Jillian Mariani is a good friend of Haven! She also happens to be the founder, and general manager of Niyama Wellness, a Sleep Coach, a certified Yoga Teacher and has a Nutritional Management diploma. It's safe to say when it comes to sleep and wellness, Jillian knows what she's talking about! We asked Jillian how to improve our quality of sleep and she's generously shared her tried and true formula below.
Jillian’s techniques to improve quality of sleep:
- Consistent bedtimes and wake times – even on weekends. Sorry, not sorry! (But you can relax this a bit once your sleep is where you need it). I’m in bed by 10:30pm, asleep by 11pm and wake by 6:45am.
- No caffeine after noon. Caffeine has an average half-life of 6 hours, meaning half of what you consumed is still with you after 6 hours. It can take up to 10 hours to completely clear it from your bloodstream. So, your 3pm coffee could still be with you at bedtime.
- No alcohol before bed. It may seem like it helps you fall asleep, but it can cause night waking in the second half of your sleep cycle. If you are imbibing, do so 3-4 hours before bed.
- Sleep in a cool, dark room, on an excellent quality mattress, with the right pillow for you. If you can’t darken your room enough, use a sleep mask. I use one even though our bedroom is very dark; the feel of wearing it acts as a cue now for me that it is time to shut down.
- No screens 1 hour before bed (you may be able to relax this to 30 minutes down the road but start with an hour). This relates to both the sleep cycle disrupting blue and white light that is emitted by screens, and the content, which make our brains busier than we want at bedtime, especially with messaging, social media, or emails.
- Use that no-screen time window to wind down. Pick something that you enjoy and that you can be consistent with as your wind down activity because consistency is key to creating that sleepy time signal to your body and mind. Reading in bed, meditation, journaling, maybe a reciprocal massage if you have significant other, or a relaxing, warm bath. Niyama’s Sleep Like Buddha Bedtime Bath Soak is an amazing spa-like addition to your bath water. And keep your phone out of your bedroom while you sleep, or if you absolutely can’t, then put it on airplane mode.
I do all these things, every night along with supportive sleep with supplements:
- I drink Niyama's Hey Relax Magnesium in hot or cold water in the evening, usually around 8 or 9pm.
- I take 1 capsule of Sleep Like Buddha religiously 30 minutes before bed, and a second capsule if I wake at 2 am with a busy brain.
As with any supplement, read & follow full directions and check with your health practitioner if you have questions. For many, they help on the first night, but for others it may take more time. Our brains and sleep issues differ, so while these nutrients work for about 95% of those that try, it may take longer for some.