Getting To Slee…zzzzz

SO SLEEP IS BECOMING a bit of an issue at the moment for many people. It is horrible not to be able to fall asleep, because your mind is out of control or waking up again in the early hours and not being able to go to sleep. Stress and anxiety are contributing hugely to this current issue of insomnia. To be able to go to sleep the brain needs to switch to the relaxed alpha state as opposed to being in the busy beta brain state. How do we get into that state? Meditation and relaxation techniques are key to calming ourselves down. We need sleep to function properly as lack of sleep will also compromise our body systems including the immune system. According to the Chinese Medicine body clock, waking up between 3 and 5 am is likely to do with adrenal exhaustion or between 1 and 3 am indicates the liver might be struggling for example. 

There are many reasons why we don’t sleep well so the key is to get to the root cause of the problem. Here are some other tips to get a better night sleep.

Avoid caffeine after 3pm. It is a stimulant and can take a long time to be eliminated from the body.

Alcohol, even though it can make us feel sleepy it tends to wake us up again in a couple of hours and it is difficult to go to back to sleep again.

Large meals in the evening should be avoided as they might promote a high insulin release which might lead to low blood sugar which then releases adrenaline into the blood stream and that would often wake us up and we might struggle to fall asleep again. 

Add more tryptophan foods into your diet. Tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin (the happy hormone which also helps us sleep). Include fish, legumes, avocado, bananas in your diet. A little bit of banana or an oat cake with a little avocado before bed could be beneficial.

Make sure your diet contains enough Magnesium as it is the nature’s tranquilliser, and finding a good Magnesium supplement might also help.

Aim to go to bed earlier 22.30 -23.00 and try not to use phones or computers two hours before bedtime.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by
the pineal gland in the brain which
regulates our sleep wake cycle. To help
our body to make more melatonin
naturally, get out in the sunshine
during the day and at night sleep in a dark room. Bright lights inhibit the release of melatonin.  

Exercise regularly as this can often improve sleep patterns, but do not exercise too late as this could be stimulating for the body.

Reducing stress levels is key – meditation and yoga are great tools to help achieve this.

Helena Taylor

Book a free 20-minute call to discuss stress, female health and hormonal balance and how I might support you on your journey to optimal health.

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