Sweet Sweet Sleep
The circadian rhythm is our natural sleep wake cycle and if we are in harmony with it, our sleep can naturally improve. Sleep restores us like nothing else can. Sometimes it is fleeting, sometimes deep. It comforts us and is essential to our survival. We barely give it any thought until it is impossible to sleep and then we become obsessed with it.
There are so many reasons our sleep pattern can be disrupted and it would be best to book an appointment with Patricia or Angela our naturopathic nutritionists or your local herbalist or therapist, to have a full consultation to get to the underlying cause. However, in the meantime, here are a few ideas with sleep hygiene that may help.
BAN WATCHING TV & COMPUTERS AT NIGHT
Technologies can have a serious detrimental impact on sleep. Did you know that TV and computer screens emit a blue light that is very similar to the light emitted outdoors in the day. The brain thinks it is daytime and therefore does not produce any melatonin.
Normally the brain starts producing melatonin between 9 – 10pm and we get sleepy but insomnia sets in when this secretion cycle is disrupted.
Sleep Routine is a priority by keeping a consistent bedtime and waking schedule including at the week-end.
LET THE DARKNESS SET IN
Sleep as close to complete darkness as possible. A tiny bit of light can disrupt your internal clock and the pineal glands melatonin and serotonin production. Use blackout blinds or curtains, close our bedroom door and stop the night lights.
Unwind and create a bedtime routine that is relaxing. Take a hot bath an hour and a half before bed as the body temperature drops signalling to the body that it is ready for sleep. Read a book or listen to soothing music.
Exercise is helpful for sleep so exercise regularly but make sure it is at least 4 hours before bedtime so the body and mind are not too energetic.
LET THE DIGESTION REST
Avoid heavy foods, spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and sugary foods several hours before bedtime allowing the body time to digest these foods. The digestive system will then be more relaxed otherwise this can lead to disrupted or poor sleep during the night.
OPTIMAL SLEEP TEMPERATURE
Most people keep their homes too warm. Studies show the best temperature is between 15 – 20 degrees C. The internal body temperature drops to its lowest after 4 hours of sleeping, therefore a cooler bedroom mimics the body’s natural temperature drop.
This is a topic on its own and we can chat about this for hours as it disrupts the pineal gland and many more negative side effects. You can buy a gauss meter to measure the EMF’s in the house or a simpler way is just to switch off everything possible at night.
There are so many more pointers we can give but do try the above sleep suggestions and please let us know if this was helpful in gaining a great night’s sleep.
Napiers in Glasgow on Cresswell Street has many suggestions on herbal tinctures or supplements that may be of benefit. Pop into the shop or give us a call on 0141 339 5859 and we will be able to help with sweet, sweet sleep.
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