Struggling to fall asleep at night? Too wired? Brain won’t stopping ticking over? Worrying about all the things you’ve got to do tomorrow? Follow these simple tips below to help you get to sleep quicker and deeper than you ever normally would!
ONE // Reduce stimulation before bed
- YOUR DEVICES- I am sure you’ve all heard it before but having a cheeky scroll on Insta or watching an episode on Netflix right before bed isn’t the most ideal way to wind down before you sleep. This is because the blue light that mobiles, tv’s and laptop screens produce interfere with the bodies natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin production in the body is stimulated by darkness and inhibited by light, therefore opting for more warming yellow tones at night is best. How can you achieve this? iPhone- Switch “Night Shift” on in your brightness settings to make the screen colour warmer. Laptop- Download “Flux” and it will create the same effect Night Shift does on your phone. TV- Consider getting to blue light blocking glasses like Whiskey & Stone or Baxter Blue.
- FOOD/ DRINKS- Try and avoid drinking tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate or foods high in saturated fats before bed as they can be stimulatory on the body and can also contribute to indigestion/ reflux.
TWO // Learn to switch your brain off
- WRITE A LIST BEFORE BED- If your like me and your brain switch flicks on as soon as you flick the light off, this one is for you! In your phone (with Night Shift on of course) or on a piece of paper write down ALL the things you need to do tomorrow or anything that keeps popping into your head. It could be as minor as ‘wash hair’ or as big as ‘finish assignment by 6pm tomorrow’. By writing anything and everything down you’re removing the pressure on your sub-conscious to remember all those things because now they are written down and can’t be forgotten for tomorrow!
- DISTRACT YOUR BRAIN WITH A MEDITATION- If lists don’t work or if my brain chatter just won’t stop cause why not create a whole life narrative at 11pm when I am trying to sleep brain (dahhh) then I put on a meditation from my phone. I personally like to listen to the sound of rain when I can’t sleep, so on the ‘Calm‘ App I put a timed meditation of rain noise on. If you prefer a guided meditation, a breathing meditation or even a bed time story Calm has heaps of options for you! Other great meditation apps include HeadSpace and Smiling Mind. By distracting your brain with an external noise I find the internal noise/ brain chatter quietens and then next minute your waking up to your alarm.
THREE // Practice good sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene isn’t just about whether you’ve showered this week or not (hopefully you have), it’s about creating a night time routine that sets you up for a restful nights sleep!
- Exercise daily and away from bed time- As little as 20-minutes of exercise a day can be enough to improve sleep quality. Just try an avoid fitting it in right before bed time as it can be too stimulatory for some people due to the influx of feel good endorphins. However, the effect of night time exercises differs for everyone, so find what works best for you.
- Limit day time naps to 30-minutes- Naps throughout the day won’t make up for inadequate amounts of sleep at night. It may however help with improving alertness and concentration during the day.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine- Having a regular bed time routine helps the body recognise it’s time to go to sleep. This could include reading a book, having a light stretch or having a warm bath or shower.
- Have a pleasant sleep environment- Making sure the room is at a nice temperature (not too hot or too cold), that you have a comfortable pillow and mattress, and that any lights in the room (eg. your alarm clock) are faced away from you or the brightness is reduced is important for having a pleasant nights sleep.
We need at least 7-8 hours of sleep a day to function and thrive as adults! Still having trouble sleeping? Maybe there is something deeper happening! Speak to your Nutritionist about how you can uncover what is causing your poor sleep and what you can do to improve it.