With nearly eight billion people worldwide, finding things we can all relate to can quickly prove massively challenging. Whether it be political ideology, religion, or something as simple as your favorite pizza toppings (sorry, pineapple, you’re so not welcome here), agreeing to disagree usually becomes the only thing we can actually agree on.
However, one thing that a large group of people—or more precisely, about 35 percent of all Americans—all do have in common is some form of insomnia, or not getting enough restful sleep. Between stressing about the day to come, sweating in a hot room without A/C, or just blankly staring at the ceiling while the minutes tick away, getting insufficient sleep can easily ruin your day (and night).
- Rachelle Robinett, registered herbalist, educator, and founder of Supernatural
On the latest episode of Plant-Based, Rachelle Robinett, a certified herbalist and the founder of Supernatural, discusses how she breaks down her day into four separate phases in order to wind down and ultimately get the most restful sleep possible. You may be surprised to hear that it starts the moment she wakes up.
With the help of a few of Robinett’s all-time favorite herbal remedies and practices, you can quickly be on your way to catching some Z’s all night long. To learn the best herbal remedies and supplements she recommends for sleeping like a baby, make sure to watch the full episode above.
What does good “sleep hygiene” mean?
Although you may have sipped on a calming tea and listened to a meditation podcast just before heading to bed, Robinett explains that winding down for the day requires good sleep hygiene that starts the moment your peel your eyes open in the morning. “Disrupted sleep is one of the most common challenges people ask me about,” Robinett says. After hearing from so many of her clients and community members that struggle with insomnia, she’s worked endlessly to find the best herbal remedies to promote restful sleep.
“So when we talk about treating sleep challenges, we talk about sleep hygiene. And sleep hygiene, as a term, means all the things that we do to help support a great night’s sleep,” Robinett says. “Sleep hygiene can start as soon as you wake up; in fact, that’s one of the first things that I recommend for people, is to begin your sleep practice first thing in the morning.”
What are the four most important phases throughout the day to get restful sleep?
Robinett breaks down the day into four separate phases, where she focuses on different herbal remedies and practices to encourage restful sleep by nightfall. The four segments include morning, happy hour, sunset, and evening. Each portion of the day serves its own purpose and calls for different practices and herbal remedies to prep and prime your body for getting good sleep.
First things first: Robinett recommends syncing your circadian rhythm with your environment in the morning by exposing your body to natural sunlight. In turn, this exposure affects the production of melatonin by the end of the night. “All you need is a few minutes of consuming that natural daylight,” she says.
2. Happy Hour
Once you’ve reaped the sun's benefits and exhausted your efforts throughout the busy day, Robinett focuses on the late afternoon or the phase she likes to call “happy hour" (and no, unfortunately this segment has nothing to do with half-price margaritas). Instead, at this point in the day, she recommends cutting out stimulants like caffeine or anything that can keep you up.
Next, Robinett delves into how to scan your body for signs of stress to create an adequate game plan in the episode, and shares how to use herbal remedies to promote the best sleep possible.
Robinett shares the best herbs for calming the nervous system, like ashwagandha, chamomile, and lemon balm, just to name a few. Once the day finally comes to an end, she recommends shifting your focus to preparing for the sunset phase with some key steps, including watching the sun go down to reset the circadian rhythm, dimming the lights, and avoiding blue light from screens and phones.
In addition to ensuring her environment is just right for inducing restful sleep, Robinett then begins focusing on natural herbal sedatives once it’s dark. She shares all of the best natural sedatives to spare you endless hours of tossing and turning all night long in the episode, which includes kava-and-hemp-infused tinctures and calming amino acid supplements. Eyelids starting to droop yet?
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