Simple Tips For A Good Night Sleep
Did you know that good sleep is an essential pillar for good health? Poor sleep can contribute to everything from food cravings to chronic health conditions. So, it’s important to get the best sleep you can.
Time your caffeine right
There’s nothing wrong with enjoy caffeine in moderation, whether it be that latte or green tea. But caffeine can stay in your system for a good amount of time.
The half-life of caffeine – how long it takes to eliminate half of the caffeine – is around 5 hours. Think about it, if you have a double-shot coffee at 3pm, you still have the equivalent of one shot of coffee in your system by 8pm.
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, making the individual more alert, increasing cognitive function and enhancing physical performance; not the sort of thing you want when you need to sleep.
Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. This comes down to how quickly you metabolise it – some people can still feel wired after 6+ hours. If you’re experiencing sleep issues, try keeping your coffee to the morning for a few weeks.
Minimise any bright light at night
When we used to live in caves, the sun going down would be the end of our day. But when we come home these days, we have bright lights in every room.
If you’re exposed to bright light, your body thinks that it’s daytime. This can switch off production of your main sleep chemical, melatonin. Therefore, when you go to lie down in the dark, it can take hours for your body to get the message that it’s time to sleep. This doesn’t mean you have to go stumbling around in the dark. But you might want to switch from overhead lights to lamps in the evening and turn off any lights that aren’t necessary.
The same goes for technology like TV, tablets and smartphones. It’s best to have a minimum of 30 minutes tech-free before bed. It is best to remove electronic devices from the bedroom. Besides emitting electromagnetic radiation, which is not conducive to sleep, televisions emanate a bright artificial light, which can confuse the brain about wake and sleep times (especially if watched in bed or close to bed time). Clocks can cause distraction and anxiety about time, if not having one is too inconvenient, then at least turn them away from the bed, or pop them in a bedside draw.
If it is really necessary for you to continue to use technology at night, for example, a business owner; blue-light blocking apps and programs like f.lux and Twilight are a good safe guard to use to reduce the effect of the bright artificial light.
Find a way to de-stress
A common cause of poor sleep is high stress levels. You lie down for the night, only to have a million thoughts and to-do items rush through your mind.
There are dozens of ways to reduce stress naturally – it depends on what you prefer. Some ideas might be:
- Talking with a partner or friend about your day
- Tai chi
- Sipping a cup of herbal tea
- Having a warm shower
- Going for a walk around the block
- Read a chapter of a book
- Diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing which flips your body from the flight or fight response to the more relax and rejuvenate system. By focusing on your breathe you slow your breathing, heart rate and distract your mind from its racing thoughts. Read more about it here
Create a night ritual
Habits and routine can tell our bodies what we’re likely to do next. A good way to ‘train’ your body to sleep at the correct time is to have a routine that you do each night before bed.
This routine can be as little as 30 minutes. Maybe you have a shower and change into your pyjamas, then make a cup of sleep-blend tea. As you sip your tea, you might review your to-do list for the following day. Maybe you set out your clothes or perhaps making lunches for the next day while your tea infuses.
If you make small habits that support sleep part of your regular routine, you’re more likely to get a good night sleep on a regular basis.
If you’re constantly struggling to sleep, it’s important to create a diet and lifestyle to support good sleep. If you would like to know more about how you can address some of the issues surrounding your disordered sleep, make a booking to see me now.
Drinking a shot of tart cherry juice, cottage cheese on a cracker or eating a handful of walnuts before bed can boost melatonin naturally!