We at RVK RITUAL are big advocates for the magical effects that a good and deep night sleep can truly have for your overall health. But sleep is not just sleep. For me (Dagný here) there are different qualities of sleep. There is more to it than just the length of time. We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, so have you thought about how and in what surroundings you are spending this time? My goal these days, after many sleepless nights with a small baby, is to make my sleep as good for my health as it cab be and also well… luxurious. That means I love nerding out how I can biohack my sleep, but that also means nice sheets, a cosy duvet and a big bed, but most importantly I want to sleep in a toxic free environment!
Insomnia is one of the most common phenomena noticed in today’s working professionals these days. You sleep late one night, wake up late the next morning and then this vicious cycle continues. If there’s anything one should hold dearer than their salary, then it is their sleep cycle. Because a good sleep is the key to your efficiency. In this situation biohacking your sleep can prove really effective.
Biohacking Your Sleep
The process of biohacking your sleep is simple and involves a few lifestyle changes which, along with putting your sleep cycle on track, also detoxifies your system and heals your body in general.
Tips for Biohacking Your Sleep
This can be achieved by some simple methods that all of us have heard before but maybe haven´t listened to. They include activities like
- controlling your exposure to light (melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle)
- exercising during the day and getting some sun
- limiting caffeine and nicotine intake
- avoiding large meals before bed
- reducing exposure to blue light and not using screens 45 mins before going to bed, etc.
A healthy balanced diet also comes of use in biohacking your sleep. You can also use meditation music or mantras while you drift off to sleep.
Natural Supplements for Biohacking Your Sleep
While sleeping pills are common it is not normal to use them on a regular basis. So, it is best to use natural supplements that might help instead,
- Magnesium is found naturally in foods like nuts and green vegetables, but you can also buy over-the-counter supplements to take to improve your sleep. I love the one from CALM
- More famously known for combatting jet lag, melatonin can help regulate when you sleep and when you’re awake due to its part in your natural circadian rhythm.
- Lavender is widely used as an oil and in aromatherapy as a relaxing scent. Put it in your bath, burn it as a candle, or vaporised, you can put it on your pillow or even take it as a pill, many methods exist so choose the best one for you. It can ease anxiety and reduce intrusive thoughts; improving the quality of your sleep.
- CBD oil is also getting really popular to assist the body to calm down and go into relax mode
And of course our favourite tool: meditation & deep breathing, that calms one’s mind and helps us to sleep.
Sleep is an essential part of human life. While we ignore the importance of a good sleep many times due to work or life pressure, it is the single most important thing that can keep our body going in the long run.
I have slowly but surely updated my sleeping routine and environment and I truly feel the difference. There are many many good ways you can upgrade your sleeping habits and health, by upgrading your bedroom and nighttime rituals.
BEDROOM & RITUALS
SHEETS: To start with the thing closest to your skin, bedding is an easy thing to upgrade and is so so important to have in less quantity and higher quality. I love having full on linen bed sheets, as they are perfect for summer nights. But then I also love organic high quality organic cotton sheets. Tekla & Deji studios are my favourite bedsheets brands.
PILLOWS & DUVET: When you have considered you bedding choice, the next layer is the pillow and duvets. They can be full on natural or full on polyester (and full of toxins). I recommend going au natural. I love the duvet and pillows from the bed brand Cocomat, very luxurious and non toxic at the same time. Spend a little more here and you will feel like your home is a luxury hotel! Than of course I need a silk pillow case to protect my skin and hair.
BED: This is the investment of your life, to have a good bed can do tremendous things for your health. Unfortunately many mattresses and beds are full of toxins to keep them from being imflammable and because of toxins in the latex or other materials. Some people experience allergies without ever knowing its the bed that is causing this. Sure we do not want our bed to catch fire, but most importantly we need to sleep in a toxic free bed. I am so happy to have invested in a COCOMAT bed, the king of clean mattresses in my eyes, as it is the most comfortable bed I have ever tried. Cocomat is a greek family company, and the matresses and bed is made only from natural materials that are not allergenic and non toxic. Many companies are also starting to have more environmental and health conscious choices available (Hastens, woolroom, ikea) as many are having an allergic reaction to the ever so popular memory foam mattresses, that in my opinion are enemy number one.
PAINT: This is something to be mindful of. If you are repainting your bedroom, this is the most important place to choose environmentally safer choices as this creates the air that you breath all night. Look for green options in paint for your whole house but bedroom especially! In Iceland we love the store SÉREFNI for more environmental choices.
FURNITURE: To keep the air pollution to a minimum, be mindful to choose natural materials for you bedroom. Non processed wood, bamboo, steel & stone.
ELECTRIC & TECH: We still have no idea the long term effects of the technologies we surround ourselves with. So lets be mindful to keep them away from our bodies, at least we sleep. It can be good to try to take all electronics out of the bedroom and see if you feel a difference. I try to remember to turn off the wifi at night and keep electronics out the bedroom and I feel I get a deeper sleep.
NIGHT RITUALS: There are so many rituals we can do to get a better nights sleep. Firstly is going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time. Another is turning off screens at least an hour before bed and using light blocking glasses ( I love BLUEBOX). Dimming the lights at your home, getting into something comfortable and having a calming tea or magnesium are all good indicators for your body that you are ready for sleep. Also not eating after dinner can help you sleep better.
I hope you are inspired to upgrade your sleeping routine to optimize your health!