Good quality sleep is essential for maintaining wellness. Sleep is required for hormone production and allows the body to repair itself. The consequences of lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can have profound effects on every aspect of our lives; health, emotions, mental state, relationships and work. Some consequences of sleep deprivation are depression, anxiety, reproductive disorders, poor cognition, fatigue, obesity, low sex drive, slow reaction time…the list could go on.
Most people require an average of 8 hours sleep. Some people while they may achieve this might experience broken sleep or find they do not get the depth of sleep they should.
Our modern lifestyle is not conducive to good sleep patterns which can make ongoing quality sleep an issue for many. There are many reasons why people may not sleep well but here are some simple tips to start you on your journey to better sleep and better health!
– Avoid artificial light from TV, computer & smart phone screens late at night. These types of light are known to reduce melatonin (our sleep inducing hormone) levels.
– Eat good quality protein throughout the day including the evening meal. Of particular importance are foods high in Tryptophan such as Bananas, nut pastes, chicken or cheese. Tryptophan is an amino acid from protein which is required for melatonin production.
– Do something that relaxes you and helps you wind down for 30 minutes before bed. Reading, quiet music, prayer, bath or audio books are common examples.
– Avoid coffee, sugar & alcohol, especially in the evenings. These things have been shown to reduce the quality of sleep.
– Try to get to bed by 10pm most nights. Getting sleep between the hours of 10pm and 2am are the most important for body repair and hormone production.
– Get regular exercise, but avoid exercising at night.
– Enjoy relaxing herbal teas in the evening. Blends containing Chamomile, Passionflower and Lemonbalm are great options.
– A little lavender oil on a tissue beside your bed or a dab behind your ears are helpful for some people for inducing relaxation & sleep.