How to get a good night's sleep
Sleep isn't something that just happens when we're tired ... it's a really influential process that allows many physiological roles to take place. So it's vital to our mental and physical wellbeing.
Sleep makes it easier to keep our emotions stable and our memory in tip top shape. Think how stressed or mentally slow we can feel when we're tired. It also helps our appetite control (we've all reached for the biscuit barrel when we're tired) and gives the body the much needed time it needs to repair and rebuild itself.
Symptoms of insomnia include finding it hard to fall asleep and/or waking up several times during the night. No single factor causes insomnia and people tend to cite one or more of the following (along with other issues) that can contribute:
Worry and stress
Caffeine or alcohol consumption
Disrupted sleep patterns (particularly shift work)
Hormonal changes e.g. perimenopause
Working through the causes is the first step to getting a good night's sleep.
Go to your GP if you have persistent insomnia and you can try these tips which could help in as little as 2 weeks.
Our Best Sleep Tips are:
A dark room is essential to the release of sleep inducing Melatonin from the brain. Install black out blinds if necessary or thick curtains
Screen Free Zone at least 90 minutes before bed - electronic devices emit the same wavelength of light as the morning sun (see Point 1)
Eat plenty of Tryptophan rich foods which will build Melatonin (see Point 1) - turkey, chicken, banana, cottage cheese with a little carbohydrate like oatcakes or brown rice
Temperature - the ideal temperature to fall asleep is just 17°C. How cool is your room? Is your duvet too warm? Have you had a hot bath before bed (warm is better)?
Sunlight in the Morning - go outside with your cuppa to reset your body clock and see how your morning routine helps to set you up for a good night's sleep
Bedtime Routine - all of the above plus relax in a magnesium flake bath twice a week, and switch to a soothing chamomile or lemon balm tea in the evening to calm yourself. Generally focus on your relaxation
Consider taking a Magnesium supplement, short term, of Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Glycinate, which is a great relaxant. Check with your GP is you are on any meds, but 375mg per day should do it. Review after 6 weeks
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