5 Tips to Dramatically Improve your Quality of Sleep
In today's world of never-ending COVID lockdowns, and news of new virus strains, it can be difficult to switch off at bedtime and have a productive sleep where you wake up feeling rested.
Studies have shown that getting less than 7 hours a night has a real impact on your health. A consistent lack of sleep can impact your memory and concentration, affect your mood, weaken your immunity, increase blood pressure, cause weight gain and lower your sex drive.
Here are some easy things for you to try to improve your quality of sleep...
# 1 Reduce your caffeine intake
Limit caffeine intake in the afternoon/evening. This includes black teas (non herbal) & dark chocolate! Instead, try a herbal sleep tea an hour before bed, such as Pukka's night time tea.
# 2 Relax your muscles
Try a Dead Sea Salt or Magnesium salt bath once a week.
Make sure you buy a product without nasty colouring/additives.
Add 3 drops of Lavender essential oil.
Make the room atmospheric by turning the lights down in the bathroom/using candles.
Set the timer for 20 mins, and play some relaxing music.
Do this 1-2 hours before bed to give your body time to re-regulate its temperature. The salts will relax your muscles, and helps put your body into parasympathetic 'rest and digest' mode
# 3 Avoid the blue light
Switch off the TV an hour before bed as the blue light of TV/Laptop/phones stimulates the brain. Go for a good old fashioned paperback book. This will help you fall asleep quicker, but also help your sleep be more effective as you won't be dreaming about what you watched on tv, stuck in a never-ending Netflix box set!
# 4 Clear your mind
If you like to meditate, then do this then try this for the 10 mins prior to turning the light of to clear your mind of daily stresses so your sleep state is more restful.
# 5 Take herbal support
If you are waking up in the middle of the night due to circulating thoughts/stresses, then try herbs such as Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) and Withania somnifera (Ashwaganda). These are both nervine relaxants, helping soothe your nervous system. Lemon Balm is good for circulating thoughts, and Withania, an adaptogenic herb, is good if you wake up in the night and have trouble falling back to sleep. There are also a whole group of herbs classed as nervine sedatives that may be of help to you.
Try a few of these tips consistently and keep a sleep diary, so you can note how you felt your sleep quality was each morning when you wake up, so you can chart improvements when they happen. For example, did you get to the point where you wake up just before your alarm went off, or did you wake up hours before and couldn't get back to sleep, was woken by alarm but feel fresh, or woken by alarm but struggled to get out of bed?
If after trying these steps you struggle to get a good nights sleep or to get out of bed in the morning, then please contact me to see how I can help.