Sleep is so important. When you don’t sleep properly you don’t function properly, well at least I know that I definitely don’t. I can’t concentrate, I feel lethargic and I can’t be bothered to do anything. Plus, I usually end up craving sugar and end up in a crash when I’ve caved and eaten a cookie or 4. Here are 5 ways to make sure you’re really getting the most out of your sleep and therefore the most out of your day!
1. Switch Up Your Diet
I found when I was doing my clean eating challenge that I slept really well and as soon as I had a cheat meal, a big Chinese or takeaway pizza for example, I’d sleep really badly because of the salt content and because I was too full and uncomfortable. Eating a smaller meal for dinner, without too much salt or sugar in, at least 2 hours before bed, is the best way to sleep through the night I find.
2. Relaxation & Meditation
Deep breathing and apps like Headspace are great ways to chill out and relax for just 10 minutes before bed. I also found that when I was using Headspace I’d fall asleep before the 10 minutes meditation period was even up! This doesn’t mean that you have to become a 100% spiritual Yogi but just switching off from everything and having a good think without really thinking about anything can chill you out massively before sleep.
3. Invest In Your Bed
Are your pillows, your mattress and your sheets as good as you can afford? You spend at least 7-8 hours in this place, your bed, every day, and sometimes more time on the weekend so why not invest as much as you would on a sofa or your favourite jacket? The dream for my room is something like the Grace & Fern collection from Frette but I’m not sure my bank balance will stretch that far. Layers are a good idea when it comes to bed linen because the worst thing is getting too hot or too cold at night. I always keep a thin blanket on the end of the bed as well as having a separate duvet for summer and winter.
Magnesium is a really important mineral for our health and a lot of people are at least a little bit deficient in it. I’ve found that supplementing with Magnesium, taking one tablet a day, has really helped me fall asleep quicker and stay asleep too. It’s found in many foods at low levels and it’s a component of more than 300 different enzymes in the human body. It’s essential for hydration, muscle relaxation and also deactivation of adrenaline. Obviously, having more magnesium will help your adrenaline lower better and therefore chill you out more and make it easier to fall and stay asleep.
This is an obvious one and one you read all over every article like this but it’s so true. I try and stop scrolling Instagram and working on my laptop at around 9pm, we then watch telly until about 10.30pm and then usually head to bed around then and read either on my iPad (on the dark screen setting!), a magazine or a book. I find reading really helps me fall asleep, sometimes too quickly. Maybe give it a go if you usually find it tricky to drift off?
Hopefully, these tips will help any restless nights but if you’re really having insomnia and difficulty sleeping you should see your GP about it. These are just a few things that have helped me sleep a little more soundly.