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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Improve Your Sleep Tonight

Here are some healthy habits to get into to improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep:
  • Turn off your TV/computer/smartphone before you go to bed. Electrical appliances stimulate the brain and won’t aid sleep.
  • Try and get into a bedtime routine, like when you were a child. Take at least 30 minutes to wind down.
  • Take a hot bath. A night’s sleep is normally preceded by a drop in body temperature. When you have a comfortably hot bath, artificially raising your body temperature, when you go back into your cooler bedroom it helps the body be more receptive to adjusting its body temperature.
  • Warm skimmed milk (organic if possible), Brazil nuts and walnuts aid sleep, as do bananas. All release natural chemicals to relax the body and help you fall asleep due to their calcium content.
  • Can a salad for dinner help you sleep? Yes! Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties. You can make a lettuce tea by simmering a few lettuce leaves in hot water for 10–15 minutes and sip before going to bed.
  • Your body needs vitamin B6 to help make melatonin and serotonin. Foods rich in B6 are fish like tuna, halibut and salmon, as well as raw garlic and pistachio nuts.
  • Chamomile tea really can help sleep. It contains glycine, which relaxes nerves and muscles and can act as a mild sedative and also help reduce any anxiety.
  • Carbohydrates at night can help induce sleep, such as rice, sweet potatoes and wholewheat pasta.
The insomnia cures you haven’t tried yet

  • Passion-flower tea has been found to promote good sleep.
  • Some people find acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine or traditional Chinese medicine helps them restore a good sleep cycle.
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Caffeine and sugar shouldn’t be consumed late in the day as they have been proven to cause restless sleep. Consider making 2pm your cut-off time for caffeinated drinks if you’re having trouble sleeping.
  • A few drops of lavender oil on the pillow are relaxing, but more than that is stimulating so use with caution.
  • If your mattress and pillows are worn out or if your bed is more than ten years old, invest in new ones as soon as possible.
  • If you have a digital clock in your room, I’m afraid you’re going to have to turn it off, as well as your phone. Both release electromagnetic waves into the room that can interrupt sleep.
  • Along a similar vein, make sure your room is as dark and quiet as possible. Invest in an eye mask and earplugs if needed.
  • Try to sleep the same amount of hours every night and go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time, even at weekends. This allows your body to know when to secrete your hormones and make repairs.


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