The city life can make it hard for us to truly switch off and get a good quality night’s sleep. Late nights, or broken sleep with minds’ racing, can mean that we often wake up with low energy and foggy minds – not ideal when we have a day of work ahead of us! When we sleep is when the body’s cells regenerate and rejuvenate, so having a good sleep is vital to keeping us feeling refreshed in the mornings.
Here are 5 simple tips to keep you catching Zzzzzz’s all night long:
- Avoid stimulants close to bed time – having caffeine, alcohol and nicotine close to bed time can have a stimulating effect on the body’s nervous system, making it extremely difficult to fall into a relaxing sleep. Every person’s body handles stimulants differently, so try to work out how long before bed time you need to avoid these stimulants for. Turning electronic devices off an hour before bed will also allow the mind to switch into relaxation mode before you hit the pillow – promoting a peaceful slumber.
- Try a magnesium salt bath – have a magnesium salt bath just before bed time a few nights a week – it works wonders! Add 2 cups of salts to your bath and feel every muscle in your body relax. Not only does magnesium relax the muscles, it also lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be crawling into bed after one of these.
- Manage stress – when you’re stressed and your mind is constantly racing, this is likely to put some strain on your sleep. Make sure to put a bit of time aside to engage in relaxing activities, such as yoga and meditation. Breathing exercises before bed can also be a great way to get those brain waves flowing a lot more calmly.
- Protein – this essential macronutrient helps to reduce cortisol, the hormone that is produced by the body when we are stressed. When cortisol levels are high, sleep levels are low. Protein also helps to balance and maintain blood sugar levels, meaning that insulin spikes, which can contribute to excess cortisol, are kept in check. Try to have a portion of protein with each meal to ensure sufficient protein levels. Eggs, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, lean meat, and quinoa are all good options.
- Potassium – this important electrolyte is required by the body to maintain water balance and reduce blood pressure, which in turn contributes to a restful night’s sleep. Eating potassium rich foods such as oats, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, avocados and fish, will set you on the path to that dreamy sleep you’ve been longing for.