Five Easy Hacks If You’re Having Trouble Sleeping

Written by: Dra. Eca Lorenzo, LifeScience Functional Medicine Practitioner
image of a cozy bed

Sleep is the one thing we all love to do. Not only does it refresh us, it also energizes our bodies from being out the whole day working. We all know how important sleep is to maintain good health. In fact, it’s been taught to us several times since we were kids, and even made to take long afternoon naps. Some of which we tried to escape, of course.

Now that we’re adults, sleep has become our best friend. If you’re having trouble getting a good night’s sleep, below are five things you can do to get in those Zzzs.:

  1. Use light to set your body clock. Bright lights denote daytime and darkness nighttime, so pay attention to your light exposure.
    • Get bright light during the day, especially at around noon time. This means if you are indoors, use bright lights, or have the curtains/blinds/shades drawn open to let as much light as possible into the room.
    • Conversely, in the evening and at night, use dim lighting as much as possible.
    • Use a Himalayan salt lamp as your bedroom lamp, ideally one with a dimmer switch. The red hues of this lamp mimic the way light looks during sunset. This sends signals to our brain that the day is ending and we should be getting ready to go to sleep for the night.
  2. Practice slow, deep breathing to help your body shift into a relaxed rest-and-digest mode (vs. the stressed fight-or-flight mode) and allow it the slip into a deep, refreshing sleep.
  3. Program your phone (and computer) to turn on night mode (blue light filter) once it’s 5 pm (and keep it on until 6 or 7 am the next morning).
  4. Turn off or silence gadgets & screens (TV, computer, tablet, phone) 60 minutes before your target bedtime.
  5. Do a brain dump before you get into bed: take a pen and paper (or your phone if you’re the digital type) and write down a To-Do list of all the things/tasks still floating around in your head. Writing these down will help prevent you from worrying about them, remembering/forgetting to do them the following day, and not worrying will allow you to sleep easier.

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