Grab some tissues and the antihistamines, pronto!
In a world full of valuable objects including technology, money and fast paced fashion, perhaps the most valuable thing we own is not material, but how we feel. Something that can’t be bought is time and so often we feel there is never enough time in our busy schedules to finish our duties or have some time to ourselves.
Living in such a world where everything moves so fast, we find ourselves unable to switch off for a good night’s rest, waking in the morning unsatisfied with our mediocre sleep and the commitments of the day ahead.
Sleep is valuable to our brains and bodies. Not only do we rest when we sleep, but we are allowing ourselves to unwind and our bodies to heal. When we lack sleep, we lack energy, focus and the ability to get through the day smoothly.
Unfortunately, we could be hindering our sleeping success without even realising it, so take a look through our top tips to help you get a better sleep.
Give up the gadgets
Start to put away the gadgets before you get into bed. Reading from anything that has a backlight like your phone, computer, or tablet can suppress your melatonin production, which makes it harder to get to sleep. Turning off the TV and laying in your bed without the distractions makes it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Ditch the afternoon coffee
You might think you’re immune to caffeine by now, but it’s stopping you from getting to sleep. Snacks like chocolate also contain hidden amounts of caffeine, so avoiding dessert may actually help you sleep better.
Schedule in regular exercise
Regular exercise is proven to help you sleep better, as long as it’s not too close to bedtime. Morning exercise can help to wake you up and prepare for you for the day, but aim to finish intense afternoon exercise three or more hours before you’re due to call it a night.
Create a sleeping routine
Humans like to get into a habit, and sleeping is no different. Working with your routine, getting to sleep and getting up at the same time everyday can help you sleep better. This also includes limiting daytime naps to ensure that you can get a good quality sleep when you hop into bed at night.
Image via cherryflex.com
Having trouble sleeping? You may need to have a look at your diet. Healthy, varied diet is important for good quality of sleep and there are foods that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Almonds and walnuts both contain tryptophan, an amino acid which helps with the production of melatonin and serotonin (hormones responsible for regulating your sleep cycle).
Cherries, especially tart cherries or sour cherries, are a natural source of melatonin and also a good source of Vitamin C and potassium, which are nutrients promoting healthy sleep. A research from the Louisiana State University found that drinking tart cherry juice twice a day can help insomnia sufferers increase sleep time by close to 90 minutes a day.
Carbohydrates make the tryptophan available to the brain, that’s why a light carbohydrate snack before bed can make you sleepy. Try some oatmeal, an oat cookie, a bowl of cereal or whole-grain crackers.
Green leafy vegetables
Veggies like kale, broccoli and spinach are a rich source of calcium, another essential nutrient for good sleep, so don’t forget to add some salad to your dinner!
We all need time to wind down and a cup of herbal tea can be an enjoyable part of your bedtime ritual. Chamomile, passionflower and lemon balm are well known for their relaxing qualities.
When it comes to changing your diet to improve your sleep, also consider avoiding caffeine later in the day and large meals too close to bedtime. Avoid fatty processed foods at night, too, they put high demands on your digestive system and contribute to a restless night. Alcohol, contrary to the common believe is not a great sleep helper either. A drink or two may make you feel sleepy, but a few hours later it will cause wakefulness and discomfort.
Image by Hans via pixabay.com
We all need it. Many of us don’t get enough of it. And, at times, it seems to allude us completely – but sleep is basically the single most important thing in our lives. Without it, it doesn’t matter how well you eat, how much exercise you get or how successful you are, you will suffer. So in aid of helping you to sleep better – and more often – here are our top tips:
- Turn off all your technology an hour before bedtime. The blue lights radiated from your iPhone and laptops stimulate your mind, so no more checking Facebook and emails whilst in bed!
- Reduce stimulating foods. Brown Paper Bag Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill (www.thebrownpaperbag.com.au) says to cut the coffee, tea, chocolate and sugary desserts, as well as heavy meals rich in animal fats or anything highly processed. “Foods such as pepitas, sesame seeds, peanuts, lentils, oats and fish rich in nourishing fats such as salmon and trout are high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid for quality rest as it polays an imperative role in the production of melatonin – our key hormone for sleep,” says Jacqueline. “After evening meals, aiim to avoid sugar laden treats and head for the warming pot of herbal tea instead.”
- Get your beauty sleep. Taking Qsilica Beauty Sleep Tablets 30 minutes before bed will calm your muscles and mind thanks to the natural ingredients, inc. valerian root, tart cherry and hops. Use alongside Qsilica Beauty Sleep Night Cream on your face and neck as a moisture barrier to enhance your skin’s cellular regeneration. (www.qsilica.com.au)
- Keep cool. Bodies sleep better when you’re slightly cool, and we do heat throughout the night so keep pyjamas light and breezy and find bed sheets that works for you – we like linen or high-thread cotton for breathability and texture.
- Create rituals. Read a passage of a book, meditate, do some relaxing yoga or prepare your outfit for the day ahead. No matter what your ritual is, repeating a non-stimulating act before bed every night will put your mind into sleep mode.
Sometimes drifting off to sleep isn’t as easy as counting sheep or even relaxing with a good book. But did you know that eating too early can also contribute to a bad sleep cycle?
Whenever you find it difficult to drift peacefully to sleep, tick a few of these options off your list before letting your nerves get the better of you.
1. Keep consistent
One of the best ways to keep your body to a regular sleeping pattern is to schedule out your evening. This includes eating dinner before 7pm, showering just before bed, and avoiding those long, romantic trips to the fridge late at night.
2. Take a bath
A soothing bath before bed can help you ease into sleep, especially if you’ve had a tiring day at work or school. A detox bath uses crystals which resolve a number of problems such as bloating, back pain, allergies, PMS, and can help you relax before hitting the sack.
Who knew that juice could help you to sleep better? Any drink with vanilla as the main ingredient will soothe your entire body, and get you relaxed for the evening ahead. Cherry juice is also another amazing ingredient since they are packed with melatonin, this is the hormone which regulates our sleep cycles. Who knew!
4. Stop drinking caffeine
If you find that you’re wide awake when it’s time for bed, then the caffeine is probably responsible for this. Stop drinking caffeine up to 6 hours before going to bed, since it can keep you up for hours on end! Stick to tea if you want something warm and relaxing late at night, but remember even tea has a touch of caffeine as well.
Why count sheep the next time you’re wide awake at 3am? Below are just a few late-night exercises which are designed to relax your entire body and mind.
Goddess Stretch – Lie down flat on your back with your knees bent at the sides. Extend your arms outwards and push the soles of your feet together. This should relax your entire body, and keep your mind clear.
Child’s Pose – Sit on your knees and push your chest down onto the bed. Extend your arms outwards while you hold the pose and breathe.
6. Change your bedding
Sometimes a change in the atmosphere will help to bring on better sleep. Fluff your pillows, change your sheets, and most importantly – change your pillowcase every week. This will lead to less breakouts on your face, and also help you sleep a lot better.
7. Log off
Avoid television, tablets, and mobile phones late at night, since this could unintentionally be keeping your brain stimulated. Dim the lights, and read a book or magazine if you want to relax.
8. Don’t drink alcohol late at night
Stop drinking alcohol at least 3 hours before going to sleep, since it is both a stimulant and a depressant. If you don’t have a choice in the matter, drink at least one glass of water before going to bed, since it will try and flush the alcohol out of your system.
9. Follow your internal alarm
No one can tell you once it’s time to go to sleep – it’s something you have to find out for yourself. Whilst it’s always better to get ready for better in the early evening, sometimes this ritual doesn’t help for a better sleep. Once you feel sleepy, turn everything off and get into bed.
10. Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach
Whether you had an early dinner or just skipped out on dessert, going to bed on an empty stomach is never a wise idea. Have a glass of water if you’re feeling peckish, and try and avoid eating so early in the future.
What are some of your tips for better sleep?
Image via CW