Sleep deprivation, not only frustrating as you lay tossing and turning in your bed, may also be making you fat and moody. It is now well known and documented that when we don’t get enough quality sleep we tend to crave and consume more of the stodgy stuff the next day, plus who hasn’t become slightly snappy with their nearest and dearest when they’re feeling tired?
Good Sleep Habits:
- Have a relaxing bed before bath time to relax you and make you sleepy.
- Got to bed, and get up at the same time, your body craves a routine sleep pattern.
- Don’t have your bedroom too warm – keep the window ajar – the body needs a good supply of oxygen to sleep.
- Spray Neroli or Lavender Essential Oil on to your pillow, to lull you into La La Land.
- Avoid Caffeine in drinks, medicines and supplements in the afternoon.
- Exercise has been proven to aid sleep- just not too close to bedtime.
Sleep Inducing Foods:
Yoghurt – a good source of calcium and protein. Calcium is not only essential for strength of bones and teeth, but it can also promote restful sleep. It is thought that calcium plays a role in the activation of the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating your body’s sleep/wake cycle. Calcium also works together with magnesium to calm the body and help relax nerves and muscles.
Honey – added to a glass of milk is one of the oldest remedies for insomnia. Honey contains the sugars fructose and glucose. Fructose in metabolised in your liver to replenish stored glucose. Adequate liver glycogen (glucose) ensures a steady supply of fuel to your brain while sleeping. If glucose stores run out in the early hours, your body triggers the release of the hormones adrenalin and cortisol to convert stored proteins into glucose- a side effect of this can be to wake you up.
Bananas – are a treasure trove of sleep enhancing nutrients. They contain magnesium, vitamin C and B6 needed to convert the amino acid, tryptophan, into serotonin to induce a peaceful night’s sleep. Plus the potassium in bananas works together with magnesium to help relax overstressed muscles.
Chamomile – is a fragrant herb with an apple like taste and smell. It is wonderfully soothing and has a long history of medicinal use to treat many health problems including insomnia, anxiety, fever, skin rashes, and digestive disorders. Tea, made with the flowers and leaves, drunk before bedtime is thought to have a sedative effect.
Tart Cherry Juice – could well be the new wonder drink! It has been discovered that tart cherries contain significant amounts of melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep. A recent study has found that regularly drinking it can improve sleep quality and duration by up to 25 minutes a night.