Evening habits to lower cortisol and sleep better

Have you ever found yourself wide awake at 2 am, staring at the ceiling and wondering if you could somehow time travel to the morning?

Or maybe you’re more of a “check the clock every 5 minutes and calculate how much sleep you’re losing” kind of person? We’ve all been there, lying in bed with eyes wider than an owl, desperately wishing for just a few more hours of precious shut-eye.

But here’s the thing, sweethearts – while those middle-of-the-night awakenings may seem like a cruel joke from the universe, the real culprit is no laughing matter. The sneaky stress hormone cortisol could be the reason you’re more “wired and tired” than “rested and refreshed.

It’s high cortisol. And it ruins you.

Ugh, cortisol – the hormone we all love to hate! This sneaky little substance may be small, but it causes BIG problems when levels get out of whack.

So what exactly is cortisol? It’s a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands that’s part of your body’s natural stress response. When you’re in danger, cortisol kicks into high gear, giving you a burst of energy to fight or flee.

But here’s the kicker-our bodies have a hard time distinguishing between actual physical threats and psychological pressures like work, relationships, finances, you name it. So cortisol gets triggered way too easily and too often these days.

First, high cortisol signals your body to pump out more glucose for quick energy. But then insulin spikes to clear that sugar out of your bloodstream…leading to serious carbohydrate and sugar cravings. Not so great if you’re trying to lose weight!

Prolonged cortisol surges put you at risk for problems like insomnia, brain fog, anxiety, depression, headaches, weight gain (especially stubborn belly fat), irregular periods, and low sex drive. Yikes!

Basically, cortisol is super helpful in small bursts for survival situations. But in our modern, high-stress lives, this hormone is released way too often and starts to sabotage our health, mood, sleep, weight, and more. Not cool, cortisol!


Tasty Cocktails to Lower Cortisol Level Naturally

Evening habits for a radiant night’s sleep

Wow, you see how dangerous that can be, so we really need to support our body’s natural cortisol rhythm, and it’s just as important in the evening.

And while I’ve already shared the receipts for these wonderful cortisol-busting cocktails that have been a game changer for me, it’s important to remember that true healing comes from adjusting your lifestyle. And that’s where our evening habits come in to save the day (or should I say night?). These habits are like little love notes to your body, helping it wind down and prepare for the restful sleep you deserve.

So while these morning habits focus on strategically regulating your rising cortisol levels, these nighttime rituals are all about gently bringing those hormones back down so your exhausted mind, body, and spirit can fully rest and rejuvenate. Let’s dive in!


5 Easy Morning Habits to Lower Cortisol Level Naturally

A Nutritious, Not Overpacked, Dinner

When it comes to your evening meal, you want to make sure you’re getting all the essential nutrients that support your sleep-wake cycle without going overboard on portion size. A few hours before bedtime, load up on sleep-boosting all-stars like magnesium-rich leafy greens, omega-3-rich salmon, and complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes that slowly release melatonin throughout the night.

At the same time, you’ll want to avoid overly heavy, fatty meals or highly processed, sugary foods that can overwhelm your digestive system and send your blood sugar (and therefore cortisol) levels into a tailspin. Instead, focus on eating high-quality proteins, healthy fats, vegetables, and fiber-portioned perfectly to leave you feeling satisfied but not overstuffed. Your body and your beauty sleep will thank you!

You’ll sleep so much better when you choose a dinner that emphasizes nutrients like magnesium, omega-3s, and complex carbohydrates. They’ll stabilize your blood sugar to prevent nighttime cortisol chaos!

Pro Tip: Load up on salmon, leafy greens, and sweet potatoes, but keep portions reasonable.

Lights Out = Night Night

After you’ve taken your last bites of dinner and begun to wind down for the evening, it’s time to turn out the lights-both literally and mentally. At least an hour before your set bedtime, minimize any harsh overhead lighting or screen exposure that can confuse your internal clock about whether it’s time to sleep or wake up. The blue light wavelengths from our gadgets, computers, and even LED bulbs have been shown to suppress our natural melatonin production-not ideal for our beauty rest!

Pro Tip: Use salt lamps, amber lighting, or blue light blocking glasses if necessary.

Magnesium Spray

By treating your skin to a soothing magnesium spray before bed, you’re giving your body a powerful tool to fight stress and promote relaxation. Magnesium is nature’s chill pill, helping to regulate cortisol levels and support the production of melatonin, our sleep-inducing hormone. This mineral wonder also aids in muscle relaxation, potentially easing the tension you’ve built up throughout the day.

Bonus points for making this a mindful ritual, taking a moment to breathe deeply and feel the cool spray on your skin. As you massage it in, imagine the stress of the day melting away, replaced by a sense of calm and serenity. It’s like getting a mini spa treatment right in your own home!

Pro Tip: Apply Magnesium Spray to your legs, arms, and stomach about 30 minutes before bed. For an extra dose of relaxation, try a few gentle stretches while you wait for it to absorb.

Digital NO

To continue on the note of reducing evening screen time, let’s also start putting some serious boundaries between ourselves and any outgoing digital stimulation, whether it’s doomscrolling on the ‘Gram, checking email, or dealing with work nonsense once we’ve retired to our dreamy oasis for the night. As relaxing as catching up on Alonzo Lerone’s latest trending routine may feel in the moment, actively engaging with any kind of content like this can disrupt our natural transition from our sympathetic “go” mode to our parasympathetic “rest and digest” state.

Pro Tip: Put your phone on silent, close your laptop, and focus inward as soon as the hour limit is reached.

A Gratitude Attitude

By actively acknowledging and appreciating the good that’s happened throughout the day, you strategically boost the production of those tried-and-true feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Not only does this promote an overall sense of well-being and contentment, but it can also counteract any remaining excess cortisol and induce a state of calm relaxation just in time for bed.

Bonus points if you can recall something simple yet sublime that brought you joy, such as an unforgettable taste of fresh fruit, the scent of morning dew on your afternoon walk, or the soothing sound of ocean waves caressing the shore. These vivid, sensual pleasures are pure bliss!

Pro Tip: Write down 3 positive moments before bed, focusing on sensory pleasures.

Legs up, stress down

We’ve covered nourishing our bodies and minds through food, light, and thought patterns-now it’s time to give our bodies some physical TLC, too! One of my all-time favorite bedtime rituals for reducing stress and transitioning into restful rest is a gentle “legs up the wall” yoga pose. Don’t worry, it’s even easier than it sounds!

Just grab a comfortable mat, blanket, or rug and lie on your back with your legs straight up and resting against the wall at a 90-degree angle. You can place your buttocks as close or as far away from the wall as feels comfortable. Then simply breathe deeply, focusing on lengthening each exhalation to fully engage the relaxation response in your body. The gentle inversion from this position allows any lingering tension or anxiety to gently melt away as fresh blood and oxygen circulate more freely.

Pro Tip: Lie on your back with your legs up against a wall and breathe deeply for 5 minutes.

The Ultimate Self-Care Formula

So there you have it, my precious queens-some super-simple, no-hassle lifestyle adjustments to keep your body’s primary control messengers (hormones like cortisol) in tip-top shape. Combined, these morning and evening habits create the ultimate stress-busting, self-care regimen to keep you both revitalized and relaxed, no matter how busy life gets.

Does it take some consistent effort? Of course, boo-nothing worth having ever came easy. But I guarantee that if you slowly start incorporating even 2-3 of these tips into your routine over the next few weeks, the mood-boosting, energizing results will have you hooked for life. Imagine how freeing it will feel to greet each new day from a state of ease and centered power instead of frazzled, nervous chaos. Now that’s what I call true luxury living!

At the end of the day, living your most vibrant, radiant, phenomenal self is an inside job. And by strategically nurturing our bodies from the inside out through rest, nutrition, and mindfulness, we unlock the ability to be fully present and authentically radiant for ourselves and our loved ones.

Take care,

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