Healthy Sleep Habits For Getting The Perfect Night’s Sleep
Healthy Sleep Habits For Getting The Perfect Night’s Sleep
Sleep is key for good health. Consistent, rejuvenating sleep is one of the keys to feeling energised and happy. Your body needs it to thrive and feel its best. If you’re anything like me I feel completely different (re-energised, more focused and motivated) on the days where I have had a good amount of good quality sleep and on days where sleep hasn’t be so great I can definitely notice how it impacts my energy, how I feel, my moods and even my cravings.
Prioritising sleep is a crucial for good health. You can read more on why you need sleep to feel your best and energetic self here.
Aim for 8 hours of good quality, restful sleep. Ideally including a few hours before midnight to wake up refreshed.
What you do in the one hour before bedtime impacts how you well sleep that night so it is best to keep this time for gentle, relaxed and in line with the natural winding down of your body. Create a winding-down period before going to bed. Choose a time, approximately 1 hour before bed, and begin to wind-down your body and mind without stimulation encouraging your body to a better night’s sleep. Choose activities that help you wind down such as reading, reflecting, burning relaxing essential oils, stretching etc, (ideally not scrolling through social media).
Go to bed earlier. Sleeping during the hours before midnight is worth more than the hours after. Your body’s sleep patterns run in cycles and an early night can give you an extra boost of rest and rejuvenation. It’s part of our natural human evolution that sleep patterns are revolved around resting when the sun is down and rising when the sun is up. Gradually bring your bedtime earlier, even if just by 30 minutes each week until you reach a point where you wake up in the morning refreshed and stick to it.
A consistent bed time helps your body to adjust and fall into a rejuvenating routine.
YOUR SLEEP ENVIRONMENT
Create an ideal sleep environment that supports rejuvenating sleep. This includes what you sleep on, your linen and the ambience and lighting in your room. Dim lights in the lead up to bed time and try to keep artificial blue lights off (such as screens and devices) during the night, this can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin (the sleep hormone).
Make sure your bed is supportive of your body and restful sleep. This was a big game changer for me. You want your mattress to be not too firm and not too soft, one that is breathable and one that doesn’t bounce when your partner moves. Once I invested in a mattress that supported by body I never realised how much a good mattress could influence my quality of sleep.
I also believe in the quality of mattress and the ensuring it is one without nasty chemicals (I didn’t even realise how many chemicals can be found in other mattresses!)
After hours of research I chose the Koala mattress and have never looked back.It’s the perfect feel, breathes and has no disturbance when your partner rolls over. The Koala mattress has also been tested for all the nasty chemicals that can be found in other mattresses. When I researched, here’s what I discovered:
✔ It is made with GECA certified foam to ensure a lower impact on human health
✔ Has very low VOC emissions
✔ Doesn’t contain heavy metals (such as lead or mercury)
✔ Doesn’t contain phthalates
✔ It is made without ozone-depleting substances (methylene chloride)
Do you know that feeling of hopping into a made bed with fresh, clean sheets? Once I had discovered that a good mattress was big deal, I realised that the sheets and pillows mattered too. Even the colours and texture of your linen can help you have a better night’s sleep. Read more about how which colours and textures are ideal here.
I switched to Koala sheets derived from natural processes that combine Tencel and French linen and are breathable and I’m so glad I did! Tencel is the world’s most sustainable fibre as it recycles 99.5% of solvents used, uses no harmful chemicals, and has a completely transparent production process. They contain no AZO dyes or formaldehyde and just like their mattress, they come with a 120 night trial, can’t go wrong!
Make sure your room dark, ensure it is a comfortable cool temperature and add your personal touches (such as relaxing scents and dim lights) that help you feel relaxed.
Your body temperature also influences your quality of sleep. Being too hot, lying in sheets that don’t breathe or being too cold all can have a negative impact on getting those zzz’s.
NUTRITION TIPS FOR GOOD SLEEP
Avoid eating too late and eat a small, light meal. Your body digests best during the day with your evening sleep being the ideal time for your body to heal, repair and detoxify. Eating just before going to bed can keep you up at night and disrupt sleep. To feel lighter and more energised in the morning after a rejuvenating sleep avoid eating too late, overeating at dinner or going to bed hungry and instead enjoy a dinner that is light, satisfying and nourishing.
Avoid caffeine (at least after midday). Caffeine stimulates your body and it takes at least 6 hours for your body to rid of and unwind from its effects. Caffeine can in fact be a leading cause for insomnia. Keep any caffeine intake to before midday and swap for calming herbal teas such as chamomile tea in the evening that will helps to soothe and relax your body.
Avoid refined sugar and processed refined carbohydrates. These can have an over-stimulating effect on your body and keep you wound up causing a disturbed and unsettled sleep.
Drink chamomile tea. Chamomile is a known relaxant and can help the body to unwind before bed.
Magnesium is great for sleep and helps your body to relax. Have a few nuts rich in magnesium or include green leafy veggies in your meals, enjoy a magnesium bath soak or consider taking a magnesium supplement (under the guidance of your health practitioner).
LIFESTYLE TIPS FOR GOOD SLEEP
Exercise is also great for your sleep health. Try to move for 30 minutes each day, ideally during day light hours.
Try to avoid over-stimulating activities 2 hours before going to bed.
Turn off electronic devices. Watching late night TV, checking Facebook, Twitter and that last minute email just before going to bed can stimulate your brain to switch back ‘on’ making it harder for your body to wind down before going to sleep. Engaging with this type of artificial light also sends signals to your body to not switch off. In fact night time light exposure suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin that is responsible for your sleep and wake cycles.
Get lots of sunlight during the day, as I like to say, play when the sun is up and rest when the sun is down. Your body responds to the natural changes of nature’s cycles influencing our hormones and more. Read more about it here.
I hope these tips help you get a good night’s sleep!
SPECIAL TREAT for our Live Love Nourish family:
As it has made a big difference to a good night’s sleep for me, I highly recommend the Koala disturbance free mattress and natural fibre sheets. I’ve teamed up with Koala to offer the Live Love Nourish family 10% their range using the code: MATESWITHLIVELOVENOURISHThis would make a great gift for you and your health. *10% off applies to orders over $500.
Find out more about Koala mattress, sheets and pillows here.
For more tips on improving your sleep + nutrition and lifestyle guides for a healthy and happy life check out the Live Love Nourish 8 Week Online Program.
This blog was written by nutritionist and naturopath Casey-Lee Lyons.
© Live Love Nourish 2018.