How did you sleep?
Did you sleep well?
Inadequate sleep can affect every aspect of your health. Mental, physical and emotional health are linked to sleep.
Mind, body and soul need that rest to function well during the day.
How much sleep do you need?
The amount of sleep an individual need varies, but generally adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep for optimal health.
Children need more sleep.
You will need more sleep when you’re ill so the body can recover.
THE EFFECTS OF INSOMNIA:
Certain types of foods and drink contain ingredients that help control different sections of your sleep cycle. Eating specific food can help you fall asleep and experience better quality sleep.
Sleep quality, as well as the length of sleep, is vital. Less than ideal sleep can lead to:
- accelerate the ageing process
- heart disease
- lack of mental focus
- weight gain
- low libido
- high blood pressure
Most people in our modern-day, fast-paced, high-stress society are not experiencing optimal sleep.
Shift work, work stress, city life, technology, bad sleep habits and babies can all have an impact on sleep quality and sleep habits.
I had four babies in as many years so if you are a sleep-deprived parent at the moment, I know how you feel!
I’ve also worked shift work during the night time and have fully felt the physical and mental effects of working unsociable hours.
My emotions felt very up and down during that time. Highly strung, anxious, low mood and irritable and teary.
HOW TO IMPROVE SLEEP?
The following ingredients in food can promote quality sleep:
- vitamin B complex
- vitamin D
By eating food that contains the above chemicals we can help to increase the quality of our sleep.
7 IMPORTANT DIETARY CHANGES TO IMPROVE SLEEP
Eating kiwi can improve sleep as it contains the following sleep-inducing ingredients:
Walnuts contain magnesium, serotonin and melatonin which promote and regulate sleep.
Cherries contain these sleep-regulating compounds:
melatonin, tryptophan, potassium, and serotonin.
Salmon and other fatty fish contain vitamin D and omega 3 oils which can help improve sleep.
Melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle is found in almonds.
Almonds are high in unsaturated fats, low in sugar and saturated fats.
6. WARM MILK
Milk contains tryptophan, melatonin, vitamin D and calcium.
Tryptophan contained in cow’s milk can be responsible for better sleep, or perhaps the childhood association with warm milk is what encourages sleep.
Warm coconut milk, rice milk or almond milk can be effective if you have a dairy intolerance or are vegan.
A pre-bedtime routine of drinking a warm cup of milk or hot tea can create a ritual which is also known to help encourage sleep.
7. HOT TEA
- chamomile tea
- valerian root tea
- lavender tea
- passionflower tea
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO IMPROVE SLEEP
- avoid foods and drinks with caffeine after 6 pm
- avoid white bread, pasta
- avoid sugar
- avoiding foods spicy food before bed
- eat regular, smaller meals
- drink adequate water
- exercise regularly and in the morning or afternoon
- 12 hour fast between dinner and breakfast
- create a bedtime ritual eg: warm drink and a warm bath, lavender oils, massage, meditation, sleep masks, earplugs, blackout blinds
It can be frustrating when you know that you are not getting adequate sleep.
You can feel tired and unfocused during the day.
However, a few simple dietary and lifestyle changes can alter your sleep hygiene and create lasting positive effects. You don’t have to do it alone.
I offer Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for insomnia.
Insomnia can also be managed well with meditation and yoga.
Email me, Niomi: [email protected]
Thank you for reading!