A NATUROPATHIC & HOLISTIC APPROACH TO SLEEP HYGIENE
By our resident naturopath- Kate Dalton.
Improve productivity and concentration, stabilise blood-sugar, improve your mood and strengthen your immune system just by making sleep hygiene a priority.
We have 2 hormones that predominantly control our sleep/wake cycle; Melatonin (sleep) and Serotonin (wake), which work concomitantly.
Adopt the following sleep hygiene routine before bed for a restful night’s sleep.
1. Exercise daily- eg: pilates, walking, bike riding or swimming. However, refrain from high intensity exercise within 1 hour before bed time as this can prevent melatonin from being synthesised adequately.
2. Regulate meals throughout the day, and include protein at every meal to stabilise blood sugar levels.
3. Avoid coffee and other stimulants after midday.
4. Adopt stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation and breathing exercises, especially from the afternoon onwards.
5. Switch off computers and anything else with a backlight at least 1 hour before bed. Avoid fluorescent lighting, and instead choose a low, warm light for 2 hours before bed.
6. Take the time to have a calming herbal tea before bed. Herbs such as chamomile, lavender and passionflower improve the production of melatonin. These are all found in our Serenity blend, which has been formulated for sleep.
7. Make sure your room is completely dark, quiet and warm.
8. Use your bedroom as a space for for sleeping and intimacy only- this creates a relaxed energy.
9. Go to sleep at the same time every night to encourage a stable circadian rhythm.
Why is restful sleep so vital for our health?
Sleep is a vital need for every person’s overall health and well-being. It helps your brain work properly and is important for enabling the body to repair itself after each day, and be fit and ready for the next. Getting the right amount of rest may also help prevent excess weight gain, heart disease, and reduce how long some illnesses may linger.