Over the years I’ve constantly tried to improve my night-time habits to make sure I get the most restful, peaceful and restoring sleep – but it’s not always that easy!! Here are all the things I’ve learnt that really help – my total guide (lifestyle, food and some before bed rituals!) to a better sleep! I hope it helps xx
- Commit to 8 hours of sleep: This week you need to go to bed 1-2 hours earlier to ensure you get your 8 hours of rest. Preferably get into bed by 10pm.
- Social media boundaries: Phone off by 7-8pm each night this week. Avoid all screens and technology after 8pm if possible. I find TV is ok and promotes sleep for me personally. Laptops and phones can also affect your ability to fall asleep.
- Don’t look at your phone as you wake up: Wait until AFTER your morning routine.
- Enjoy a social media free day or half a day on Sunday if possible.
- Avoid high intensity exercise in the afternoon: swap to yoga or a nature walk (or exercise in the mornings preferably).
- Coffee: My golden rule – Limit caffeine to 1x coffee a day and before 10am. Swap your 2nd, 3rd, 4thcup with decaf chai tea, any herbal tea or dandelion ‘coffee’.
- Avoid caffeinated tea after 3pm: Instead, try my homemade chai tea with frothy hot almond milk and vanilla stevia hits that coffee needing spot in the afternoons for me.
- Incorporate a high-quality protein into your dinner: It helps encourage a deeper sleep and will keep you feeling satiated/keep your blood sugars stable so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night hungry! A small handful of raw almonds with a spoon of Greek Yoghurt is a great evening snack too.
- Also, eat more cooked meals as opposed to raw foods at dinner time. Enjoy soups/slow cooked meats/sautéed veggies in coconut oil – they are so nourishing for the nervous system.
- Alcohol: Avoid it for 1 week and see if your sleep improves. I have discovered that red wine significantly seems to worsen sleep for people. Whiskey/gin/vodka and rose seem to be better options for sleep however they can still cause disruption to natural sleeping patterns.
- Drink chamomile tea during the evenings: 2 cups is good.
Extra’s for healing:
- Take magnesium citrate or dyglcinate – ask your healthcare practitioner about dosage for your individual needs. (about 500-800mg is a good dose)
- Enjoy an Epsom salt bath this week – most health food stores stock them. Great to relax your muscles and nervous system.
- Less social stress! Say NO to any social commitments when you need to. Example on Saturday night, perhaps you need a night in with tea, a book, a bath and a movie – DO IT!
Before bed rituals for you to try this week:
- A hot bath or shower with lavender oil
- After your bath – put your legs up against the wall for 10 minutes and breathe deeply
- Jump into bed and enjoy decaf chai tea with cinnamon and warm coconut or almond milk or chamomile tea in bed with your book.
- 20 belly breathes every night before bed.
If your sleep still has not improved after doing the above – melatonin and sleepy herbs are your next step. My advice is to consult an integrative doctor about melatonin and a naturopath about some sleep herbs ( e.g. valerian/lavender etc. are great for promoting restful sleep).
What are your tips or rituals for a better night’s sleep?