Struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Well, you’re not alone. More than 30% of the population suffers from some form of insomnia. With our lives being busier than ever, it has never been more important to get enough sleep and if you have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) like me, you sometimes need to be reminded just how important a good nights sleep really is. A good sleep routine is essential to prepare you mind and body for sleep time, so we have put together a list of bedtime DO’s and DONT’S to help get you off to sleep and bouncing out of bed in the morning feeling refreshed and full of energy.
SLEEP HABITS TO AVOID
- DON’T have heavy meals before bed – Instead eat light meals at night. Your body needs to use its energy to rejuvenate itself rather than spend the night digesting food you have eaten the night before
- DON’T make your bedroom a place to watch TV, do paperwork & eat
- DON’T remain in bed when it is difficult to get to sleep – If after 15-20 minutes of ineffective trying to get to sleep, get up, go into another room and perform relaxing exercises. Do not associate your bedroom with ineffective sleeping habits.
- DON’T deprive yourself of sleep during the week and try to ‘catch up’ on the weekend – Depriving the body of sleep by staying up on a frequent basis, trying to ‘catch up’ on lost sleep during the weekend, watching late-night TV causes a disruption to the ‘sleep-wake’ cycle.
- DON’T nap for more than 1 hour during the day and avoid naps late in the afternoon – Naps greater than 1 hour can adversely affect dream sleep at night
- DON’T think of daily problems while in bed – You may find keeping a note pad and pen next to your bed so if you are constantly thinking or remember things you can jot them down to quiet your mind ready for sleep.
- DON’T watch the clock and frequently check the time.
- DON’T do any vigorous exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- DON’T have mobile phones and electrical appliances within 1 metre of your bed – The electromagnetic field generated from your appliance may interfere with your sleep
- DON’T drink caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks) after lunch
- AVOID tyramine containing foods in the evening – Tyramine foods have been shown to delay the onset of sleep. Tyramine is found in bananas, pizza, chocolate, pickled salamis, liver, caviar, beans, avocado, fermented dairy products (yoghurt, sauerkraut), cheese, yeast extracts (beer, wine, sour cream, MSG), fermented soya products.
HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS TO INCLUDE
- Ensure a bedtime snack – This prevents low blood sugar levels during the night which may cause sleep maintenance insomnia (frequent waking). Good bed time snacks include oatmeal, whole grains including brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat.
- Sleep only as much as needed to feel refreshed – Do not oversleep
- Establish a sleep-wake rhythm – Go to bed & get up at the same time each day. The best quality of sleep is achieved between 10pm to 6am. Every half hour sleep before midnight is comparable to 2 hours of sleep after midnight. It is not how late you go to bed rather how early that affects the quality of sleep.
- If your partner snores, move into another room – yeah this one kinda sucks, but on the positive side you get to sleep like a starfish, and seriously who doesn’t love that?!
- Take a short nap no longer than one hour after high-intensity workouts – Deep sleep time and growth hormone release are maximised. These are the most important aspects of energy renewal during sleep.
- Daily exercise – Daily exercise rids your mind & body of excessive tension. Performing exercise in natural sunlight is best. It helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Ensure nothing to strenuous before bedtime as this may stimulate and prevent or disturb sleep
- Create a sleep promoting environment – A nice relaxing peaceful environment that makes you want to relax;
- Earplugs or eye mask if shift/night worker or noisy environment
- Comfortable mattress, linen, pillows, sleep wear, adequate bedding for warmth.
- Bedroom is dark, cool (19 to 20 degrees) & quiet.
- Consider writing a diary or journal – Writing down things that are bothering you before bed may ensure a restful sleep
- Practice relaxation exercises
- Diaphragmatic breathing
- Progressive relaxation
ORGANICS FOR LILY & INSOMNIA
OFL have some super amazing blends for insomnia, each ingredient has been carefully chosen based on scientific research, traditional evidence and Naturopathic philosophy and hand blended.
- Relax me – A relaxing blend of skullcap, lemonbalm and passionflower. This tea strengthens and nourishes the nervous system, by having a relaxant effect. Research has indicated it is particularly useful for reducing tension and anxiety. It can also be used for restlessness in children. Although it’s not a specific blend for insomnia, it works well as a relaxing blend to have before bed or for mild insomnia.
- Sleepy me – A beautiful blend of chamomile, passionflower, lemonbalm and lavender relaxes your mind and body and prepares you for sleepy time. It relaxes all the muscles in your body. These herbs have been shown to have a sedative effect and are used in insomnia, anxiety and restlessness. Both chamomile and passionflower have been shown to have positive effects on restlessness in children.
- Knock me out – An extra strong sleepy time blend of chamomile, valerian, hops, passionflower, lemonbalm and lavender. Particularly good for individuals with difficulty falling asleep and frequent waking throughout the night. Our most popular insomnia blend, which has had some amazing results with chronic insomnia.
Nighty night tea lovers!
Naturopath (BHSc – Nat)
Organics for lily