A good night’s sleep is essential for our health and wellbeing. It helps to boost our immune system, recharge the heart and cardiovascular system, repair damaged cells and consolidate different information that has occurred through the day. If we struggle with insomnia or forego a good sleep night after night, it can put a great amount of strain on our bodies and nervous system. So how do we go about getting a blissful 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep?
1.Eat Food That is Nourishing
What we eat can have a huge impact on the quality of our sleep and this starts right from the moment we wake up. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day when it comes to sleep. Research shows that if you eat within the first half hour of getting up, you will produce more of the sleep hormone melatonin during the day. A breakfast that includes protein will also further encourage the production of the hormones that will send you to sleep later.
Try to avoid coffee, sugary drinks and alcohol in the hours leading up to bed. Whilst alcohol can send you to sleep quicker it often leads to a disrupted sleep because the body remains very active in trying to metabolise the alcohol. Also try swapping your afternoon coffee for a matcha. It has been revealed that l-theanine, a unique amino acid in matcha helps to reduce stress and encourages relaxation of the mind without drowsiness – A little afternoon energy boost without the dreaded insomnia.
Smartphones, tablets and computers are your sleeps worst nightmare. Scanning through news articles and Instagram right before bed overloads our brain with too much information and it is difficult to process this all before we sleep. So try to turn off your phones or laptops in the couple of hours before bed and also make use of the night shift functions on our devices because the bluish light that typically radiates from the screens also delays the body’s production of melatonin.
Take some time out through the day. Just 10 minutes of resting the mind can give your body as much rest as the final phase of night-time sleep. A moment of peace and calm to tune out of your outside surroundings and connect with yourself gives your brain the chance to consolidate and recharge.
4.Exercise the Body and Mind
When we think of exercise we often think of physical activity but equally important is mental excursion. Stimulating our senses and exercising the mind through social engagement and new experiences greatly assists us in having a sound night’s sleep. Combining this with 20-25 minutes of physical movement throughout the day we are giving our bodies the best preparation for going to sleep. Doing a few yin style yoga poses right before bed can also help to release any tension we have accumulated through the day. We love going into pigeon pose it is great for calming the mind and releasing any tension in our hips or back.
5.Have a plan zzzz
Lastly have a sleep plan on hand. If you find yourself lying in bed struggling to get to sleep for more than 20min try to avoid turning on the lights or picking up your phone. Instead breathe deeply into your belly, follow your exhalations and slowly count each breath. Try to focus the mind on your breath or the positive things that have happened through your day, time spent with your family, your hot shower or your nice cup of matcha and you should be off to dream land in no time.