WORLD SLEEP DAY 15 MAR 2019
Those of us that think we sleep well tend to take sleep for granted – it’s just something we do at the end of every day. But for some people, a good night’s sleep is an elusive fantasy – something which is desired and longed for but rarely achieved.
Yet a lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can have a significant negative impact on all aspects of our health and wellbeing. Recent research is showing just how important sleep is. For example, poor sleep is associated with poor cognitive function, a higher risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and decreased performance at work.
Researchers are also looking at the link between poor sleep and the development of Alzheimer’s.
So this is serious stuff, and a few simple changes can significantly improve the quality and quantity of your sleep:
1. Your bedroom should be as dark and quiet as possible. Fit blackout blinds or curtains.
2. Banish all electrical equipment from the bedroom. Many people don’t realize that they have a heightened sensitivity to EMF’s (electromagnetic frequencies) emitted by mobile phones, laptop/ipads/ipods, kindles, which can really disturb their sleep. If you must have these in the bedroom switch them right off. Especially, switch off your mobile phone, or if you really must have it in the room with you, put it at the foot of the bed rather than by your head.
3. If you are using your mobile phone as an alarm clock, buy yourself a small battery-operated clock instead (remember those?). Also, replace electric alarm/radio clocks with a battery-operated clock.
4. If you must have a television in the bedroom, switch it off at the mains rather than leaving on standby.
5. The sleep you get before midnight is of a much more restorative quality than the sleep you get after midnight so at least twice per week, try to be in bed by 10 pm, with lights out at 10.30pm.
6. Establish a routine ideally going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
7. Don’t watch television, read newspapers, check in with social media or anything likely to depress or stimulate you at the bedroom. Read a nice book – one which allows you to escape from the worries of the world.
8. Don’t eat dinner late – try to have finished eating by 7.30pm, and don’t eat anything within 3 hours of going to bed. By the time we go to bed, the majority of digestion of our dinner should have been completed. While sleeping our body should be cleansing, healing, repairing and restoring rather than digesting.
9.Foods rich in tryptophan can help with sleep and mood. These include chicken, turkey, fish, oats, cottage cheese, dates, bananas, pumpkin & sunflower seeds
10.Avoid caffeine in tea, coffee and chocolate, energy drinks, colas and sodas, and certain medications, after 6pm. Some people are very sensitive to caffeine and for them, the cut-off point may need to be much earlier, or they need to cut it out completeley.
11. Don’t drink too much fluid at night to avoid having to get up to go to the loo.
12. Get out in daylight and fresh air during the day to stimulate melatonin levels.
13. A warm bath before bed can help some people. Consider adding Epsom Salts (a good source of magnesium to help with stress), or a few drops of lavender oil
14. Consider a pillow spray
15. A bedtime ritual can help clear the day of stresses and strains. Consider a few gentle stretches, some deep breathing, writing in a journal three things in your day that you are grateful for or that you learned.
If none of the above work for you, see a Nutritional Therapist who can recommend some nutritional supplements that might help, or see your GP.
We hope the above help so sleep well and sweet dreams………….
ARE YOU STRUGGLING TO SLEEP AT NIGHT?
It might be worth creating a new bedtime routine which will help to calm the mind a couple of hours of before you hit the sack!
- Shut down your emails, social media and phones at least 90 minutes before you go to bed.
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea about 30 minutes beforehand – it relaxes the nerves and soothes the nervous system, therefore helping you sleep better.
- Spray your pillow with a Lavender scented pillow spray… Lavender essential oils offer calming and soothing properties which helps us to relax.
- Read next to a dim bedside lamp until you are ready to fall asleep. Try to avoid reading material that is too stimulating…a good light hearted read that is easy to put down.
- Try and avoid caffeine after 5pm. Tea and coffee are both stimulating and can keep you awake!
Winding down after a busy day is so important to aid a good nights sleep – so give these a try!
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