During stressful times, it's even more important to get a restful night sleep so your body can repair and heal itself. It could be the most important self-care ritual you create.
Kimberly Snyder, CN, nutritionist to the stars and New York Times best-selling author of the "Beauty Detox" book series and "Radical Beauty,"isn’t only about eating wholesome, healthy foods and meditating. She’s also a major proponent of getting the best sleep of our life, every day. “Sleep is one of the best ways to take a time out from the toxic effects of stress. Stress shows up on your face in the form of fine lines, dark circles, and lackluster skin and hair,” Snyder tells Organic Authority. “This affects your waistline, too.”
But as pleasant and relaxing as it sounds, sleeping isn’t always easy to do given our current stress levels, daily demands and never-ending pipeline of anxiety-inducing responsibilities. Snyder shares her five best tips to get your best sleep ever once and for all.
1. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep.
While some people swear they’re surviving with their daily five hours of slumber, they’re probably not thriving. “All adults should follow the same rule of thumb: seven to nine hours of sleep each day—and women even need a little more sleep than men,” says Snyder, who says sleep deprivation is more harmful for women. “When your body is well rested, you are not only able to function better, but you will be amazed at how much more efficient you are in the tasks you perform. If this is the common goal of all of us, we should all have the same sleep number to achieve it!”
2. Practice Abhyanga as part of your wake-up ritual.
Snyder commits to Abhyanga, an ancient form of self-massage that acts as a powerful anti-aging practice. “It’s super easy to incorporate into your daily routine and I recommend you do it in the mornings to rid toxins that have accumulated during the night and to rejuvenate you for your day,” she advises. “Incorporating Abhyanga into your daily routine will promote circulation and detoxification which maintains your long-term health and beauty!”
Here’s how to practice Abhyanga, according to Snyder:
- Use sesame oil in warmer months and coconut oil in cooler months.
- Warm your chosen oil under hot water for a few minutes.
- Massage your body for 5 to 10 minutes, applying even pressure with your hands and fingers and lighter pressure in the more sensitive areas like the breasts or abdominal area. Massage the soles of your feet, too.
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“Don’t worry about breakouts as pure, organic oil will not cause that,” Snyder reassures. “Make sure you’ve thoroughly rubbed in as much of the oil as possible before going straight to a workout of hot shower.”
3. Honor the sacred hour.
The sacred hour is the last hour before you sleep—a precious time you should hold in high regard. “What you avoid in this time is just as critical as what you engage in. Anything stressful or stimulating should be avoided. Your sacred hour is not for the gym, last-minute work, or a political discussion with your partner. Basically, this is your time to chill out and steer clear of anything non-chilled out,” Synder explains.
4. Create a bedroom cave.
A bedroom cave has cool temperatures and total darkness, says Snyder. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal mercury levels during sleep time is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
If artificial lights (say, street lamps) tend to seep through your windows, invest in curtains that can block them out completely. Snyder also recommends switching your phone to airplane mode. “This will keep you from being disturbed by late-night texts or calls and keep fewer electromagnetic frequencies targeted at you while you sleep.”
Realistically, removing electronics isn’t always 100% possible (like if you use an alarm clock to get to work on time), but you can still do your best. For example, you can use a flashlight for a late-night bathroom trip, says Snyder.
5. Eat for high sleep quality.
Sure, you can snooze away for eight hours, but you’ll still be groggy in the morning you if you’re repeatedly waking up. Food is one of the most important ways to enhance the quality of sleep. Snyder suggests consuming hemp milk, unrefined carbohydrates, bananas, cherries, and sweet potatoes for their sleep-inducing properties. “These foods reduce anxiety, keep you full through the night, relax your muscles, and naturally contain melatonin which all leads to deeper, more fruitful sleep,” she says.
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