Health

Sleep

September 18th, 2013 by

Sleep is something all of us want and need more of. However admit it – it tends to fall pretty low down on your to-do list!

Sleep is not a basic human need for nothing! We need it to recover, detoxify, rebalance and heal. It is essential for everything from brain function and heart health to weight management and skin condition. Lack of sleep is actually one of the most ageing culprits on both the body and face.

But even if you manage to make time for a solid eight hours shut eye, you may find that the one thing you enter this world with the remarkable ability to do, is the one thing that poses the biggest challenge later in life, and one of the most frustrating clock-watching, sheep counting struggles imaginable.

Sleep problems affect all of us at some point.

Here are some snooze-savvy tips to get you snoring in no time.

Tryptophan is the neurotransmitter which we need to rock us to sleep at night, and it is possible to eat your way to dreamland. Tryptophan is rich in protein foods including turkey, salmon, cottage cheese and milk. So hot milk at night is not an old wives tale after all!

Carefully plan your last meal of the day. If you are experiencing problems nodding off you need to eat Tryptophan as close to bedtime as possible, but keep the meal light. A few pieces of cold turkey with a small amount of refined carbohydrate

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such as white rice or a little potato will do the trick. The tryptophan from the turkey will be transported to your brain at Concorde speed due to the fast release energy blast from the white rice or potato.

Avoid sugar and caffeine past 4pm. In fact avoiding these stimulants throughout the day in general will help flick off your brain switch at bedtime. Cherry juice is a natural source of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for your sleep-wake cycle. Snack on the fruit itself or better still invest in a cherry juice supplement.

Don’t be tempted to knock yourself out with a generous few glasses of wine – alcohol induced sleep is not particularly restoring and restful and a hangover isn’t a good look come morning. Instead, seek herbal support. Valerian, camomile, Melissa Dream and Passion Flower are all natural snooze-supporters. Look for these ingredients in teas and sleep promoting supplements.

If you are a gym bunny then exercise in the morning as evening activity will stimulate the brain. Go for exercises which serve to relax and centre like Yoga, Thai Chi and walking if you prefer evening stints of activity.

Anything lavender scented should find its way into your boudoir, as this flower is a mind relaxant, sleep enhancer and altogether calming influence! A bath before bedtime, followed by a quick scribble in your diary and a chapter of a good book will each help to soothe you.

Remember, avoid watching the television before bedtime and switch off your computer and phone at least an hour before, as these serenity drainers are like the anti-lullaby.

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