Better Sleep Essentials
There is no news that getting enough sleep it vital to our human functioning, bad sleep can affect energy levels, mood, food choices, weight, cognition, insulin sensitivity, cortisol, androgens, thyroid hormones, recovery and growth hormone.
The optimal sleep hours will vary between 7-9 hours a night. But it is important to have in mind that it’s not just about the hours you sleep, it’s about the quality as well.
The truth is that sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality are serious problems in modern society. We always have so much things going on that sometimes our sleep will completely suffer because things are out of balance in our lifestyles.
Reasons you might not be sleeping as well as you can: Stress/high cortisol levels, anxiety, dehydration, excess of exercising, nutrient deficiencies, illness, digestion issues, late caffeine intake, uncomfortable bed/bedroom, supplements/stimulants/medications, hormone imbalance, noisy…
If you are having trouble sleeping I think it is time to establish a collection of habits that can help you fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply. Here are my top 5 tips to improve your sleep quality;
1- Eat well (of course I wouldn’t choose a different topic to start with).
Sleep not only allows your mind to rest, it’s also an important restorative process for your whole body. You should try to stop eating any large meals about 4-2 hours before you go to bed, because the digestion process can keep you from falling into a deep enough sleep.
By dinner time keep your portions on track and choose to have a well balanced meal of low-glycemic, whole foods and small portion of protein (avoid red meat during dinner time). Protein is tougher for the digestive system to break down.
Avoid caffeinated food and beverages after 4pm in the afternoon.
In other hands, there are foods that can actually benefit your sleep health like foods with tryptophan, which is a natural calming agent and mood stabilise, such as fish, whole grains, legumes, almonds, and eggs. Also foods high in melatonin, as well as magnesium, another sleep-promoter and muscle-relaxant. Some magnesium-packed foods are yogurt, avocado, dark leafy greens, almonds, pumpkin seeds.
And, It's not just foods that are great for sleep. Many drinks contain essential vitamins and minerals that help aid with sleep. I won’t go to bed before sipping my camomile tea every night.
2-Switch of the lights
Modern life makes it all too easy to stay up till late – electric light, whether from your desk lamp, tv or phone, all those electronic gadgets emit a type of light that stimulates the brain and has us out of synch with the natural rhythms of the day (circadian clock), and allows us to “do” any time of day or night.
3- Essential Oils
I absolutely love essential oil diffusers and have one in my room that is set to diffuse for a certain amount of time.
Lavender is one of my favourite essential oils for creating a sense of calm, peace, and relaxation.
If you don’t have a diffuser try adding a couple drops mixed with your moisturiser or coconut oil and then rubbing it on your arms, neck or chest where you’ll be able to easily smell it while sleeping.
Magnesium Oil is a perfect add in too, rub it in tensioned areas, shoulders and feet to help calming your nervous system and allow you to have a more restful sleep.
4-Move Your Body
Exercise can provide excellent benefits for your sleep. Making exercise part of your regular routine can contribute to healthier, more restful sleep—and may help improve sleep issues such as insomnia.! If you can’t head to the gym, no worries, try an at home yoga, walk around your neighborhood, go to a park, turn on your favourite music and dance, etc. Aim for at least 30 minutes just to get going!
4-The right pillow
Since I swop my old pillow for a BedGear pillow specially design to fit my sleep position and body type I felt a massive improvement in my sleep quality. Their pillows contains an exclusive technology which is build to balance body temperature, conduct heat away from the body and act as an impenetrable barrier against moisture.
Plus, our pillow helps to support a healthy sleep posture. I just recently found out that when it comes to picking the right pillow, there really is no one pillow-size, shape, or material that fits all and with Bedgear you are able to find a pillow that fits exactly to your needs.