Does sleep elude you or won’t come in the evening? Today I share with you 8 Sleep Secrets that have helped me to fall asleep quickly when my head hits the pillow.
Before I share them with you, this week is mental health week.
Did you know a lack of sleep affects our mental health, brain, health, stress levels and our mood, to name a few?
Getting really good quality sleep is very important and should be a priority for you, because it empowers you to
Live your life to the full
Unleash your best self
Be proactive and present
Not react to stuff in an unhelpful way
Boosts your joy, gratitude, positivity, vitality and energy
Helps you to become a smart decision maker
AND MUCH MORE!!!
After reading this blog I dare you to prioritise sleep and to rediscover just how amazing it can be and feel to get great quality sleep…
1. Turn off all screens 1 hour before bed
Blue light is the most disturbing and disruptive light to your body, as it stops the production of melatonin: your body's major sleep hormone.
Hack: Buy blue light blocking glasses - mine were very cheap and are subsequently, super cool. I might treat you to a picture soon!
Tip: Make bedrooms a phone-laptop-iPad free zone (this is something Arianna Huffington strongly promotes) - how will I wake up on time or charge my phone I hear you ask? Fear not, you can buy a cheap alarm clock (or ask Santa for a Roberts Radio Clock) and charge your phone in another room.
2. No Caffeine After Noon
Caffeine impairs sleep and as it takes the majority of people 4-6 hours to digest (some longer), it's best not have it after 12pm. This includes both tea and coffee.
It stops the production of a sleep promotion chemical called adenosine, which is a neuromodulator in the brain and has the effect of inhibiting many of the bodily processes associated with wakefulness.
Tip: Switch out English Breakfast or coffee for Rooibos, or other herb teas (Tea Pigs rock). I have cut out caffeine altogether and love decaf or a dandelion 'coffee' mid-morning.
3. Warm 'Golden Milk' Drink
This is an Ayurvedic recipe that combines 2 potent spices: turmeric and black pepper. The health benefits of this drink are numerous, but it is great for helping you get a good night's sleep.
Makes 1 mug
4 pinches turmeric 2 pinches cinnamon 1 pinch ground black pepper (increases bioavailability of turmeric)
1/4 tsp of coconut oil (enhances absorption)
1 mug of plant milk (or dairy). I LOVE full fat Mylk by Rebel Kitchen.
4. Bedtime Ritual
A bedtime ritual is a really great way to wind down and signal to your body to start preparing for sleep.
1 hour before bed...
Start reducing the amount of light in your house...
Your skin and eyes are full of sensitive light receptors which tell our body what time of day it is and when to produce melatonin, controls your sleep cycle, and serotonin, regulates your sleep. As the evening draws in, the body’s serotonin levels rise and melatonin is released to start the natural sleep cycle.
Turn down the temperature in your bedroom...
At night your core body temperature drops, signaling to your brain that it's time for sleep. A cold shower can help. (don't be tempted to warm your bed with a hot water bottle!)
Eat sleep promoting foods for dinner... Complex carbohydrates release insulin which sends a message to your brain to release melatonin and serotonin.
Slip into comfortable pyjamas...
Arianna Huffington suggests buying 'official' pyjamas, instead of using an old tee shirt, as it will make sleep feel more special and further signal to your brain that the day has come to an end.
5. Commit To A Sleep Schedule
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day - yes, even on weekends, holidays and days off! This consistency reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle, helping you to optimise your sleep.
To get started, choose a bed time when you normally feel tired. If you’re getting enough quality sleep, you should naturally wake up at your desired time.
However, if you do need an alarm clock, then you may need an earlier bedtime.
Tip: If you can't fall asleep straight away, don't become frustrated. Meditate, read a book or make yourself Golden Milk and you will soon be nodding off!
This has been a game changer for me. It enables me to quieten my mind and drift off to sleep happily and quickly. Apps like Calm and Insight Timer are really good.
7. Block The Light Out
I am really light sensitive and if there is any kind of light drifting through my curtain, either natural or artificial, it disrupts my sleep. I have black out curtains and take an eye mask with me everywhere.
8. Save Your Bed For Sleep And Sex
Train your brain to associate your bed with sleep and sex by not working, watching TV or using your computer in bed. This will help you fall asleep quickly.