We know that getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes be a challenge, and many people suffer chronically from insomnia, so we’ve put together our best sleep tips to help. Our bodies need sleep to repair at night so getting the right amount of good quality sleep is essential. There are many things you can do to help:
- Go to bed at the same time each night and get up and the same time each day to help reset your circadian rhythm (your internal body clock).
- Try to get to bed by 10pm – the most healing for your body occurs between 10pm and 2am.
- Spend at least half an hour winding down for bed, planning for the following day and getting yourself ready. You’ll be more relaxed when you get into bed and find it easier to get to sleep without things on your mind.
- Don’t use computer/tv/phone screens after 9pm unless you have a filter or orange glasses to filter the blue light. Blue light suppresses melatonin production and impairs our ability to sleep.
- If you don’t get plenty of sunshine in the region where you live then consider investing in a lightbox to use upon waking as this helps to suppress melatonin production in the morning which will help you to balance your levels more naturally, feeling more awake during the day and finding it easier to get to sleep at night.
- Consider cutting down your caffeine intake and don’t consume caffeine after 2pm. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors (adenosine is a sleep promoting chemical).
- Eat magnesium rich foods like leafy greens and avocados. Taking an Epsom salt bath before you go to bed will also increase magnesium levels. Magnesium helps you to relax your muscles so you will feel more relaxed overall and find it easier to fall asleep.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark and tidy. Declutter if you need to and create a peaceful environment for relaxation and sleep.
- Make sure your blood sugar is balanced by eating all three macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) at each meal, eating regularly and avoiding too many high GI foods (GI is glycaemic index which is the measure of how quickly the food raises your blood sugar) such as white flour, potatoes and high fructose corn syrup, table sugar, biscuits and other processed carbohydrates. Ensuring that you are properly hydrated will also help to balance your blood sugar.
- Stress can lead to elevated cortisol levels over the long term which can impair your sleep. It can also lead to increased blood sugar, so try meditation, yoga, walking or an activity that you find enjoyable to reduce stress levels. Exercise also helps us to get more oxygen into our bodies and not only helps to reduce stress and improve sleep.
- Often it is our racing minds that won’t keep quiet that cause a problem with sleep so try chanting or reciting something (or praying if that is something you feel drawn to) as this will distract your mind from your other thoughts.
- Breathing practices have been used for centuries by yogis and qi gong masters and have amazing health benefits including improving your energy levels, helping you to detox, slowing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and improving your sleep. Take some time out of your day to breathe properly, have a look online for some beginners breathing practices.
- If you still have problems getting to sleep don’t battle with it, accept it and just notice your breath and your thoughts. The stress of the battle will make it harder to sleep. Try meditating or listen to a guided visualization.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.