Do you struggle to get to sleep at night because you can’t calm your racing mind? Does your brain go into overdrive, thinking about all the things you have to do the next day?
As busy, working women, life can get chaotic. Sleep is often the thing that we sacrifice or miss out on, in order to get everything done! But, if you don’t get enough sleep, it can impact how alert and productive you are during the day. It can also impact your mood, leaving you feeling cranky and tired.
If you find it difficult to unwind at night, or you suffer from broken sleep, here are a few things you can do to ensure you get a better quality sleep at night and wake up feeling refreshed:
Turn off all electronic devices
This may seem like a no-brainer, but we have all become so addicted to our phones these days, that sometimes it is hard to put them down at night. But, most of us don’t realise how much damage they are actually causing.
So, why are they bad? It all comes down to that little blue light on your phone. Basically it messes with your body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) and suppresses the release of melatonin (which helps you sleep). It stimulates your brain, which in turn makes it harder to fall asleep.
So, try to turn off all your electronic devices at least one hour before you go to bed, and give your brain a chance to unwind and prepare for sleep. I guarantee you, that important work email or text from your friend, can wait until morning.
Find simple ways to unwind before bed
What helps to relax you? Is it a bubble bath? Is it doing some simple mindfulness exercises? Or, maybe it’s drinking a herbal tea before bed, such as peppermint or chamomile. Studies show there are some great properties in herbal teas that are conducive to sleeping.
Whatever it is that helps you relax, try to do it every night consistently before you go to bed, instead of playing on your phone, or watching TV. It will be less stimulating for your brain and allow your body to relax and prepare itself for sleep.
Make sure the temperature of the room is right
Most of us don’t realise that the temperature of our bedroom, can have a major impact on the quality of sleep we get. Ever tossed and turned on hot summer night and struggled to drift off?
This is because there are certain stages our bodies go through in order to go into a deep sleep. Your body temperature needs to drop a few degrees to get to that state. If you’re too hot, it will be harder for you to get there and your brain will get confused and remain too alert.
Eating a heavy meal late at night can prevent you from falling into the deep sleep that you need, because your body is still trying to process the food and is focused on that task, rather than focusing on the task of sleeping!
Believe it or not, there are actually ‘sleep-inducing foods’ out there. Foods high in tryptophan (which is an animo acid found in high-protein foods) have been known to assist with sleep. Some of these include: spinach, bananas, eggs, soy, pumpkin and sesame seeds, milk, cheese and fish.
So, when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, it’s all about eating the right foods, at the right time.
Try essential oils
Choosing the right essential oil for your body can help to relax your senses and has been known to aid in a better quality sleep. Essential oils are said to perk up an area of the brain, known as the limbic system that commands mood and emotion.
You could try a couple of (diluted) drops on your skin, add a couple of drops to your bath water or even put a few drops in a heat diffuser near your bed. Scents such as lavender have been known for their sleep-inducing qualities. However, essential oils are not for everyone, especially if you have allergies, so please consult with your doctor first, before trying them!
Do you have any sleep tips you’d like to share? What’s worked for you?
Image Credits: Vladislav Muslakov – Unsplash, Nathan Dumlao – Unsplash