For some getting a good 8 hours sleep is only something you can dream of! with most of us getting on average 5-7 hours each night. A bad nights sleep can have a huge impact upon your health affecting every levels, mood, weight, anxiety and mood. To improve your sleep try these top tips for sleep hygiene.
Turn off all electrics (phones, laptop, TV etc. AND even routers (for Wi-Fi).
Don’t drink caffeine (tea/coffee) beyond midday or at least 4 hours before bed.
Try green tea instead of black tea/coffee as this has less caffeine in and the theanine in it has a calming effect on the body - just remember that it does still contain caffeine so don't drink late at night.
Ensure your room is completely dark – use black out blinds/curtains. This will stimulate melatonin in the body to add sleep.
Start winding down process 1- 2 hours before you want to sleep e.g. turning off the lap top and putting work away.
Don’t have sugary foods late at night (imbalance in blood sugar levels can wake you up).
Try a snack rich in tryptophan, such as turkey on an oatcake. Other tryptophan foods include dates, pumpkin and sunflower seeds as well as oats and turkey. (Tryptophan converts to serotonin then melatonin, your sleep hormone, released by the body when it is dark, and affects circadian rhythms)
Don’t drink alcohol late at night (as it wears off it has a stimulatory effect, often around 3am).
Avoid or limit daytime naps. If you do take one make sure it’s before 3pm and no more than 30-45 mins.
Regular, daily exercise promotes sleep and the endorphins released during exercise help reduce stress. However, avoid high intensity exercise late afternoon or evening, to avoid cortisol (your get up and go hormone) levels increasing.
Establish a bedtime routine, going to bed at the same day every day and waking at the same time. Along with that have a night-time ritual that you can stick to e.g. having a warm bath with epsom salts, a relaxing herbal drink or reading a book in bed.
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