Sleep yourself well
Sleep (and rest) has somewhat lost its value in this modern world. With a constant stream of light, information and sound, we are more tired and less rested as the days pass by which leads to exhaustion and high levels of stress. No thanks!
The quality of our sleep (or the lack of) have huge impacts on our health and well-being. When we are suffering from a lack of sleep, disruption to our bodies natural circadian rhythm occurs.
What is a circadian rhythm?
Our circadian rhythm is like a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of our brains. It cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals and is also commonly referred to as our sleep/wake cycle.
So what is the big deal with sleep anyways?
During sleep, our body work hard to repair itself, processing information, controlling brain function and restoring memories, carrying out processing that support internal organs to recover, releasing a variety of hormones for metabolism, stress, growth, appetite control and immune function along with a bunch of other important tasks. Phew!
Waking from a deep sleep means we have energy to burn, improves our decision making skills and naturally boosts our mood, creativity and memory. Come at me positive vibes!
How much zzzzz's do we need?
Children need between 8-11 hours of sleep each night depending on their age while adults need a healthy dose of 7-9 hours each night.
Okay, I'm in. What next?
If you are struggling to get to sleep or to remain asleep during the night, read on to find some easy tips and tricks to get you back in bed and snooze yourself to good health:
- Limit your consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and energy drinks (especially after 3pm).
- Turn off that device. Yes that includes your tablet, TV and phone. These emit an artificial 'blue light' which can affect the body's production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for our sleep-wake cycle). Aim to turn these off an hour or so before going to sleep. You may like to read, journal, have a warm bath or practice your deep belly breathing instead.
- Avoid bright lights and dim your indoor lights after 6pm or invest in a dimming light shade for your lounge and bedroom which create a 'warmer' light instead.
- Avoid late night beverages as these often lead to a dreaded late night run to the bathroom.
- Avoid sugar in the evenings as this may cause your blood sugar levels to crash in the night, causing cortisol levels to rise and melatonin production to diminish.
- Create a quiet and dark bedroom by investing in block out curtains for a deep sleep.
- Ensure your bedroom is a comfortable cool temperature while you sleep.
- Journal before bed to reduce 'busy brain' at night by noting down thoughts, important tasks to remember and so on.
- Enjoy a warm mug of water with a teaspoon of Ahi Cider before your evening meal to support digestion of your meal before you get ready for bed.
- Exercise daily to burn some energy and support your sleep hormones (along with numerous other benefits that exercise provides).
- Enjoy a warm relaxing bath in the evening - epsom salt and lavender essential oils can make wonderful additions.
- Create a sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at a similar time each day.
- Pop some calming essential oils in a diffuser an hour or two before bed. We particularly love lavender ourselves!
- Upon waking, open your curtains and expose your eyes to bright light- light is the best regulator of your biological clock.
So there you have it. A bunch of helpful tips and tricks to support you in getting a restful nights sleep.
In GOOD health,