If you want more energy throughout the day, improving your sleep quality is one of the most important things you can do. Research shows that the quality of the sleep you get matters even more than the number of hours spent sleeping.
If you Google “how to sleep better” you get a generous return of common answers from keeping your room dark or sleeping with a white noise machine.
Those are good answers, but there’s more than one way (and perhaps a better way) to peel that onion. We’re talking about getting restful, energy-producing, body-healing, five-star sleep.
Let’s go deeper with the Bulletproof approach to quality sleep, which addresses lesser known sleep hacks, specific foods, lifestyle habits, and supplements that can help improve your sleep from the inside out.
Quality sleep is one of the most influential variables for increased brain function, hormone balance, healthy cell division, ideal insulin secretion, supple skin, longevity and performance.
Getting the right kind and right amount of sleep is an art and a science. Here are some practices to upgrade your sleep:
1. Don't miss your sleep window.
For a lot of people, there's a short window (between 10:45 and 11 p.m.) when you get tired. If you miss it, cortisol kicks in and gives you a “second wind.” This second wind can keep you going until 2 a.m.! You can, however, use this to your advantage if you’re on a deadline and need to stay up late.
If you do hit that second wind and need to come down, you can lower your cortisol levels and get your mind in sleep mode with mediation, prayer, peaceful music, adaptogen herbs like Rhodiola, Ashwaganda and Siberian Ginseng as well as calming herbs and minerals like Valerian Root and Magnesium.
2. Try krill oil.
3. Have some coconut charcoal.
This can be especially helpful when your sleep cycle is disrupted. When your circadian rhythm is out of whack, gut bacteria can make more endotoxins. These endotoxins can slow you down the next day.
Coconut charcoal is highly adsorbent, with millions of tiny pores. These pores capture, bind, and remove poisons and heavy metals, including endotoxins in your gut.
4. Make sure you get your vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency is high in most parts are the world, due to modern indoor life and poor nutrition.
We don't exactly get vitamin D from the sun, but rather from the interaction between UVB light and a cholesterol derivative in the skin that triggers vitamin D to be synthesized in the body.
Vitamin D levels can affect sleep, and getting quality sleep could mean vitamin D3 supplementation.
Since vitamin D works contrariwise with the sleep hormone melatonin, take it in the morning for uninterrupted sleep. Also, eat foods that contain vitamin D, like wild-caught salmon, free-range egg yolks, and grass-fed beef liver.
Get tested and work with your doctor to determine your optimal levels of vitamin D.
5. Eat fish.
Choose a dinner of low-mercury fish and seafood, such as wild-caught salmon, tilapia, sole, and anchovies. These fish contain a particular omega-3, called DHA (docohexanoic acid), that helps your sleep processes. DHA supports and normalizes melatonin (the sleep hormone) fluctuations.
Research also suggests that omega-3 supplementation can result in an hour more of better sleep with fewer disturbances.
6. Take some MCTs.
I recommend taking up to 1 tablespoon of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) before bed. Like omega-3s, this healthy fat will give your brain stable energy while you sleep.
Coconut oil has MCTs, but it’s not as effective as MCT oil, which is more concentrated. You can find MCT oil online or at vitamin stores. Try adding it to herbal tea.
7. Indulge in raw honey.
Before bed, take up to 1 tablespoon of raw honey on an empty stomach. Raw honey replenishes liver glycogen (carb storage), and since your brain uses liver glycogen at night, this hack can create stable glucose levels throughout the night.
Try it with the MCT oil so your brain can burn both glucose and fat while you sleep.
8. Bring on the collagen protein.
Taking high-quality collagen protein before bed can also help.
The cheapest, but least convenient, way to get collagen is from bone broth, made by boiling bones from grass-fed animals. The most convenient way to get high-quality collagen is by using a grass-fed collagen protein powder, which you can find at online retailers.
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