Updated: Aug 23, 2019
Humans have internal clocks that govern our sleep/wake cycles, as well as when we should eat for best metabolism, and which organs are the focus of repair at any particular time of day.
This is called our circadian rhythm and if we follow this natural rhythm our bodies function well. But modern living means we are not as attuned to our rhythm of life and instead stimulate ourselves to stay awake and pop a pill to go sleep. We eat at any time in a 24 Hr cycle and have lights as bright as the sun shining down on us all day long.
Obtaining good sleep is so crucially important to our well-being, while you are asleep your body detoxes repairs, recharges the brain, and makes hormones. Any disruption to good sleep means that you do not perform to your best ability during the day. This will affect your immune system, digestive system, stress, and energy levels and of course this has a knock on effect to anything else you doing that day.
Tips for the best sleep of your life:
Establish a bedtime. Good quality sleep needs a minimum of seven hours eight and a half is ideal.
As soon as you wake up get out of bed, open curtains and let in light. The light hits your retina which starts a hormonal cascade telling your body it is day time. This sets part of your internal clock which helps you fall asleep easier come night time.
At night dim lights one hour before bed, switch off the TV, computer, and phone. Blue light emitted from devices stunts the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone) making it harder to fall asleep and if you do less likely to have deep restorative sleep.
Don’t eat two hours before bed and any meal after five pm should be light.
If you are hungry before bed have food high in tryptophan which is a precursor to melatonin (bananas, milk, pumpkin seeds, eggs, and oats).
Drink herbal sleep tea - there are many nice blends which act as relaxants for the body and mind, some specific herbs are chamomile, lemon balm, valerian, and lavender.
To wind down your mind read a novel, journal your thoughts for the day or listen to a sleep audio.
If you pray or meditate this is also a good time.
Keep your room cool, your brain needs to cool by 2 degrees to sleep. Taking a warm shower dilates blood vessels and sends blood to the peripheries cooling down the brain.
Essential oils such as lavender, vetiver, or chamomile induce sleep. Diffuse at night or massage a drop with a base oil into the souls of your feet.
Keep the bedroom free of laptops, TV’s, and work. The bedroom is for sleep and love making only!
Electrical appliances should be kept at least one meter away from your bed, even better they are out of the room switched off.
You want your bedroom to be a cave at night - cosy, quiet, and pitch black. Invest in blackout curtains especially if you have light pollution coming in off the street.