In this day and age we are always tired, we're always busy and we spend our lives rushing from one thing to the next. We often forget to take time for ourselves and get the decent night’s sleep our bodies need and deserve. Stress levels are high and the inability to relax and sleep tight is becoming harder.
When did you last go for a walk or cook a healthy meal from scratch? Chances are that simple, important things like this rarely feature in your busy life. Relying on caffeine and sugar to keep you going throughout the day is an obvious sign you’re not getting enough sleep. Making just a few small adjustments to your lifestyle could help conquer this exhaustion and have you sleeping sounder.
Brazil nuts and walnuts induce sleep due to being packed with protein, potassium and selenium and can help the body make melatonin, the natural sleep hormone.
Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has sedative properties and relaxes the brain. Try having salad with your evening meal.
Your body needs vitamin B6 to help make melatonin and serotonin. Foods rich in B6 are fish like tuna, halibut and salmon, as well as raw garlic and pistachio nuts.
High glycaemic index
Foods with a high glycaemic index for example bread and pasta; can help induce sleep. After eating these you have a natural spike in your blood sugar, and after this you can feel tired. Usually you want to maintain steady blood sugars in the day to avoid mood and energy swings, but if you are looking to get much needed sleep, this could help.
Chamomile tea contains glycine, which relaxes nerves and muscles and can act as a mild sedative.
Caffeine cut off
Consider making 2pm your cut-off time for caffeinated drinks if you're having trouble sleeping, this will help you avoid being awake later that night.
Turn off your TV/computer/smartphone an hour before you go to bed - light from electrical appliances stimulates the brain.
Take at least 30 minutes to wind down before bed - listen to relaxing music and use the time to take stock of your day.
Sleep is normally preceded by a drop in body temperature. If you have a comfortably hot bath, artificially raising your temperature, when you go back into your cooler bedroom it helps the body be more receptive to adjusting its temperature.
Milk & bananas
Warm, skimmed milk aids sleep, as do bananas. Both release natural chemicals to relax the body and help you fall asleep due to their calcium content.
Introducing just a few of these small adjustments to your lifestyle should help benefit your night’s sleep. We often get caught up in the whirlwind of our busy lifestyles and neglect some of life’s necessities, so take the time to unwind and sleep tight tonight.