Have you found yourself struggling to sleep soundly? Even tho most of us have had a little more time on our hands lately. But how well have you been spending those hours? Did you start a new hobby? Or have you been trying to navigate home schooling? Feeling worried about the future or netflix bingeing?
Ahhh sleep- we crave it, we love it, yet, some find it all too elusive at times.
With all this extra time and a general slowing down of life, now is the perfect time to fine tune your sleeping habits.
You Need To Prioritise To Sleep Soundly
I don’t usually find sleep a problem, since I started to prioritise it quite a few years ago.
It’s an essential part of our day as humans. For a lot of us, sleep often comes last on the list of priorities.
But during the whole ‘corona-tion’ shebang, I got even a whole lot better at sleeping. You see, with fewer social interactions, fewer time pressures in my day, there was a lot less processing my brain had to do at night, so I found myself sleeping more soundly.
Sleep Helps Process Your Day
One of the purposes of sleep is to process our day.
The many thoughts, emotions, conversations, stresses and impressions of our day are processed by the brain and then backed up to our long-term memory. This leaves our short- term, working memory relatively clear for the next day.
Think of how many impressions you have pass through your mind each day. From repetitive thoughts, to-do lists, news articles, emails, tv series, advertisements to social media trawling. It’s a lot of information to cope with!
More, in fact, than we have ever had to process in our sleep before.
Which is why we are seeing another kind of epidemic take shape. An epidemic of tiredness.
What can be done about Tiredness?
Thankfully, a lot of help is at hand. With a few simple practices, a re-frame of priorities and some helpful nutrients or herbs, you can be sleeping soundly and getting more out of each day.
One of the best rewards I gained from having prioritised my sleep, was greater enjoyment in my day. My energy levels increased (without the need for caffeine), my moods improved and stabilised, and my nails, hair and skin were in better condition. Sleep is when our body repairs from the day, so more sleep means more time for repair.
Sleep to natural circadian rhythms
Our sleep cue hormone, melatonin, peaks at 9:30/10pm, and if we pass this hour on Facebook, Netflix or working late, we miss that all important sleep cue. Your body will go in to another ‘wake’ phase, and you may find yourself unable to shut eye for another few hours.
Sleep in an Electro- magnetic free zone
Having electric devices in your sleeping space can interrupt your nervous system, making it harder for your brain to “switch off”.
So turn your wifi off, mobile phones off, place electric alarm clocks and baby monitors at least 2m away from you. Check you don’t have a fuse box or any large electric appliances like fridges or tv on the other side of the wall behind your bed.
Magnesium helps Rest
The 2nd most abundant mineral in our body. If we don’t have adequate levels, our nervous system finds it hard to switch off.
Signs you may need a boost include:
- eye twitches,
- muscle cramps,
- restless legs,
- sugar or chocolate cravings
Did you know dark chocolate is high in magnesium! Probably your best tasting magnesium source!
Night Waking Causes
Waking at night between 1-3am? Your liver might need some extra love.
This is the time when our liver is doing its job of detoxifying and if it’s a little overloaded, from alcohol, heavy evening meals, too much sugar or environmental toxins, it may cause you restlessness and disturbed sleep at this time. Herbs like dandelion root, milk thistle and schissandra may be of help.
Meditate to Set Up Sleep
A simple meditation practice can help process the day, before you go to sleep.
I love to do a simple 20 minute practice at the end of my work day, before heading into family time. This sets me up for a calm and clear evening, having processed any concerns of the day.
Herbal Sedative can Help Sound Sleep
And if you do have trouble switching off after paying attention to these factors, then a herbal sedative such as passionflower, ziziphus, valerian or magnolia may help get you back into a sleep sound space.
Herbal sedatives are not addictive, but rather, they gently relax your body and mind so you can switch off more easily and re-establish healthy sleep patterns.
Still having trouble getting some good shut eye? Then talk to Megan or Christine for some personalised sleep advice.
So how are you going to prioritise sleep and move into our ‘new normal’ with a sound sleeping pattern that will carry you forward in life?