The Joy of Sleep

5th April 2019

Do you regularly feel as though you’ve ‘woken up on the wrong side of the bed’? Losing out on just two hours sleep can affect your mood, according to research from Iowa State University. To prevent feeling cranky, try and include these health tips from Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of ‘The Natural Health Bible for Women’, into your daily routine to help you get a fulfilling night’s sleep…

1. Take note of timings:
Keep to a sleep routine, if possible setting your alarm to wake you up at the same time each day, regardless of the time you finally fall asleep. It is also a good idea to try and be in bed by 10pm – although this is not always easy!

2. Eat your greens:
Include plenty of sleep-friendly foods in your diet, including mineral-rich nuts and seeds, bananas, beans and leafy, green vegetables. Broccoli is not only packed with B vitamins, which are essential to support your brain health, but is also rich in tryptophan, which plays a key role in creating serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that’s associated with sleep and melatonin (a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycles).

3. Inhale soothing smells:
When you go to bed feeling relaxed you’re more likely to fall asleep easily and quickly. Try incorporating scented oils into your bedtime routine. Add aromatherapy oils such as bergamot, lavender, roman chamomile and marjoram to a warm bath just before bed; a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow as you settle down for the night can also help. 

4. Up your magnesium:
Magnesium is known as ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ as it helps to relax our muscles, which in turn can help us fall into a peaceful sleep. It might be an idea to try a good quality supplement, such as KalmAssure Magnesium Powder, by Natures Plus (£24.50, www.naturesplus.co.uk). This is a naturally chelated magnesium which means it is very easy to absorb and is easily delivered to the tissues. 

4. Write things down:
Write down what you need to do the next day at least an hour before bed. The aim is to stop the dialogue in your head which can end up stopping you from getting off to sleep, or else waking you up in the middle of night remembering something that has to be done the next day.

6. Cut out the night cap: 
You might think that enjoying a glass of wine before bed is one of the easiest ways to get to the land of nod, but it could actually leave you waking up feeling less than refreshed. Unfortunately, alcohol affects blood sugar levels, causing adrenaline and cortisol to be released, and it also blocks the transport of tryptophan into the brain.

7. Keep your bedroom comfortable:
Pay attention to the temperature in your room and make sure it’s not too warm and not too cold. Cooler is better than warmer. Keep the room restful: a quiet, dark, cool environment sends signals to your brain that it is time to wind down. Invest in a good bed; if your bed or mattress is uncomfortable or more than ten years old it may need replacing.

8. Use visualisation techniques:
If you have an active mind, or are a ‘worrier’, get your mind to think of something else. Take yourself off to a beach or a lovely garden, and let all your senses become involved. Hear the waves, feel the sand through your toes, picture the blue sky and make the place come alive. Each night that you do this, the time it takes to go to sleep should get shorter as ‘going’ to this beautiful place signals to your brain that this is the time for sleep.

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