Detox Your Sleep: Simple Steps for More Restful Nights

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Imagine yourself, awaking from a deep relaxing slumber. Sun wafts in through the curtains as you spring from bed refreshed, ready to take on a new day. Bluebirds tuck flowers in your hair as your feet touch the floor.

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
~William Shakespeare

Macbeth’s Ole’ Will had it right; sleep is critical to our physical and emotional well-being, a certainty of life. Is it time to detox your sleep? Are you a hot mess? Are you continually fatigued from lack of sleep? Or just not sleeping as well as you like?

Audit the barriers to sleeping poorly. Are your diet and exercise choices supporting your body’s ability to rest? Are you stressed out at work or home? Are medical issues impacting your sleep? Commit to making small positive changes every day as a part of a larger commitment to live better. Studies show that the average amount of time we sleep at night has declined about 20% over the last century. Many of the sources of stress that can impact sleep are related to your external environment and can be modified to enhance your body’s ability to rest.

Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is one of the best things you can do for your health. Creating an ideal nest, understanding the science behind our sleep cycles and using cannabis as a restful companion aid are just a few of the ways to detox your sleep.

  • Set the stage for sleep: create a nest.

Create a sleeping space that is a haven. Clean your bedroom. If the last thing you see every day is a ginormous pile of laundry, you probably won’t sleep well. Treat your bed as a holy space. While your significant other might disagree, technology has no place in the bedroom. Banish the TV, laptop and cellphones.  Dimming the lights offers the brain a visual cue that it’s time for rest.

  • Shhhhh… Keep the space quiet.

For some, even a slight noise can waken a peaceful slumberer. Thick drapes and carpets can dampen noise, or ambient sound from a wave machine can mask the construction noise coming from down the street.

  • Understand the science behind sleep.

Health statistics show that people who sleep six hours or less are twice as likely to suffer illness and premature death than those who sleep between six and ten hours a night. The average person can thrive on seven hours a night. Lost sleep should be made up cumulatively. If you’ve stayed up late to ace your cannabis sommelier exam, you should go to be earlier the next night to make up the sleep. A short nap can improve memory and cognitive function, but experts suggest limiting that nap to the power variety – 30 minutes or less.

  • Charlotte Brontë once said, “A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.”

It’s natural to wake multiple times a night to assess any potential dangers lurking next to the laundry basket. When you wake, relax and concentrate on gentle breathing. Keep a note pad to write down anything that is on your mind. Once you write it down, release the thought and remove the distraction from your mind.

  • Sleep cycles are important

During the night, humans alternate between two types of sleep: slow wave sleep where brain activity slows and dreaming stops, and REM sleep where sleep is lighter and dreaming occurs. Studies show that the body does the majority of its intensive repair work during slow wave sleep.

  •   Go to bed earlier.

As we age, the quality of sleep is more important, although our ability to rest becomes less available. Keeping on a regular sleep schedule aids your body’s natural circadian rhythms. It’s best to start early to sleep better. Avoid going to bed on an empty stomach, and consider allowing 2 to 3 hours before bedtime for your evening meal to digest.

  • Lean on Mother Nature for a little assistance.

As a sleep aide, cannabis is an ideal companion plant. A few puffs of a high quality Indica or a nibble on a delicious edible can ease the mind and take the edge off aches and pains. Sipping a cannabis and chamomile tea will quench your thirst without getting you revved up. A delightful bath with a blend of cannabis infused bath salts will further pamper you into a restful space.

Unequivocally, sleep is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Nothing is more restoring than a good night’s sleep. Like all of the best things in life, it’s worth making space for.

Bonus Points: Set a goal for going to bed ten minutes earlier every week for a month. Banish the laundry and electronics from your sleeping space and snuggle up with a good Indica.

Summon the bluebirds!

For more entries in the excellent “Detox Your Summer” series from Christie Lunsford, click here!

Photo Credit: Károly Ferenczy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons