herramientas para dormir mejor

tools to sleep better

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As we saw in the article 'Road to deep rest', the importance of a good night's rest causes our body to repair itself and the brain to process all the information received to acquire new knowledge.

The elements with the greatest impact on your circadian rhythm and, therefore, on your rest, are: light , stress and food . In this sense, our adjustments must always aim to improve the relationship with each of these aspects.

1. Strategies to coordinate with sunlight

  • Expose yourself to sunlight as soon as possible , not only to synchronize your clock, but because it is an ideal time to synthesize Vitamin D. This vitamin regulates the conversion of tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter with a fundamental role in regulating mood, memory, desire and sexual function. Many people go to a psychologist to treat a supposed depression when really all they need is to regulate their biorhythms.
  • Try to avoid blue light from screens after 8 pm , whether from the computer or from the television, they inhibit the production of melatonin. If you have no choice but to finish work at night, you can use glasses that block blue light, they are not the most aesthetic thing in the world but they work. Another option is to install one of the applications that are available to reduce the amount of blue light emitted by the screen.
  • Keep the room temperature cool (15-20º), remember that body temperature drops at night by reducing physical and brain activity. It is another important factor that will help us have a restful sleep .
  • When you go to bed, keep the room dark . The amounts of light that pass through our eyelids can inhibit the synthesis of melatonin by 30-50% , affecting the quality of sleep.

2. Strategies for stress management

Cortisol (a hormone released in response to stress) begins to be secreted early in the morning (it's our internal alarm clock!) and should decrease as the day progresses as melatonin increases. However, our rhythm of life sometimes prevents this drop in cortisol, causing the person to maintain a physiological state of alert that prevents them from secreting melatonin to prepare their body and mind for rest.

You can help:

  1. Slowly get rid of the alarm clock . The alarm clock increases the cortisol hormone by one hundred percent compared to the natural awakening. We can all agree that there are better ways to start your day than with an alarm designed to make you jump out of bed. Start by setting an alarm tone that simulates a sunrise or a natural awakening. Ideally, try not to depend on technology to wake us up. Scientific evidence corroborates that we can directly affect the time we wake up and have a fixed sunrise time with an oscillation of +/- 15 minutes.
  2. Meditate or do any activity that relaxes you: cooking, painting, a Yoga class, there are a thousand options ;)
  3. A good relaxing bath will not only produce changes in your body temperature, but it is a primitive signal indicating to your body that the sun is hiding.
  4. Avoid training close to your bedtime . Exercise does not stop being another type of stress so, if you have no choice but to train at this time, make sure to do a good load of carbohydrates after training to minimize the impact of cortisol.
  5. Pick up a good book instead of hooking up to Netflix or Masterchef right before bed.
  6. Take a supplement: There are natural sleeping pills that help you without having any contraindications. You can be the contribution you need to have a more restful sleep.

3. Nourish your sleep

Science confirms what common sense indicates, what we eat before going to sleep has an impact on our rest.

  1. If you have trouble sleeping, try accompanying your dinner with a complex carbohydrate ; tubers or a whole grain or pseudocereal such as buckwheat or quinoa. Carbohydrates optimize the regulation of leptin (satiety hormone that reaches its maximum level between 1 and 3 in the morning ), maximize the absorption of tryptophan and help reduce cortisol. Intermittent fasting, so fashionable lately and with its multiple benefits, is causing problems with falling asleep when it is not managed properly. The feeling of going to bed hungry generates anxiety and stress. Therefore, it is important to always receive advice to manage properly and compensate for possible deficiencies if you intend to introduce the intermittent fasting strategy on a daily basis. It is important that each person choose the tool and the way to implement it that best suits their lifestyle to avoid causing collateral damage such as sleep problems.
  2. Eliminate the consumption of exciting substances after 4:00 p.m. such as coffee (caffeine), tea (theine) or chocolate (theobromine) that increase adrenaline and interfere with sleep.
  3. Add to your diet foods rich in tryptophan such as eggs, oily fish, legumes, dairy products, among others. It is interesting to combine them with others that contain vitamin B6 for greater control of anxiety.
  4. Includes foods rich in magnesium such as quinoa, almonds, avocado. Magnesium helps rest (1) and muscle relaxation.
  5. Eat foods rich in zinc and vitamin B6 . These two micronutrients act in synergy with magnesium to promote relaxation.
  6. Regulate biorhythms through intermittent fasting. We are programmed to live during the day and sleep at night.
  7. Eat dinner early , when there is still sunlight or at least three hours before going to bed. Melatonin begins to be released in the dark. This hormone interferes with the action of insulin, which is why we tolerate carbohydrates worse at night.

4. Supplements?

Improving our biological clock involves regulating, first of all, our sleep hygiene, eating habits and stress. However, it is worth exploring some options that exist when these small-big changes are not enough:

  1. Glycine : non-essential amino acid, the main amino acid of collagen, with a calming effect on the central nervous system.
  2. GABA : neurotransmitter that inhibits neuronal activity, contributing to motor control and regulating anxiety mechanisms. It plays an important role in behavior, cognitive focus, and the body's response to stress.
  3. 5 HTP : natural amino acid and chemical compound, which acts as a precursor for serotonin and melatonin. Provides well-being, relaxation and rest. Serotonin is a precursor of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep conciliation and better rest.
  4. Magnesium : main mineral, among other effects, for its effective action against fatigue and tiredness. Improves the functioning of the bone, nervous and muscular systems, inducing relaxation .
  5. Melatonin : this hormone, as we have been pointing out, is involved in the natural sleep cycle. It provides relief from insomnia and jet lag without generating dependency as its levels do not decrease after regular use nor does it leave a feeling of lightheadedness after ingestion. Its low toxicity and its powerful capacity to improve rest make it the most direct way to supplement , always monitoring the dose and prolonged exposure to this supplement.


1- Durlach J , Pagés N, Bac P , Bara M, Guiet-Bara A. Biorhythms and possible central regulation of magnesium status, phototherapy, darkness therapy and chronopathological form of magnesium depletion. Magnes Res 2002;15(1-2):49-66
2- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4720388/

3- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22564396/

4- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18985537/

5- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/blogs/blog/250015.stm

6- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15231997/

7- https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1479-8425.2007.00262.x

8- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12030424/

9- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11068941/

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