Top 5 Tips For Improving Sleep
1. Avoid caffeine or stimulants 7 hours before bed. If you're hoping to be in bed by 10pm ensure no caffeinated beverages or other stimulants are consumed past 3pm. Stimulants take an average of 7 hours to clear from our systems so if you are consuming coffee, tea or soda in the late afternoon or evening it may be harder for you to fall asleep as the stimulants are still keeping you alert.
2. Include foods that contain calcium, protein and magnesium with dinner. A lack of calcium has been linked to waking through the night. Protein in required as a building block for our bodies to make tryptophan and melatonin which help us feel sleepy and stay asleep through the night. Magnesium can be helpful in relaxing our bodies and minds.
Diner Ex. Wild, local salmon topped with lemon and pumpkin seeds, brown rice, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
Desert /snack Ex. Organic, full fat, plain Greek yogurt, topped with pumpkin seeds, a few dried tart cherries and a drizzle of local, raw honey.
3. Remove electronics from the bedroom and create a space just for sleep. EMF's (electromagnetic fields) as well as blue light given off by smart phones, TV's and computers have been shown to disrupt sleep by blocking melatonin production in the pineal gland in our brains.
Ensure the bedroom is only used for sleep and sex. Working in bed can lead us to associate the bedroom with stressful feelings, rather than relaxed ones.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom between 15.5 and 21 C.
4. Create a relaxing routine. Slowly transition away from the stressors of the day into sleep through relaxing activities such as taking a warm bath or shower, reading, having a cup of herbal tea etc. Do so about an hour before bed. Stress signals a release of the cortisol hormone which is responsible for alertness, making it hard for us to relax and fall asleep, so avoid stressful activities such as work or dealing with emotional issues.
5. Mind dump/Journal. Each night, about 15 minutes before you fall asleep, write in a journal in any way that you like that will allow you to release your feelings or stress. Create to do list's for the following day and let go of the tasks running through our mind.
Take it one step further and practice gratitude by recording something that you are grateful for that day, something that made you happy or something that made you smile.