We all know sleep is a good thing to have. But many people still deprive themselves of sleep – whether it’s time spent sleeping or the quality sleep. The bad news is, poor sleep can be dangerous to your health. Let’s look at why you want to find a good sleeping pattern for optimal wellbeing.
What happens when you have poor sleep (or just not enough)
When you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t get a chance to reboot. You end up in survival mode – a state of chronic stress.
There will be symptoms like irritability and mood swings, and your detoxification will be impaired. Your immune system drops, and your gut flora swing towards more ‘bad’ bacteria.
You’ll also release more cortisol, and that stores fat very easily. So your metabolism will drop, you will gain body fat, and you’ll stop functioning properly.
That’s not what anyone wants!
Why you want high-quality sleep
So what are the benefits of a good night’s rest? It helps with things such as:
Maintaining a healthy weight
Regulating the metabolism
Managing stress and restoring the adrenals
Repair of body tissues, including microtears in muscle from exercise
Optimal immune function
A happy digestive system (including your gut bacteria)
Tips to sleep soundly
Is good sleep evading you? Here are some ways to get back to a peaceful slumber.
Eat smart at dinner. Make it the smallest meal, and finish it at least 2 hours before bed. Some people may also want to avoid spicy food, as it stimulates the metabolism.
Keep your caffeine consumption to the mornings. Caffeine can have a long half-life and stick around in your bloodstream, especially if your detoxification is a little sluggish.
Avoid using technology immediately before bed. Ban computers from the bedroom and keep your phone out of reach. The blue light emitted from electronic devices can suppress melatonin, the brain chemical we need for quality sleep.
Try a guided meditation when you’re ready to go to sleep. The deep breathing and mindfulness can relieve stress and prepare the nervous system for rest. Psst – if you’re looking for a meditation to use, you might want to check out The Lifestyle Collective!
Snack on a tryptophan-rich food before bed to boost your melatonin production. Some good options include a glass of milk, a small serving of almonds, cashews or walnuts, or half a banana.
Turn down the lights. This signals to the body that it’s nearly time to sleep – like the sun going down. If you have a dimmer switch, make the most of it in the evenings. If not, just keep the essential lights on, or light some candles.
Sip on a caffeine-free herbal tea. My favourite is a T2 blend with valerian and chamomile. If your tummy is a bit uncomfortable after dinner, a peppermint tea can soothe it and refresh you. You can serve herbal tea cold if it’s a hot evening.
A magnesium supplement before bed may help if your food regime is lacking. Magnesium is a natural relaxant for the muscles and the nervous system. 200Mg is a good starting point – just avoid magnesium oxide, as it can cause digestive upsets and is poorly absorbed.
Do you want to learn more about how to sleep a deep, healing sleep? Make sure you join The Real Lifestyle Collective, where we cover all the topics you need to be your best. To learn more, click here.