Why we sleep on sleep

Getting in z’s. Snoozing. Passing out. Hit the sack. A beloved child has many names. And a child we love is sleep. No matter if we like it or not it’s a necessity for our survival. Probably the most important part of life together with water.

This natural part of life has been an automatic process since the beginning of time, until now. We have invented light, we have distractions, we have more pressure at work, we are always connected to this thing called the internet. I mean to put it frankly, we have fucked it up. It’s a bigger challenge to sleep today and in this post, we will cover why we sleep on sleep, and how we can take charge of our sleep again.

Circadian rhythm.

You’ve probably heard about the circadian rhythm before, but if you haven’t don’t sweat it! Our circadian rhythm controls our wake/sleep cycle. Back in the days, like we’re talking hieroglyphs and mammoths, the sun was the only indicator of night and day. This made it easy for humans to have a pretty stable circadian rhythm by waking up with the sun and going to sleep as the sun sets.

But then our smart asses created light. And then the light bulb, and laptops and smartphones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful that we did but our circadian rhythm might be in the opposite favor. With light, and especially artificial light available to us around the clock we are now playing games with our natural melatonin production, the hormone responsible for controlling our feeling of tiredness.

How to be the master of your circadian rhythm:
  • Wake and bake at the same time. Well if you’re not baking scones every morning scratch the baking part. But, the key to keeping a healthy sleep cycle is to wake up around the same time every day. Yes, this means even on weekends! Our body is smart and it will program itself to wake and fall asleep at the same time. This is how some people don’t even need an alarm clock to wake up – their body just knows.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks 6 hours before bed. Caffeine slaps. It’s the juice of life. I love it dearly, but unfortunately it also stays in your body for 6 hours. Yup, that coffee you had with your 3 pm fika (swedes will know) still has half of its caffeine in your system by 9 pm. Naturally, this will make it harder to fall asleep which in turn makes it harder to get up at your call time.
  • Move. Exercise and movement, in general, is always a good idea and it also helps with regulating your sleep cycle. Just make sure you’re not getting a crazy workout in right before bed since this can have the opposite effect.
why we sleep on sleep

Red light blue light.

Participants of Squid Game get shot down when they move on red light, and we shoot ourselves when we go to sleep with blue light. This new phenomenon of blue light. We wake up to blue light, we work all day in front of it, and we go to sleep with it. If you share my terrible habit of endless TikTok scrolling before bed, you probably have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep. What blue light does is block our sleep hormone called melatonin which usually gets active when it gets dark. Since we have butchered the concept of darkness with artificial lights and especially blue light, we suppress the release of melatonin which in turn throws our circadian rhythm left, right, and side ways.

How to decrease your blue light exposure:
  • Put down your damn phone. Okay, this is pretty much stating the obvious but cuddling up with your phone and scrolling endless on TikTok isn’t the best way to fall asleep. And no, I’m not the perfect example here. Basically, we need to break this habit. Put a time limit on your most used social media apps or make sure you put your phone on airplane mode at a certain time each night.
  • Turn down your screen light. Sometimes we need to do work, and most of today’s work is done on one of these laptop thingies or even on your phone. What’s good about our devices is that we have the option to increase or decrease the screen light which lowers the exposure just a tiny bit. But hey, a tiny bit is better than no bit!

Sleep and digestion.

There’s no surprise that what we eat and drink does have an effect on our overall health and sleep is not the exception. Foods high in sugar and saturated fat before bedtime makes our insulin go cray cray and put a big strain on our digestion. What happens then when we sleep is that our digestion works on an all-time high, which can make it hard to fall asleep or to have a deep sleep. Another popular food group is alcohol. I know that it’s wrong to call it a food group, but some Friday nights beg to differ. There are people out there who claim that they like to chug a glass of wine before bed to “sleep better”. Hate to break it to you bestie, but alcohol is not the best tool for a good night’s sleep.

Foods to help you catch z’s.
  • Nuts. More specifically almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. What these nuts have in common is their high level of magnesium, a vitamin that can help us fall asleep easier.
  • Tryptophan. Trypto- what now? Tryptophan is an amino acid (a type of protein) that increases the production of melatonin. Foods high in tryptophan are turkey, chicken, eggs, and cheese.
  • Tea. A warming cozy cup of tea is the perfect picture of a sleepy beverage. Tea is an effective way to get into your sleep mode, but it heavily depends on what kind of tea you drink. You want to stick to caffeine free herbal teas such as chamomile, ginger, or peppermint teas.
why we sleep on sleeå

Hunger and sleep.

Just as eating too much before bedtime has a negative effect on sleep, going to bed starving isn’t really optimal either. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who are scared to eat past 7 pm since food magically turns into 5000 times the energy of what they actually are… To make this clear once and for all, eating food past a certain time will not make you gain or lose fat. So if you’re hungry before bedtime, please eat!

Hustle culture.

To finish off this post we have to talk about this hustle culture we’re currently living in. Real hustlers don’t sleep. Success doesn’t happen when you snooze, 5 am club, bla bla bla. Don’t get me wrong, if you wake up at 5 am every morning and feel great, amazing! Good for you! But to claim that everyone NEEDS to be doing this to be successful is just pure bullshit. And to the people who say “I can sleep when I’m dead”, I kindly say, well go and die then.

Sleep is extremely important for our health, just as regular exercise and a good diet. If you’re unhealthy and running on 4 hours of sleep every night you will eventually collapse. I might be wrong, but it’s hard to make moves when you’re dead. Find a routine that works for you. When are you most productive? What time is a good time for you to knock out and to rise? And never let those hustle mania idiots tell you that you have to live your life a certain way to become successful.

We live in a world with way more distractions than our dear ancestors ever could’ve dreamed of. Social media, Netflix releasing an entirely new season of a series, constantly being available at work… it’s safe to say that we have a ton of things that keep us busy with anything but sleeping. Insomnia, sleep paralysis, night terrors, and sleeping pills being subscribed are pretty much normalized today. We can’t change our world but we can do our best to make sleep a priority. Speaking as someone with insomnia myself, I know that this isn’t an easy task. But the first step is to normalize sleep. It’s okay if your friend wants to leave the cub earlier because they are tired. It’s okay to sleep in on a weekend or to cancel plans if you’re feeling exhausted and just need to get a good damn nap. Seriously. Go take a nap.

why we sleep on sleep






Things you didn’t know about your brain

Mental health. It’s a tricky thing. We can’t see it, we can’t really define it, but when it’s there, it’s there. It’s a constant battle between yourself and yourself, and when not acknowledged you slowly let these feelings contain you. What is mental health? How does it start and how does our brain work when it starts to anchor in a sneaky thought?

What are emotions and feelings?

Emotions and feelings are both responses to circumstances. How we respond to different situations is completely individual and can be based on a variety of things such as our personality, past traumas, anxiety, or habitual thought patterns. This is why feelings are such a tricky thing because nobody will experience the exact same emotional response to the same situation. Why is this important to know? Because when you understand why and what triggers your feelings, it’s easier for you to stop yourself in your track and go like “ok queen (or king), this is why you’re feeling this way”.


Thoughts becomes habits.

I’m the shit. I’m the absolute bombshell of the world. People should feel blessed to be breathing the same air as me. Those are the words I want you to burst out to yourself every morning. And when you feel in doubt, I want you to repeat them even louder! Our thoughts are sneaky, and they are shapeable. A bit too easy to shape, to be honest. Once you start a thought pattern it stays to grow and all of a sudden you’ve created new connections in your brain to either the positive or the negative.

It’s hard to tell someone with negative thoughts and poor mental health to “think positive”. “Fake it until you make it”. Honestly, if you’re not begging for a slap across the face it might be the worst thing you can say to a person in a bad mental state. So how can you break free from current negative thought patterns?

Recognize them. You feel out of shape, maybe both mentally and physically. You’re isolating yourself or slipping back into bad habits. The first step is always to recognize this. And become okay with the fact that you’re not on your a game right now.

2-minute window. A thought lives in your brain rent-free for around 2 minutes. What you decide to do with this thought after that is up to you. You can either let it sit there and consume you or you can switch it to a setting completely different. Even if you don’t believe it as you start thinking it, keep it for another 2 minutes and let that thought let loose in your brain instead.

Journal to trick your subconscious brain.

I preach journaling from the bottom of my heart. It’s extremely underrated and everyone should be doing it like two years ago already. I’m not talking about writing a 6-page essay about your day every night, but take 5 minutes every morning and write down how you are feeling and what you want from the day ahead. While you’re at it, add in some positive affirmations as well! Something simple as this subconsciously sets your brain up for a successful day. If you wanted your day to be filled with laughter, you’re more likely to actually bust out a few laughs during that day.


Identify your triggers.

Our brain is smart. It remembers situations that caused anxious feelings and will hold on to them with all its power. Why? Basic survival. If dogs trigger your anxiety the brain will continue to feel this just so you should stay alert in case you know, you die. Triggers can come from anywhere and be literally anything. It’s not an easy thing to identify these, especially if you’ve been living with them for a long time. It all comes down to awareness. As soon as you can identify your trigger it’s easier for you to start the work to rewire your brain’s emotional response. As mentioned before, our brain is very flexible and shapeable – in fancier terms known as brain plasticity. Knowing this you have the power to shape your brain into new habits, new thoughts, and a new state of being. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s doable.

Why does the brain hold onto negative thoughts?

It’s easier to be anxious than to walk on happy-go-lucky clouds every day. We remember negative situations better than positive ones. Why is it so hard to just be happy? As I briefly mentioned before, it’s all about survival. Humans have evolved through a lot of stressful environments where our survival literally depended on how well we adapted to these environments. Because of this, we needed to know what killed our mates, and this has shaped our brain to hold on to anxiety, just as a survival mechanism. Today we don’t need this as much since we’re not as likely to be eaten by a bear. Instead, we attach anxiety to other habits such as work, social gatherings, past traumas, you name it. It sucks, I know. But, this can also be a comforting thing to know. When anxiety strikes it’s just your brain trying to keep you alive.


It’s okay to not be okay.

Mental health is no joke and if you’re seriously feeling very down and have been for a while, please talk to a professional. Today it’s more common than we think that people are walking around with anxiety and depression every day. The perfect filtered social media and the pressure to be so damn great all the time is not making our current environment an easy place for our brains. Turning to help is not a sign of weakness, actually the opposite. We need to normalize even the “smallest” mental issues as serious. Go talk to someone. Start talking about mental health amongst your friend group, and if they think you’re lame for doing this – tell them to fuck off. In a polite, friendly manner of course.

The TikTok salmon rice bowl.

Nobody has missed the infamous salmon rice bowl by miss Emily Mariko circling the TikTok sphere like a cyclone in stormy weather. That this bowl is hyped is an understatement. Like it’s hyyyyped. Salmon, rice, mayo, and sriracha. Microwaved with an ice cube and eaten with chopsticks and see weed chips. Simplicity at its finest. While I won’t be showing you how to make this meal, Miss Emily Mariko can do this herself, I will break down just why this meal is so great. From a nutrition standpoint.

Salmon rice bowl
https://www.tiktok.com/@emilymariko/video/7013103700654689542 Credit: Emily Mariko/TikTok

Salmon and rice.

This combo is A1. OG. The most real MVP. Absolutely fabulous. With just these two ingredients we have a complete meal with the macronutrients, protein, carbs, and fat. Salmon provides both protein and healthy fat together with rice as a carb source.

When we eat meals that have such a balance of macros, and also from “good sources” we keep our insulin spikes on a steady level. This also leads to easier satiety and regulates our hunger hormones.


Can we just play with the thought about how many stores have had to order massive amounts of see weed chips after this video? I’m all for it! If any food deserves more hype it’s definitely seaweed. Not only does it add a nice crunch and wrap up your food in the most comforting bites, but it also packs so much nutrition. Omega 3 fats, antioxidants, vitamin k, and vitamin e. Small but almighty.

Eating with chopsticks.

I don’t know about y’all, but I find it extremely cozy to eat with chopsticks. Where applicable of course. I would try to scoop up my soup with them obviously, but they have their place for basically any other meal in my opinion.

In Asian cultures, chopsticks are the utensil standard. Besides being cozy it’s also a great way to slow down when eating. Too many people inhale their food without actually savoring and enjoying it. Add in chopsticks to this mix and you will most likely slow down. If you’re not some ninja that could kill people with chopsticks. Eating slowly also makes us recognize when we’re actually full, which can prevent overeating.

Kimchi for gut health.

Together with her salmon rice bowl, Emily eats avocado and kimchi. Avocado, as we know has its healthy fats and kimchi, this fermented goodness is a pure gift to our gut. Full of probiotics that support a healthy gut microbiome.

A healthy gut places a huge part in our immune system, fighting cancers, regulating our metabolism, and helping in anxiety and depression. The gut and kind connection are real and a reason why you often feel sad or anxious when you’re having stomach issues.

Normalize normal meals.

What’s really refreshing with Emily’s salmon rice bowl is not really the originality, because we’ve seen salmon rice bowls before. But the fact that it is just that, salmon with rice, condiments, and toppings. No cauliflower rice substitutes, not trying to make the meal “low carb” or “fat-free”. It’s a normal, healthy meal. Not only is this a normal meal, but also a leftover meal. I’m all here for it!

So the real question is, how are you eating your salmon rice bowl?