We’re going to dive right into three effective ways to hack your sleep and improve your overall well-being. Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. The method we’ll be discussing today is called the 3-2-1 method, developed by the brilliant Dr. Steven Cabral. I highly recommend checking out his work, and I’ll provide links in the notes below for your convenience. So, let’s jump into it!
The 3-2-1 Method
The first step of the 3-2-1 Method is to stop eating three hours before bedtime. Ideally, you should aim for four to five hours, but find what works best for you. Personally, I’ve found that a three to four-hour gap is a sweet spot. But why is it important to avoid eating right before bed? Well, your body needs time to digest the meal before you sleep.
Think of it like this: when you eat, your body activates various processes to digest the food, such as blood flow, oxygenation, and peristalsis (the movement of the digestive tract), to name a few. By giving yourself a few hours before bed without eating, you allow your body to focus on relaxation and rest instead of being preoccupied with digestion. Makes sense, right?
The second step, two hours before bed, is to stop drinking water. Now, as we age, our bladder capacity tends to decrease, and it can be challenging to sleep through the night without interruptions. To address this, try to consume a significant portion of your daily water intake earlier in the day. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for around 75 ounces of water. Adjust this based on your environment and physical activity levels. Additionally, be mindful of evaporation and nighttime sweating, which contribute to water loss. By tapering off your water intake around 2 or more hours before bed, you give your body enough time to empty the bladder before sleep, potentially reducing the need to wake up in the middle of the night.
The final step, one hour before bed, is to shut down all blue light sources. Blue light, emitted by electronic devices like cell phones, laptops, and TVs, can disrupt your circadian rhythm and signal to your body that it’s still daytime. This can make it harder to relax and fall asleep.
Ideally, avoid using these devices one hour before bedtime. If you must watch TV, dim the screen or look into blue light filters or glasses. Minimizing exposure to blue light helps signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
Now that we’ve covered the 3-2-1 method, let’s shift gears and discuss an unexpected topic: pink Himalayan sea salt.
PSA about Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
You may be wondering why you should be concerned about it. Well, it turns out that not all pink Himalayan sea salt is created equal. Some companies mine this salt using explosives, which can contaminate it with harmful substances like lead, uranium, aluminum, and more. While not every company follows this practice, it’s essential to research the source of your salt.
I recently came across a researcher who has been reporting on this issue since 2017, and she provides comprehensive information on various brands and their lead content. I’ll include the links to her resources in the notes below. One brand she recommends, which I personally purchased, has lower lead levels and claims to mine salt by hand. Conduct your own research and choose a brand that aligns with your safety preferences.
It’s important to note that our bodies need sodium, especially if we follow a whole foods diet and cook most of our meals from scratch. Sodium is one of the electrolytes that our body needs to function correctly, including the body’s ability to absorb water (if you find you can never get enough to drink, you may be lacking sodium). And if you’re eating a whole foods, minimally processed diet, you are likely missing essential electrolytes, which can also lead to fatigue.
If you have hypertension or have been told to steer clear of salt, follow your doctor’s advice. Always do your own research, as well, and never be afraid to ask questions!
I hope you found this helpful and insightful! Don’t forget to share this blog post or podcast with a friend!