Ok, so we all know the drill…..wake up, feeling less than refreshed, drag ourselves to the kitchen for that caffeine jolt and then hit the ground running into our day.
We then need a couple more coffees (teas, sugary snacks, or insert ‘other stimulating drink’) to get us through the day (not to mention that 3pm slump).
Then strangely, 7pm rolls around and we are feeling more alert…more worryingly, 9pm rolls around and sleep just isn’t on the cards.
Sleep is incredibly complicated and driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that are affected by every single decision we make in our day.
Now for the good news! There are some easy tips to improve your sleep!
1/ Let there be light!!!
Even if you are stumbling out of bed, feeling like a creature of the night, open the curtains and let the natural morning light into your eyes.
This will stimulate the natural decline of melatonin (hormone responsible for your ‘sleep-wake’ cycles) and alert your brain that its daytime.
Trust me – this is a good one.
2/ Make your bed
Nope, hospital corners are not necessary, but research has shown that people who make their bed are 19% more likely to have a good sleep – not huge statistics Ill admit, but Im willing to take the chance.
Not to mention that I feel super organised when my bed is made.
3/ Move it!
Again, running the New York marathon is not necessary (unless you are capable of this and then more power to you!), but half an hour of moderate exercise daily has shown to improve fatigue – this could mean a brisk walk in your lunch break or running around with the kids at the park.
Remember: less fatigue = less chance of grabbing caffeine/sugary snacks = better nights sleep!
4/The Timer is set……WORRY NOW!
Setting half an hour to worry about things might seem a bit weird – but do this in a constructive way – create a plan of action, then break that down into a list of tasks to do.
This will help set your mind at ease when your head hits the pillow, or at 3am when you are jolted awake with that panicky feeling. You can remind yourself that you have a plan in place.
5/ Switch it off!!!
The computer (yes, this blog), your iPhone, kindle, tablet (Im fatiguing thinking of all the devices available!) at least 2 hours before bedtime, again, its all about the melatonin again – the light from these screens trick your brain into thinking its still daytime, thus reducing the amount of melatonin produced.
remember: less melatonin at night = less sleep
6/ create a sleep space
Your bedroom should be for sleeping and sex.
Our body temperature drops at night, signalling to our brain that is sleepy time – watch the temp and adjust it accordingly – think air-con, fans and summer sheets (vice versa in winter).
Sleep is vital for health, disease prevention and general wellbeing, so give yourself the best night sleep to have the best day…..stay tuned for the next instalment where we discuss foods that can help or hinder sleep!!!
For an individualised program to help you sleep better and better your overall health/wellbeing don’t hesitate to book in.
I look forward to helping your achieve your individual health needs:)