Sleep is the best drug on the planet, the secret sauce. Everything in our body and mind works better with proper quality sleep.
Whilst we are all individual, most people do well with a minimum of 7-8 hours uninterrupted sleep.
Not getting enough sleep increases your risk for chronic diseases such as; type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, memory loss, depression and weight gain! Studies have shown that just one night of sleep deprivation can make you as insulin resistant as a person with type 2 diabetes.
Your body does most of its repairing, recharging, detoxifying, restoring and healing whilst you sleep. If you don’t get enough of it, your body doesn’t do enough of it.
However, in times of anxiety - which many of us are experiencing some of at the moment - sleeping well can be more challenging as our sub-conscious is feeling unsettled. But it is more critical than ever as sleeping well boosts the immune system.
These are some of my top tips for a good night’s sleep:
1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule
Get up and go to bed at the same time, even on the weekends (that’s a tough one, right?)
Your body loves consistency and routine and the more you do it, the more normal and natural it will become.
2. Limit blue light in the evenings
Blue light is emitted from electronic devices and stimulates the brain, so try to stay away from them after about 7pm. If you want to watch TV (make it relaxing or funny NOT THE NEWS or anything say), or work on your computer (nothing stressful!), wear blue light emitting glasses. You can buy them online from amazon.
3. Create a self-care, evening routine
Journaling is a great activity to participate in before bed (to get things out of your head). I like the 6 minute journal.
Practice some gentle yoga stretches and deep breaths (to move stagnant energy).
4. Sleep in a cool room
You’ll sleep more soundly in a cool room because your body temperature naturally drops when you sleep. If the temperature in your environment stays too high, then it can be a bit of a physiological challenge for your body to get into an ideal state for restful sleep. Studies have found that optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60-68 degrees F. Anything too far above or below will likely cause some difficulty sleeping. So even in winter, keep a window a jar.
5. Eat dinner at least 2 hours before bed
Active digestion right before you head to bed diverts your body’s energy to digestion, instead of repair while you sleep, taking away from your body’s natural healing process. Eat enough at dinner so you don’t feel hungry before bed, but not so much that you feel stuffed and bloated.
6. Block out external lights & noise
It’s a well established fact that we sleep better in a dark environment, yet so many people aren’t taking full advantage of this. Having light sources of any type in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep patterns. Use an eye mask and block out as much light as you can, especially alarm clock glare or any other electrical devices as well as outside light. I have also found wearing ear plugs a game changer (and yes, I am a mum to two little ones! I can still hear them if they really need me).
7. Use essential oils
Therapeutic grade essential oils can really help with sleep disturbances. Some of my favourites are copaiba, vetiver and lavender. You can find out more in this e-book essential-oils-and-sleep.pdf
If you are interested in learning about natural ways to support your sleep please book a free 20 minute consultation with me, I would love to help you.