Raw Paleo Sleep Practice


One important factor of a Raw Paleo lifestyle is getting good sleep.  Overall health and wellness is interconnected and goes beyond the food and into sleep, water, sunlight, earthing, and more.

Let’s talk sleep!

Do you need caffeine in the morning?

Do you need an alarm clock in the morning?

Do you wake up tired?

America is sleep deprived and it’s affecting our overall health. The average American sleeps 6 hours a night and thinks it will be enough.  We think we feel fine and we get through our days.  Dr. Kirk Parsley studies show that sleep deprivation is the number one silent killer. Chronic sleep deprivation effects testosterone levels, thyroid, immune system, blood pressure, stress levels, adrenal health, weight gain, and aging.  Our epigenetic expression is also effected by the quality of the sleep we get.

                                                   ~The body regenerates while sleeping.~

Have you heard that sleep is our best medicine? I find this to be so true. I’m a totally different person when I don’t get enough sleep.  When I’m sleep deprived it affects my mood, decision making, attitude, weight, and beauty. However, I’ve found that my best decision making comes after a good night sleep.

You can improve your sleep by making it an intentional practice.  Remember we can either suppress our problems (with coffee) or address them. Tony Robbins says “Problems are a gift.” So let’s wake up, pun intended. 🙂

            ~“It’s not what you do once that matters; it’s what you do DAILY that makes the difference.” ~                                                                              

We spend a third of our life sleeping so lets make it important.

1. Give yourself a bedtime. 

Hunters and gatherers went to bed 2-3 hours after sunset. It’s not how many hours you sleep that counts but the time you go to sleep. The deepest most regenerative and healing sleep is between 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. I find it really helps to have a routine and go to bed at the same time every night.  Bedtime at 10 p.m. works great for me!

Tip: Get into a pattern of waking up at the same time everyday to set your internal alarm clock.

2. Stay out of blue light at night. 

Exposure to bright lights at night suppresses the natural sleep hormone melatonin. When it’s dark your body produces more melatonin. Melatonin is good for sleep but also an unsung protecting antioxidant.  Artificial light is something new we have in the modern world that contains blue light. Exposure to blue light at night comes from artificial house lights, t.v., computer screens, and phones.  Blue light signals the body to wake up and stimulates alertness.  There are blue light blocking glasses you can wear at night to reduce the blue light.  I wear my blue blockers 2-3 hours before bedtime. There is also an app for your computer and iPhone called flux that helps reduce blue light. I have 5  Himalayan Salt lamps throughout my home for lighting at night. Candles, red light bulbs, and fires also work for light.

                                                        ~Get A.M. Sunlight~

Another point I want to to bring up is getting sunlight before 10 a.m. is just as important as staying out of blue light at night. Exposing your eyes and skin to morning sunlight containing red, blue, and green light spectrums helps to reset your circadian rhythm and balance hormones.  It also helps boost moods, alertness, and energy.

3. Sleep in total darkness.

If you live in a suburb or city it’s good to block out the artificial light pollution from the street lights with black out drapes. Bright street lights can stimulate you enough for you to stay awake and alert. If you live in a rural area or are camping and sleeping under natural moonlight or stars that’s ok and won’t keep you up.  I live in the woods and keep my drapes open at night. I sleep under the moonlight and it doesn’t affect my sleep. I love it!

4. Keep your bedroom cool.

Temperature is as important as light is with setting circadian rhythms. A natural temperature cycle is cold in the morning, warm in the day, and cold in the evening. Ambient temperature in the bedroom while sleeping should be cool between 60-70 degrees. Temperatures in this range help decrease your core body temperature and you sleep better.  If insomnia is an issue, it’s possible your bedroom is too hot or too cold at night.

Practice in action:

Create your bedtime.  Make a routine to go to bed at the same time every night.

Staying out of blue light at night is key.

-Cover artificial lights in your room with electrical tape, for example alarm clocks.

-Getting natural blue light from sunlight before 10 a.m. resets your circadian rhythm.  You need full light during the day.

-Ambient temperatures should fluctuate during the day. Naturally ending with cooler at night.

Bonus Practice:

-Write down your to-do list before sleep.

-Think about 3 things you’re grateful for right before sleeping.

-Turn iPhone off or to airplane mode.

-Drink some warm raw milk and raw honey. 🙂

Goodnight my friends,

Melissa Henig




P.S. For more information on the Raw Paleo Lifestyle please contact melissa@rawpaleo.com