Looking to make healthier choices? Perfect! This is Day 13 of 30 of my 30 Day Paleo Plan. For more information on 30 Day Paleo as well as 30 Minute Paleo, check out the get started page. Post each day on your 30 Day Paleo journey to Twitter or Instagram and show me by tagging me with @dranthonygustin — get after it! 

Sleep is so important and is low hanging fruit when it comes to righting the ship with your health. Sleep is where memories are formed, and where proper hormones are secreted for recovery and growth. Your body faces constant stressors and without proper sleep, you will never adapt to those stressors.

The amount of sleep you get is more important than you might think. If you’re someone who survives on 4-5 hours of sleep/night, remember that you’re just surviving – not thriving. Humans need a good 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal function.

Quality of sleep is just as important as the amount. You can be getting 10+ hours of sleep per night, but if it’s poor quality sleep, you’re not getting the benefits you could be. Things that dampen your ability to achieve high quality sleep are easy to remove. Improving your sleeping quarters is step one to better quality sleep

First, eliminate ANY lights within the bedroom. We are accustomed to pitch darkness when we sleep and any type of light will disrupt your body’s ability to get the type of sleep it needs. Get blackout curtains and unplug any clocks or gadgets that remain lit.

Sometimes, achieving blackout conditions is impossible due to living or travel situations. If this is the case, investing $10 in a sleeping mask will change your life.

Second, eliminate artificial lights at least an HOUR before you try to sleep. This is imperative. Most lights from gadgets are quite mentally stimulating. Using them before bed doesn’t allow your mind to wind down and tricks your body into think that there is still sunlight around you. When your body thinks the sun is still out, it won’t send the proper messages that it’s time for your nightly slumber. Minimize television, computer, phone and tablet use within the hour before bed.

If you NEED to work, invest in red spectrum lamps or orange UV glasses that block out the stimulating spectrum of light.

If you’ve tried the above non-supplement modifications and you’re still having some problems getting to sleep, try these supplements before bed, in this order:

500mg Magnesium – already one of the three supplements we recommend for everyone, magnesium calms the nervous system and relaxes muscles, easing you into sleep.

300mg 5-HTP – 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin, which puts the body in a relaxed state.

500mg GABA – A neurotransmitter that is typically secreted at night time as a calming agent.

We do not recommend using melatonin. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid some people use, but it can disrupt normal neurotransmitter and hormone release.

Upgrade your sleeping quarters and get 7-9 hours of QUALITY sleep per night. You should wake up feeling rested, not like you need to go back to bed.

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