Whole Life. Whole Food. Whole Health.
Sleep is vital to our health and wellbeing. As well as affecting our productivity, chronic lack of sleep also adversely affects cognition and mental health - including depression and anxiety disorders. Research also proves that it affects our immune system. Get a healthy bedtime routine and aim for 7-9 hours sleep to rest and recharge. A good sleep involves an interplay of many factors, including environment, diet, hormones and stress levels.
Tips for Getting that Great Nights' Sleep:
1. We are creatures of habit - establish a bedtime routine that you keep to most of the time.
2. Don't eat sweet food before bed - in fact, it is best for you, generally, to not eat at all after dinnertime, but if you must snack, make it a food that will assist sleep.
3. Take your daily fluid requirements during the day and minimise drinking at night - this will help prevent trips to the toilet which disturb sleep. If you have had sufficient water during the day, then their really is no need (unless it is very hot weather of course) - if you really like to have a drink in the evening, then make it something that will help you to sleep - for example: drinks containing tryptophan like warmed dairy milk (organic whole milk of course). Learning more about drinking here.
4. Dim the lighting - this helps to let your brain know that it is night time.
5. Avoid coffee... I know right! If you really can't live without your fix, then try and limit to a cup in the morning.
6. Turn off your screens an hour before sleeping. Limiting your screen time, generally, is a good idea.
7. Be involved in quiet activity that you enjoy - reading, writing, art, craft.
8. Be mindful of your breathing. Use the 4-7-8 breathing technique to fall asleep, and if you wake up during the night. Learn more about breathing here.
9. Go to sleep by 10pm. Your body has rhythms, and hormones that assist sleep have peaks and troughs within this natural cycle.
10.Meditation or prayer prior to bed will help you to relax, clear your mind, and prepare you for sleep.
Further Reading and Research: