Sleep quality: getting better zeds

  1. Caffeine:

Some people are just more sensitive to caffeine than others and you might not realise it but every time you have caffeine your body has an adrenal response. That is to say that your adrenal glands are stimulated and adrenaline gets pumped around your body. Not what you need when you’re trying to harvest a good night’s sleep.

Be aware of your caffeine intake – how much you drink, how late you drink it… and don’t forget that caffeine is in coffee, tea, chocolate and many sodas.

Opt for herbal infusions later in the day or steep your tea for a very short time to reduce the caffeine levels.

  1. Switch off your electronic devices:

It’s so simple yet so effective. Switch off phones, screens, devices at least an hour before bed, as they can disrupt your circadian rhythm (natural body clock). It really helps to wind down.

  1. Epsom salt bath:

Taking a warm bath before bed stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system (the branch that helps you to relax, slows your heart rate and breathing). Mix in a generous handful of Epsom salts, which is full of Magnesium, and you’ve got a lovely recipe for rest and repair – soothing tired muscles, promoting relaxation and alleviating restless leg syndrome.

  1. Routine:

Another simple but very effective tip – committing to the same bedtime every night allows the natural body clock to get into a rhythm. This then helps regulate melatonin (hormone) secretion which is integral to getting to sleep and then staying asleep. The body is such an incredible and clever machine, sometimes we take it for granted how amazingly it has evolved.

  1. Essential oils:

Lavender, v├ętiver, frankincense, cedarwood are my personal favourites to enjoy before a restful night’s sleep. The aromatic compounds work directly with the body to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, aiding a restful state. As they are natural products, their power is far greater and quicker than synthetic alternatives. Aromatherapy is an ancient medicinal practice and one that I love learning more about and using in my daily routine.

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