my top tips for a good rest
I know alot of you are simply knackered.
And its the same old story every morning, fighting with the snooze button...just to get 5 more minutes....then hauling yourself out of bed, just to prop yourself up with caffeine.
It would be really nice to wake up refreshed most, if not, every morning wouldn't it?
Just as we need to have discipline with our food and exersice, we also need to integrate a bit of discipline into our routine to encourage a regular good nights sleep.
Along with nourishing food and regular exercise we need to have enough rest to function optimally. Then we give all the systems in our body a chance to reset and harmonise - the immune system gets revitalised, the nervous system slows, the respiratory system literally gets to take a breath, and our hormones, governed by our endocrine system, have a chance to balance. A good night’s sleep, not just once in a while, but on an ongoing basis,allows our bodies to restore and renew, otherwise chronic sleep issues opens us up to exhaustion and illness.
All the research into sleep says we need to maintain routine and discipline so that we work with, not against our natural circadian rhythms.
- Wake up at a similar time everyday - I know, tempting as it may be to sleep in over the weekend, all that does is upset our inner clock. Researchers say this makes us feel as though we are in a state of jet lag. Enough sleep during the week means no sleep debt to make up on the weekend.
- Go to bed at a similar time everyday - encourage good good sleep cycle rhythm
- Switch off to switch off - the artificial light that comes from TV, laptops, and phones keeps us alert and turned on.Try and create space between using, particularly computers and phones, and going to bed, to give your eyes a rest and your brain a chance to stop ruminating on your work and social life.
- Move to Stop - Exercise signals the body to promote deeper sleep cycles. Research suggests time of day to exercise is all individual, and whilst some may be too stimulated in the evening, this is best for others. Just pick a time, and do it! Even better go outside...our body needs sunlight too, and fresh air.
- Eliminate - caffeine, processed foods, sugars, alcohol, chocolate and spicy foods all are stimulants and can have an affect on our sleep.
- Eat - if the body is working hard to digest, rest can be disturbed. Try not to eat close to bedtime...heavier meals are best consumed in the middle of the day as that is when our digestive fire is at its highest.
- Prepare for sleep - Expecting to go from full speed to a standstill without slowing down first is unrealistic. It takes time to produce the sleep neurotransmitters needed by the brain’s sleep center to release the hormones that will allow you to sleep. So apart from turning off the electronic devices, have a warm shower ( symbolically wash the day away), or soak in a bath that has 2C of Epsom salts, half a cup of bicarb soda and some lavender oil; read a book; do some breathwork, or meditation. Stress is a huge factor for sleeplessness. Calm the body and calm the mind for complete rest.
- Create a soothing environment - remove any artificial light in the room from electronic devices. Research suggests a cooler room, with air flow is best. Deal with any noise that bothers you - earplugs are always handy!
- Try not to fight it - often anxiety arises if you can't get to sleep, this is why we need to create routines and discpline around our sleep habits, so when sleep becomes elusive we can refer back to our routine.
- Nutrients - such as Magnesium and herbs like lemon balm, passion flower, chamomile, magnolia and valerian root can also help.
Find a routine that works best so you can chill out to get your sleep groove on