Start your experiment with a baseline and compare what you notice after a week, a month or even better, how you evolve over a year. The longer you do it, the better you will know your body, what it is asking for and how to nurture it. With this knowledge you can learn how to bend your rules without suffering for weeks after. If you choose not to take on the experiment, do try and list out your patterns as a baseline. It is hard to know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been.
Sleep is such an important aspect of our wellbeing, yet so many of us are sleeping much less than we need. In addition, some people have challenges sleeping and require a supplement to help them fall asleep or stay asleep. Discovering your habits and patterns is a good way to start your sleep experiment. This can allow you to discover a culprit that may be disrupting your sleep and bring to light a tool that may help enhance your rest. Let’s break it down by writing down your baseline and then experimenting to see what changes.
- What time do your currently go to bed and what time you wake up?
- What activities do you do before bed and how do you feel when your head hits the pillow? For example, are you exhausted, is your mind racing, or is your mind wired after being on the computer or watching TV.
- How do you feel when you get up? Do you feel refreshed, do you pop out of bed, or roll over and push snooze button on the alarm?
One method is not necessarily right for every person. Each person requires a different type of support to properly nurture their body. Hearing when your body needs more assistance and then knowing ways to nourish it can improve your resiliency. Try these ideas for multiple days or weeks to see how your body responds and feel free to test other variables as well.
- Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than you have been. Gradually increase your bedtime by 15 minutes each night to find your sweet spot. Everyone has their own amount of sleep that works best for them. However, the hours you go to bed count. The human circadian rhythm allows healing of each organ at specific time while you sleep or rest. If it is not able to do its’ “healing” job, the body will compensate and you may feel this in your energy, mood, motivation, productivity, or overall health.
- Create a relaxing and enjoyable nighttime routine that you look forward to, which will prepare you and your body for rest.
- Have a tiny bit of protein 30 minutes before bed – this could help with blood sugar issues which may be causing you to wake up during the night.
- Try fasting for 12 hours. For instance 8pm – 8am.
Write down how each of these activities influenced your sleep and how you feel the next day. If you find one works well, continue doing it. Start out with one variable and if it works, you can combine an additional one to see if that improves things even more. If you don’t observe a difference after multiple attempts of one variable, write down your habits and come up with more ideas that may work for you.
Eat More Vegetables
Vegetables are so valueable in providing vitamins and minerals needed for your cells and organs to function optimally and allow your body to thrive.
- Write down the vegetables you have eaten in the last week.
- Write down vegetables you enjoy overall.
- Eat a vegetable you have not eaten in the last week – it is important to rotate your foods.
- Have 3 different color vegetables on your plate - this provides a diversity of vitamins and minerals.
- Try a new ways of cooking a vegetable – saute, bake, air fry with little oil, raw, or steamed
- Find recipes with veggies that you love, and don’t be afraid to try something new.
- Try adding spices and herbs
- Add a vegetable to your regular meal or additional veggies inside a casserole– For instance, add finely chopped veggies like cauliflower rice to a burrito, a taco, to lasagna, stir fried rice, or soup.
Many of us feel that if we don’t give our all in a workout we have failed. Sometimes your body needs a change of exercise depending on the stress load. When your body is exhausted, strenuous exercise can set your immune system back and you can become vulnerable to sickness. Learning what movement is good for your body at certain times can help your body to heal and thrive rather than become drained.
- Write down how you feel after exercising. The same exercise frequency may not always give you the same results each time. For example, a workout may leave you feeling invigorated or rejuvenated and another day that same workout can leave you drained and exhausted. Get a gage of what workouts are harder on your body and what workouts are lighter.
- Write down 3 different levels of exercise, routines or movements that you enjoy doing (your idea of each level, not society's idea).
- A type of a stretching or easy movement, such a kundalini yoga, taking the stairs instead of the elevator
- A type of mild exercise or movement, such as brisk walking, light swimming, Pilates
- A type of strenuous exercise, such as weightlifting, aerobics, CrossFit, jogging
- Assess the level of stress your body is currently under physically, emotionally , mentally, or even environmentally. Give it a number on a scale of 1-10 (10 being most stressed). For example, deadlines at work (5), bad air quality (7), dealing with a cold (8), had a spat with your partner (4), having a great day (1).
- Select a movement that supports your current situation. If you are stressed from work at a level 10 and you go to CrossFit, notice how your body feels afterwards and into the night. Notice how resilient you feel the next day. Keep mixing and matching your movement to find the right level that feeds your body for the situation it is handling at the time.
Allow yourself to get comfortable with the new you. Changes may happen subtly but the positive results can last a lifetime, allowing you to transform and achieve your goals. If you find that you have tried several experiments and still not made traction, contact me so we can discuss other possible experiments, tweaks or perhaps getting you access to the right labs to find hidden stressor getting in the way of increased energy levels or weight loss. Let’s make 2022 your best year ever!