The 28-day Sleep Revolution Challenge, based on Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution, kicks off this week, with the goal of getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night, so today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on 5 key sleep strategies from The Sleep Revolution to help you get started.
For full details on the #SleepRevolutionNOLA Challenge + how to get better , check out Molly’s articles about the (sometimes surprising) benefits of quality sleep and real-world strategies to make it happen.
- Unplug: Smartphones in another room. They stimulate our brain, and the blue glow inhibits our production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Huffington recommends putting away all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime – and “sleep mode” is not enough – Huffington says that smartphones must be stored outside of the bedroom while we sleep.
- Make it dark: Sleep mask if needed. Light suppresses our production of melatonin, so it’s important to make our bedroom quiet and dark: Low-wattage bulbs in bedroom lamps. Good shades or black-out curtains. Cover any tiny lights with opaque tape. Consider sleeping with an eye mask. “
- Create a transition time: Take a bath. Wash your face. Put on PJs. Relaxing music – not the TV or late-night news or Netflix.
- A real book, not an e-book.
- Herbal sleep remedies. Taking 160 mg valerian extract plus 80 mg lemon balm, 2-3x daily, may improve quality and quantity of sleep. Passionflower – as supplement or tea – may improve symptoms of anxiety; one cup of passionflower tea before bed has been shown to improve sleep quality. The scent of Lavender (oils, bath salts, candles, etc) has been shown to enhance relaxation and sleep quality.
DIY Lavender Bath Salts
- 1 cup Epsom salt (unscented)
- ¼ cup baking soda
- ¼ cup sea salt
- 8-10 drops lavender oil
Mix all ingredients and store in an air-tight container. Use as bath salts or a salt scrub.
For more information on the 28-day Sleep Revolution Challenge, check out Molly’s full articles about the #SleepRevolutionNOLA, here and here. Molly will be offering tips and encouragement on social media (@mollykimballrd on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) using the hashtag #SleepRevolutionNOLA. Use the #SleepRevolutionNOLA hashtag yourself, if you'd like to chime in about your Sleep Revolution Challenge experiences on social media – you can also email Molly to sign on to the challenge, and receive her email tips throughout the #SleepRevolutionNOLA challenge.
Want more from Molly? Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune! And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @MollyKimballRD