Hack 3: think about what you’re putting in your body
I know I just talked about healthy eating, but I’m going to thrash the subject here again because it really is that important! Probiotic drinks are such an easy and refreshing way to practice self-care; I highly recommend Nexba Mixed Berry Kombucha, it’s simply the best! Another variety I find super light and lovely is Nexba Watermelon & Raspberry ACV Soda; I guarantee it’s like nothing you’ve tasted before. Probiotic drinks are such an easy hack for getting more probiotics into your diet. Nexba Cherry Cola Probiotic Soda has 1 BILLION probiotics in each can and tastes just like a normal soft drink… just way better for you!
But don’t take my word for it; the proof is in the pudding. I love Nexba myself and find their probiotic range a really convenient and tasty way of looking after my body and mind. You don’t even have to glaze over reading all the research exploring the link between sleep and gut health; just try them for yourself, you’ll soon get why I’m so enthusiastic about this. All it will take is one sweet night of dreamboat slumber to get you hooked.
Hack 4: balance your brain
It’s not just Eleven from Stranger Things who outputs crazy patterns when their scalp is hooked up to scary-looking machines. Your brain has its own legit electrical activity, which is faint, but can be measured using sensors positioned at key locations on your head. This is called an EEG, or electroencephalogram, which is science-speak for checking your brainwaves.
That’s right, the patterns of electrical activity in your brain do actually group themselves into wave formations, and that’s the wavy trace you see on the paper coming out of the machine. When you’re awake, subtle pulses of electricity travel through your brain at a frequency of about 13-35Hz, meaning 13-35 waves per second.
Neuroscientists have labeled this characteristic set of frequencies ‘beta waves’ – nothing to do with beta testing, except for the word. It’s just a label for that group of brainwaves. When you close your eyes, the electrical pulses slow down to about 8-12Hz, and this mode is called ‘alpha’.
When you are in the deepest stage of sleep, your brain’s electrical activity slows to just 1-4Hz, a bandwidth our Greek-loving geeks have named ‘delta’. You can actually practice becoming better at shifting from one frequency of brainwaves to another. And once you’ve learned to tune across from channel to channel with a minimum of effort, it becomes much easier for your brain to shift into the delta mode associated with deep sleep.
Hack 5: mind how you go
As real time imaging enables neuroscientists to literally see what’s on your mind, we are learning more and more about how thoughts and emotions interact with changes in our body chemistry. There is an increasing volume of evidence pointing to the value of mindfulness for sleep, so embrace your inner Jedi and try a simple meditation exercise!
It can be as easy as closing your eyes, focusing on your breath and reaching out around you with your other senses. (Moving rocks using your mind and adorable baby Yoda optional!)