Sleep. We all love it, but too many of us don’t get enough. Many of us experience agonising, erratic sleep patterns like insomnia. A good night’s sleep is a huge part of the health equation. It allows your body to rest and repair. While we all know how fantastic we feel after a great night’s sleep, many people don’t realise just how important it is.
Why sleep rocks?
Getting your forty winks comes with a ton of benefits. These are the major ones:
- Repairs the body
- Reduces stress
- Helps with weight control
- Enhances mood
Studies have shown that limited sleep can lead to long-term mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, not to mention chronic fatigue. So, make sure you treat sleep like you would a doctor’s appointment: it's non-negotiable.
Here’s how to get a great night’s sleep, every night:
- Close the kitchen early – Aim to finish dinner around 8pm and avoid heavy meals or late-night snacking. Give your body a chance to digest the food before bed.
- Cut the coffee – Avoid stimulants like caffeine, smoking and soft drinks before bed. As a general rule, avoid drinking caffeine (black/green tea and/or coffee) after 3pm.
- Avoid exercising right before bedtime – Exercise floods your body with adrenaline and cortisol, which are the last things you want when you’re trying to sleep.
- Have an Epsom salt bath – These salts are made up of magnesium, which works to relax and soothe your muscles. Soak in a bath for 20 minutes, then roll straight into bed. You’ll sleep like a kitten in a cozy corner.
- Enjoy tryptophan-rich foods – Tryptophan is the precursor to melatonin, the hormone that puts us to sleep and it is found in protein. Try to include nuts, seafood, turkey, poultry or eggs on the dinner menu.
- Jot down your thoughts – Do you have thoughts running through your mind so quickly, they literally keep you up at night? Keep a notebook next to your bed and write down any problems or tasks before you go to bed. This will allow you to let go, relieving stress, and worry, and opening you up to a good night’s sleep.
- Don’t work in your bedroom – If possible, keep your work and sleep spaces separate. This really changed the quality of my sleep dramatically!
If you can sleep better, you’ll look and feel better. It’s that simple. Your body loves rest as much as you do.
If the above tips still do not help, I would suggest boosting your slumber with magnesium, homeopathic melatonin or valerian. Its advisable to still consult with your herbalist or naturopath for guidance.