I have been sleeping SO WELL lately. Sleep is something that has pretty much always been a challenge for me…I remember lots of staring at my ceiling as a kid, and had some pretty wild dreams when I was a kid as well. In college I realized how light of a sleeper I am, and pretty much always slept with earplugs. I’m the same way when it comes to hotels (which I spend plenty of time in). I never sleep well my first night in a new place, and although research shows there are biological reasons for that, I am always searching for ways to help myself sleep better.
Lately I’ve been taking Ashwagandha at the recommendation of the holistic nurse practitioner I saw earlier this year. Well + Good is one of my favorite wellness websites, and their piece on Ashwagandha is a great intro to this root. Nutrition Stripped is a great resource as well. Ashwagandha is said to help protect the body against stress and fortify the body in its response to stress. With its calming and soothing properties, it is a great option for people who are looking for a little more support during stressful times. I don’t plan to take it year-round, but I have been taking it since the beginning of March because March and April are very busy months at work. I will likely stop taking it in May, and then use it during times of the year when I am traveling or very busy. I take it in a caplet form for ease of consumption but it is sold in many different forms including a powder you can add to your smoothies. I started out taking it in the morning, but recently switched to taking it at night after reading on one of my fave blogs who noted that she takes it at night after she teaches nighttime yoga classes (it’s number 8 on her list of wellness hacks).
So far, it seems to be a great addition to my daily routine! I swear it has helped me sleep so much better, especially when I work out after work. Usually working out after 4 pm can get me wired, so I find that Ashwagandha helps slow me down a bit and wind down for bed. I generally take it after dinner with a glass of water, and I also take some daily migraine meds and 400 mg of Magnesium citrate at night. The magnesium can help also with migraines, and mag citrate is much easier on my gut than mag oxide which is very common in vitamin stores, so if you find yourself sensitive to magnesium check what kind you’ve been taking. I get my magnesium citrate at Whole Foods. While I don’t think either of these supplements is a magic bullet for curing my sleeplessness and headaches, I think they have been working really well in combination with my active lifestyle to help minimize my headaches and help me recover more quickly from any migraines that do strike.
Now, I am not a doctor, so please check with your medical practitioner before incorporating any of these into your routine, especially if you are doing so for specific health concerns. Like I said earlier, I started taking both of these at the recommendation of medical professionals, so always consult yours!