How often do you calmly drift off to sleep feeling deeply relaxed? Can you remember the last time you slept through the night without waking up? Wouldn’t you love to spring out of bed in the morning, feeling revived and refreshed; just sometimes? How much do you long for more of those precious hours snoozing, so that you’re ready to face the day? Are you tired of being tired? I might just be able to help.
We all have nights when our sleep is disturbed; the odd one is manageable, but when it becomes a habit, it can affect everything. The quality and duration of our sleep has an incredible impact on our entire body, including our immune system, blood sugar regulation and perhaps most notably, the functioning of our brain. You will inevitably wake up feeling dreadful after a poor night’s sleep, with an unproductive day ahead of you, and your best intentions being scrapped. It can be likened to that delirious feeling of jet lag.
Sleep well, live well
Good health starts with quality sleep, as a clear head will help you achieve your goals. You are less likely to suffer from sugar cravings, which lead to bad diet choices, and you will have more energy to stick to your exercise regime; aside from being more productive at work.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to disturbed sleep, such as stress, illness or a major event that is challenging your daily routine. I can now talk from experience. If you’ve been reading my newsletter recently, you’ll know that I’m in the process of moving house; as ever, this isn’t straightforward. As I try to switch off when my head hits the pillow, my thoughts starts doing overtime. But over the years, I have learnt a number of techniques that put these worries to the back of my mind and allow me to rest.
Kath’s tips for a good night’s sleep
Early to bed, early to rise
I do believe the saying is true, every hour before midnight is worth double the time after, so try and aim to go to bed at around 10pm. This may sound a little early, but the bedtime routine can often take a while, and if you read to calm your mind, by 11pm you should be ready to drift off.
A helping hand
There are a number of natural remedies that are very effective in calming your mind at bedtime. They won’t promise to heal the underlying cause of your sleep issues, but they will give you a helping hand:
- Epsom Bath Salts – You may have heard me mention these once or twice! They contain magnesium which is a fantastic at helping you to relax. Add these to an evening bath twice a week and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
- Magnesium supplement – If you are really struggling, take two capsules before bed. http://kathgriffin.eu.nspshop.com/magnesium
- Hops and Valerian – This also works wonders in helping to send you off to sleep. http://kathgriffin.eu.nspshop.com/hops_valerian_with_passion_flower_(100)
- White Chestnut Bach flower remedy – This is great for calming a busy mind if you wake up in the night and struggle to get back to sleep. https://shop.crystalherbs.com/Bach-Flower-Remedies/White-Chestnut—Bach-Flower-Remedies__p-71-214.aspx
The magic marble technique
You may drift off to sleep without a problem, and then wake up in the early hours with a buzzing mind. Try the ‘magic marble technique’ which is incredibly effective. Imagine you have a marble, in a colour of your choice, and allow it to travel around your body. I always start by circling it inside my head and then I virtually roll it down my body. Stay focussed on the marble to distract your mind from the thoughts keeping you awake, and before you know it, your morning alarm should be waking you up.
Limit your screen time
It’s impossible to avoid screens, but televisions, smart phones, tablets and eReaders all emit blue light, which interferes with our production of melatonin (essential in preparing our body for sleep). Try and avoid screens an hour before bedtime. Alternatively, you could invest in some special glasses that block out the blue light (widely available online); they don’t look great on, but neither do those bags under your eyes in the morning!
A power nap
Don’t feel guilty! Allow yourself a daytime power nap, if feasible, when you’re struggling; 40 minutes should do it. Growing up, we all retired to our beds after lunch to read, often resulting in a sleep. This little afternoon energy boost with really increase your afternoon productivity.
Take regular exercise
Exercise stimulates and regulates your hormones, which results in a better night’s sleep. You don’t have to train for the next marathon; a 30-minute walk each day can really make a difference.
Give these tips a go and you should be well on your way to better sleeping habits. If you’re worried, get in touch to book an appointment, and I will help you find the underlying cause of your sleeping difficulties.
Next month – Clear your mind
Next month I’ll be giving you tips on clearing your mind to give you clarity. As I’m decluttering my home in preparation to move, it seems like a timely moment!