Sleep is a tricky subject; some people have no problems while others are dogged by insomnia and used to going days without a good nights rest. Here are some tips that should and could be implemented every night insuring you improve the quality of your sleep!
1- Dim the Lights – When you keep bright lights on in the evening your bodies natural production of Melatonin (them chemical which makes you sleepy) is blocked resulting in restlessness. Keep the lights off and use candles or dim the lights for the few hours before going to bed to guarantee a melatonin release.
2- Don’t Change Bedding Too Often – We get used to our sheets, pillows and blankets. If you change them too often it will take away from the familiar feeling you get when going to bed….
3- Try Chamomile Tea – This isn’t something for everyone but I find Chamomile and Rooibos tea hugely effective in calming a restless mind and sending me off to sleep….
4- Wind Down – You can’t expect to come home from work or from the gym and want to sleep instantly. Give yourself at least an hour to wind down. Have a hot shower, read a book or watch some relaxing TV but avoid the news (too much material mate to shock) which will stimulate you…
5- Eat Turkey – Having some turkey for dinner will help you relax as it is rich in an amino acid called Tryptophan which penetrated the blood brain barrier to relax and make you sleepy. Sounds mad but it really does work!
6- Meditation – Its something obvious and I am sure you have all heard the benefits but starting meditation is one of the best things you can do. Simply focusing on your breath for 10-20 minutes each evening will ensure great sleep!
7- Deep Breathing – If you can learn to breath deeply many of your problems will be solved. I have found it to be the only way to successfully quiet the mind and sooth the nerves. 5-10 minutes is enough to get you going….
8- Have a Low GI Snack – Some are fine going to bed slightly hungry, others will find it hard initially…Don’t buy into the Conventional Wisdom of eating some bread or crackers before bed. A much smarter option would be some celery spread with crunchy peanut butter. Not only is it delicious it will keep you satisfied and nodding off to sleep in no time…
9- Evening Walks – These will help digest your evening meal and wind your system down. A good evening walk in a peaceful environment will also calm the mind plus cool off the body getting it ready for bed. If you have time take a brisk 10 minute stroll after dinner.
10- Heat – A hot bath or shower is a great way to get you in the right mode for sleep. It works by heating your body up allowing for a good flow of natural energy which is essential for relaxation, it will relax all the muscles in your head and neck which can be tense after a long day….. It is also a good idea to finish off with a cold rinse of your legs to cool down the body as ideally you want to be getting into bed slightly cold and allowing your own body heat to comfort you once under the sheets!
So hopefully you will find some of those useful in your attempt to find a peaceful nights rest, which can sometimes be difficult. You will find that good sleep brings a host of benefits in how you feel everyday including things like your energy levels, ability to handle stress and even digestion so it is really important you have a few tricks to deal with sleeplessness…..