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Tips For Better Sleep


Regular sleep is essential.

Sleep is just as important as food and water but unfortunately most of us don’t get enough sleep. Sleep is when our body rests and revitalizes. It is when healing and growth occur. Many important bodily functions occur when you are asleep: regulating hormones, stimulating the immune system, detoxification, tissue repair, reducing inflammation. Aim for 7-10 hours / night Chronic sleep deprivation, even just losing 1 hour per night can wreak havoc on your body. Not only that we often struggle to wake up, have an afternoon slump and then sometimes we are wide awake when we need to be going to sleep. Some of us have the misfortune of suffering insomnia.

The stress of modern life is often the cause, not enough hours in the day to get everything done, our cortisol levels are continuously high affecting our bodies adrenal glands and making the problem worse. It is a vicious cycle that you need to break A.S.A.P.

What happens when you don’t get enough sleep?

• Lowered immunity

• Cognitive performance declines with fewer than eight hours of sleep.

• Adverse affect on affect brain function.

• Sleep deprivation disrupts hormones that regulate glucose metabolism and appetite. The association     between sleep deprivation and obesity appears to be strongest in young and middle-age adults.

Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

1. Set your body clock by maintaining a regular bedtime schedule, including weekends: go to sleep and      wake at the same time everyday no matter what. 10pm – 6am is a good starting point to aim for.

2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine (warm bath, reading (not a backlit screen), meditation,      candle, aromatherapy or soothing music).

3. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool.

4. Avoid over stimulating your senses prior to bed. Turn off electronics, better still have a ‘no gadgets in      the bedroom’ rule for you and the kids, avoid watching TV especially violent, stressful shows prior to      bed. Avoid loud music with a fast beat. Dim the lights whilst getting ready for bed: bright lights interfere      with melatonin the sleep hormone.

5. Sleep on a comfortable mattress at a comfortable temperature, the optimal temperature is 22 degrees      Celsius.

6. Use only 1 pillow so your neck is not overly flexed, a memory foam contour pillow is best.

7. Use your bedroom as a bedroom only, not an office.

8. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. This means no food after 7pm

9. Exercise regularly, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime. Include as much incidental movement and      dynamic activity as well as scheduled exercise in your day.

10. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. Caffeine can take up to 8 hours         to get out of your system so avoid all caffeine after 2pm. Drink calming caffeine free herbal teas like         chamomile tea.

11. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime or best to avoid it altogether

12. Slow your breathing and practice meditation before bedtime. This will help slow your heart beat, slow         down your brain and help you to unwind before sleep. Start simple with taking 5 deep breaths in         through the nose, out through the mouth and focusing on making the expiration as long as possible.         There are some fantastic apps you can download if you have trouble doing this on your own.

13. In the morning when you wake, get straight up, no snoozing, snuggling or lingering. Have a large glass         of filtered water and get moving preferably outside to enjoy some sunlight exposure.

14. Avoid naps as they can put your body clock out of synch

15. Avoid sleeping pills as they can be highly addictive and don’t solve the problem. Magnesium is a natural         muscle relaxant and has been shown to help.

16. Still having trouble you need to look at the STRESS LEVELS in your life, it is also worth speaking to         your G.P.

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