Who loves that feeling, when you wake up, after a good, long and deep night of sleep and you feel refreshed?
I’m sure we all do, but how many of us get to experience that. The truth is, if we don’t have a good night sleep, we generally wake up tired and struggle all day long. We then tend to grab the wrong drinks and foods to give us a quick fix of energy, then we struggle to fall asleep at night and the vicious cycle continues.
1. Alcohol free nights
– this can make a HUGE difference as most people have alcohol each night to de -stress. Alcohol free nights, your quality of sleep will improve, you will wake more rested, you’ll be more hydrated in the morning & will be consuming less calories. WIN WIN.
2. Caffeine free from the afternoon on wards
– Caffeine can cause adrenal fatigue, which will you awake at night and it will dehydrate you. Try herbal teas, and sleepy tea at night.
3. Avoid Sugar at night
– having refined sugar in general, but especially at night can effect the quality of sleep. Your blood sugar spikes, and your body is pumped up with energy, so is sending you divergent messages. Try some berries, yogurt or 80% dark choc homemade popcorn, healthy refined sugar cookies, hot chocolate (almond milk, cacao, honey), instead of chocolate, bikkies, ice cream cakes.
4. Eat dinner by 7pm
– to give you body a chance to digest your food before lying down for the night. Even get out for a 15 minute walk after dinner if you can rather than sitting down watching TV.
5. AVOID WHITE CARBS – pastas, breads, pizza
– Not only are these foods a poor choice, but the toppings and sauces generally include high salt processed meats, high fat cheeses, oils & salty tomato bases. The high glycemic index of the carbs will spike your blood sugars and make it hard to fall asleep, and on top of that, going to bed with a full stomach gives our digestive system a busy night of work. Better options for ‘tummy fillers’ are sweet potato, brown rice or quinoa. You can add fresh seafood, organic meats & or loads of veggies. Better sauce options can be olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, homemade dressings, topped with goats cheese.
6. Go to bed by 10 pm
– Our melatonin levels rise at night as it gets dark, getting our bodies ready for sleep. If you stay up later, especially watching tv/ computer, our melatonin levels will drop and the body will not fall asleep naturally and as easy. Optimal hours of sleep is 8 hrs, to help our body get into its circadian rhythm.
– add a walk to your morning, lunch or afternoon. Join a gym, go for a swim. Exercise will produce ‘happy, feel good’ endorphins, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day, which will then help you to sleep as your body will need rest, therefore more likely to wake up energised the next day. Exercise will also help you de stress (as long as you don’t over exercise)
– When we wake each morning, that should be our highest production/ level of cortisol, then it should gradually lower towards the night for sleep time. Unfortunately, we all tend to increase our levels of cortisol so that they are highest at night, which therefore makes it harder for us to sleep well. If you take the time to mediate during the day, it will help slow your mind down, to lower cortisol levels and relax you. Yoga is a great option for lowering cortisol levels as well.
9. Have a Large glass of warm water + ½ squeezed lemon first thing each morning
– it’s that simple! It will flush the digestive system and re-hydrate your body, therefore give you good energy to do your exercise.
10. Screen free time at night
– try some screen free nights so that your mind can switch off and you allow the natural melatonin levels to rise so that you can fall asleep easily. Ideas to fill in the spare time are reading, board games, knitting, talking, a night walk, a long bath, yoga class and writing in your journal.