Just like what you do first thing in the morning is important for your mindset for the day ahead, what you do before bed is just as important. It can either cause an amazing nights sleep, or a terrible one!
Here are some things to introduce before bed to help you have deep, restful sleep-
- Turn off electrical appliances at least an hour before bed. TV’s, phones, tablets etc. all stimulate the sympathetic (fight and flight) nervous system. We need to be in the para-sympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system to have a good nights sleep. When we watch TV or use our phones straight before bed, it will take a while to get into a restful state. Try to read, have a bath or meditate.
- If you’re peckish have a banana. Bananas are high in tryptophan which is an amino acid that is needed to produce serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin which controls our circadian rhythm and makes us sleepy.
- Drink tea. Try to stay away from caffeinated drinks, apart from possibly green tea, depending on how your body copes with it. Green tea contains caffeine, but it also contains theanine which calms the nervous system, so it can actually be relaxing. Camomile tea is also very relaxing and calms the nervous system. There are also many relaxing blends of tea on the market.
- Practice restorative or yin yoga. This is a great way to relax, as well as stretch your muscles after a hard day. Yin yoga is also great if you get any back pain throughout the day.
- Have a bath with magnesium flakes or epsom salts. These are high in magnesium which can help us get to sleep and improve the quality of sleep. The skin is a great way of getting this nutrient into your body as it absorbs roughly 80% of whatever you put on it. You can also use a magnesium oil, but a bath is good as it helps you to relax, and therefore get into the para-sympathetic nervous system.
Try these simple tips today and see how much better you sleep :-)
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