Written by guest blogger: Steph Mireles
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnose or treat any health conditions. If you’re experiencing issues with your health, please visit your doctor as soon as possible.
I want to tackle a wellness topic that doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves: sleep. Anyone close to me knows that I LOVE sleep, and I think that everyone else should too! I’ll explain why sleep is so beneficial and my tips for consistently getting a good night of rest.
During my years in college, there were many nights of inadequate sleep (4-5 hours), exhausted days, and naps as a necessity. I knew that there were benefits of rapid eye movement (REM) deep sleep, but I thought that a daytime nap could make up for the nighttime loss. After I graduated, I started to get a few more hours each night and felt so much more alert and energetic that I no longer needed the nap to function through the evening! However, I didn’t understand the true physiological impact of sleep deprivation until I listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast with sleep specialist Matthew Walker. In addition to a myriad of other reasons, REM sleep is beneficial because it provides the brain and body an opportunity to flush out any harmful waste products in the tissues. In the absence of adequate sleep (at least 8 hours for most adults), this waste builds up over time and has been linked to various diseases. Getting sufficient sleep increases daytime productivity and extends life expectancy, which are two great reasons to prioritize it!
Even without the science to confirm my love for sleep, personal experience has taught me that sleep is an incredibly important recovery tool. I started to understand the benefits of consistent and sufficient sleep patterns when I started training as a competitive athlete. Previously, I was a typical class-CrossFitter, attending five classes per week with little extra work.
Recovering from a workout was relatively straightforward - some stretching and foam rolling, which took about ten minutes after each class. When I turned my focus to competing, the training volume increased along with the physical strain on my body. I needed a better recovery routine! I found that increased mobility work along with lifestyle adjustments, such as getting more sleep, impacted my ability to recover from a hard session and hit the next one with intensity. I saw that I was most mentally alert and powerful in training after 9-10 hours of sleep, in contrast to feeling sluggish and slow after just 7-8 hours.
I think back to my sleep habits in college and wonder what I could have accomplished with more nights of adequate sleep!
Science has shown that sleep is beneficial for everyone, not just for us elite athletes. But how can you manage the demands of life and still get enough sleep? Getting 9-10 hours of sleep may not be possible for all (even if I’ve convinced you of its importance!), so it’s really crucial to fall asleep easily at night instead of tossing, turning, and wasting those precious hours. For most of my life, I’ve been able to pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow. Recently, however, I’ve had trouble quieting my mind when the lights go out. Perhaps I’m pondering the general happenings of the day, mentally reviewing my to-do list, or falling victim to random thoughts that don’t belong in my head at midnight - nighttime restlessness can be so frustrating.
First I turned to natural sleep aids, meditation apps, and soothing sound effects, but none provided lasting results. My husband recommended CBD tinctures and although I was skeptical at first, the tincture was soothing and I fell asleep right away! It was an effective method, but unfortunately unsavory. The taste was pretty unpleasant, which isn’t the most conducive to relaxation. It wasn’t until I found Curaleaf Hemp’s Relax Tincture that the CBD oil became a nightly routine.
The CBD combined with vanilla and ylang-ylang essential oils gives the tincture an enjoyable taste and added relaxation benefits! It leaves a nice taste in my mouth and really mellows me out and helps me mentally unwind at night. I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles to decompress before bedtime but doesn’t want the morning grogginess of sleep meds!
If you’re looking to improve your nighttime routine and want to try the Relax Tincture for yourself, click here to shop. Also, please feel free to reach out via email if you have any questions or comments about this post! I’m not a sleep specialist by ANY stretch, but as a coach I love to help people maximize their potential and get the most out of life. Which, in my personal experience, starts with getting great sleep.