing lavender scent.
You can also diffuse essential oils into the air with an essential oil diffuser. You could also consider taking an essential oil and maybe putting a few drops on the collar of your shirt, or a few drops on the edge of your pillow case, as other ways to kind of keep these delightful scents near you while you’re sleeping.
“What should I eat at bedtime if I’m really hungry?”
What about a midnight snack? I get a lot of questions about, “Is it really bad to eat a big meal right before bed” And, “What should I eat at bedtime if I’m really hungry or if I have problems with waking up hungry in the middle of the night?”
So first off having a really large meal right before you go to bed is certainly discouraged. Having digestion going on concurrently while your body is sleeping is not really optimal, and it’s definitely not optimal if you are watching your weight.
But going to bed starving is not really a feasible option either. So one of my favorite things to have a bedtime is nuts. Because we want to limit the amount of sugar and refined carbohydrates that we eat at bedtime we want to look for things that are going to be a good source of healthy fats and healthy protein.
We want to avoid things like sugar and white bread before bedtime. But if we want to satisfy our hunger it’s gonna be those good healthy fats protein and fiber that helped to satisfy our hunger and then keep us full throughout the night. So especially if you’re someone that has problems with waking up in the middle of the night hungry, make sure you’re eating a really good healthy source of fat at bedtime.
So one of my favorite midnight snacks is actually to soak some almonds and then either blend them up and make a kind of almond milk or you can actually even make almond milk yourself. As well eating the nuts just straight up as they are also makes a great kind of nighttime snack as well.
But again, you just want to make sure that you’re avoiding having lots of sugar. If you need to eat something at bedtime try to make sure it’s something that doesn’t have a lot of simple carbohydrates. Something that’s gonna help give you fiber and give you those healthy fats and protein that will actually keep you feeling full all night.
“Another important consideration is what we’re sleeping on”
Another important consideration is what we’re sleeping on and how frequently we wash our pillow cases and bedding. If you are not washing your pillow cases frequently just understand that you are exposing yourself to a lot of dust mites. And any kind of allergens that are maybe on your hair and then rubbing onto your pillow you are basically keeping those things right up against your face while you sleep.
So washing your pillow cases frequently is a really good easy way to help improve the quality of our sleep. And especially if you’re someone who wakes up with a stuffy nose or wakes up with a sore throat there’s a really good indications that perhaps you are having an allergic reaction to something in your bedding or in your pillow. So that first consideration is about washing our pillow cases and bedding frequently so that we are limiting the amount of dust mites and other potential allergens we expose yourself to.
Two other consideration is what are bedding is made of. So I have here an organic pillow by Cozy Pure. Now different people are going to have different responses to potential allergens, and some people may not have an allergic reaction to the chemicals in their bedding. But on the same token there’s a lot of people who actually will be quite sensitive to those allergens and there can be a lot of benefit gained with switching over to natural bedding.
So things like memory foam for instance can be a potential allergen for certain people. Okay this is basically a polyurethane chemical so having natural bedding is a great way to just kind of reduce the amount of toxins you’re exposing yourself to.
Another benefit that we get from natural bedding products like these is that they help to wick away moisture from the skin. So if you’re somebody who “sleeps hot,” as they say, which means you get really hot or get really, really sweaty while you’re sleeping, then once again you will benefit a lot from having natural bedding that actually helps your body and your skin to breathe. Right? Because the bedding breathes more it’s gonna keep you cooler and it can actually wick away any of the perspiration that you actually do release while sleeping.
So I love this Cozy Pure pillow. It feels amazing. It smells amazing.
So while it isn’t necessarily necessary to have a natural or organic pillow it’s definitely worth noting that this can be a very worthy investment in your sleep when you consider that sleep is perhaps the most important thing to your overall physical and mental health. Then we can see that making an investment in something that’s going to improve our sleep in some cases be the best way we can spend our money.
So certainly something to consider if you can’t afford the pillow or natural bedding than at least start laundering you’re bedding more frequently. And consider replacing your pillow every few years, or even more frequently, if you’re someone who wakes up with a lot of allergies and you suspect that maybe you are allergic either to your pillow or to the dust mites that have collected in your pillowcase.
“To reduce stress and help you get to sleep… ASMR”
Another great thing that can help to reduce stress and help you get to sleep is ASMR. So this is a genre of YouTube video that involves incredibly delicate sounds that are recorded with binaural microphones. Which means it’s actually 3d audio. So when you listen in headphones you hear sounds go from one ear to the other.
These videos are geared towards really highlighting these very quiet, very delicate sounds. We actually have an ASMR channel ourselves that you can find in the description [ ]. Sod these videos are typically done either in a very soft-spoken voice, or even with a whisper [Demonstrates]. So in addition to the fact that someone is talking quietly and talking calmly there’s also a very strong relaxing effect that comes simply from hearing those binaural sounds… hearing the sounds move from ear to ear. So I’ll actually be doing in ASMR video with this pillow, which I’m very excited about.
Things like scratching, tapping. If you’ve ever known someone who sleeps with a fan on or some kind of white noise in the background that is ASMR. Basically using delicate sounds to help induce relaxation. So in addition to watching ASMR videos, which a lot of people get a lot of benefit from, you can actually kind of even do your own ASMR in real-time.
So a lot of times if I’m laying in bad having trouble sleeping have lots of different mind… a lot of different thoughts racing through my mind, I’ll actually start to scratch on my pillow, or on the bed sheet, or on my lavender sashay. And I can actually go ear to ear with these different sounds. Now, to me, what makes this so relaxing is that it really brings you into the moment. So when you think about the same, be here now, or live in the moment.
It’s about bringing your attention out of all of the craziness and stress that your brain is thinking about and really focusing in on what’s right in front of you, on what is right next to you, and really being present in the moment. So things like tapping or scratching on a fabric can be a really good way to help you come into the moment and I find that incredibly relaxing.
“Herbal tea is another great way to help calm the body down”
So most of us know that herbal tea is another great way to help calm the body down and can be a great component of your bedtime ritual. So I have a couple of different teas here that I want to show you.
First off you want to make sure that you’re drinking a caffeine-free tea at bedtime. So my label here is little bit worn away, but it is a caffeine-free tea. Moringo is another great tea, and actually these Moringa
leaves can be used in a variety of different ways. In addition to using them as tea, Moringa is a very nutrient-rich food, and it is known to have a myriad of different health benefits. So actually helping your body to relax, helping to regulate sleep cycles, these are all added benefits of Moringa.
So here have some Matcha, Now Matcha is a slightly caffeinated tea. So this is a variety of green tea. Now what’s cool about Matcha is that it has about 100 times the antioxidant capacity of regular green tea.
I also want to show you this Matcha because it is my personal favorite tea. Now there is a slight caffeine content in Matcha because it’s a variety of green tea, but depending on your body’s sensitivity to caffeine it may be fine. Myself, personally, I love drinking this tea at night. It doesn’t keep me awake.
But what’s cool about Matcha is it actually has over 100 times the amount of antioxidants that you get from regular green tea leaves. So when you typically drink green tea it’s going to come in a tea bag of dried tea leaves. But Matcha is actually a powdered version of these tea leaves and it packs in a lot more nutritional punch because of that process.
Another thing to consider is that tea is going to make a great substitute for coffee. If you’re someone who drinks a lot of coffee. Now there’s a lot of us who kind of end up in a cycle where we have trouble sleeping and then the next day we wake up and we drink coffee.
Now if you’re just drinking one cup of coffee per day you’re kind of probably in the safe zone, but if you’re drinking more than two or three cups of coffee per day then you’re entering the danger zone, unfortunately. So if we’re drinking a lot of caffeine throughout the day understand that this is going to impact our body’s ability to fall asleep at night.
So if you can start to move away from your dependence on caffeine while initially you may feel more groggy from not having your caffeine you should find that you end up having a much easier time falling asleep and a more restful night’s sleep. So over time you’ll actually need less coffee to give you the energy you need to get through the day.
So consider something like green tea as a great very healthy alternative to coffee. And something like this does give you a certain amount of caffeine so especially as you’re kind of starting to wean yourself off of coffee using something that does have a mild caffeine content can be a way to kind of make that process a little bit easier
I want to thank you so much for joining me for this video. And now, as promised, the giveaway. So we will actually be giving away one of these lavender eye pillow by Savasana Now and a bottle of this magnesium oil which makes a great little kind of help-you-sleep gift pack. [Contest now closed.]
So you can find instructions for how to enter the giveaway in our weekly newsletter. So if you go to psychetruth.net you can join our newsletter for free and we will put the entry details for the contest in our next newsletter.
So if you’d like to learn more about me and my health coaching practice you can visit me at CorrinaRachel.com.
I look forward to seeing your comments questions and requests for future video topics. Thank you so much for watching and I hope you have a beautiful day. I’ll see you next time.
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