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THE FIX

Natural Solutions for a Good Night’s Sleep


Natural Solutions for a Good Night’s Sleep


Sleep is essential for our health.  It refreshes the mind and repairs the body, but how much sleep do we need to thrive and what can we do to naturally ensure a night full of restorative zzz's?

A lack of sleep can have detrimental effects on our physical health, mental health, reaction times, strength, resilience, balance and outward appearance. 

Our growth hormones such as Leptin and Ghrelin (associated with being full and hungry) are secreted at night during different stages of sleep and can affect, inflammation, heart health, blood pressure and insulin control.

Sleep, Health, Mental Health and Mood

Having a good night’s rest is critical for our day to day functioning as it impacts the way we interact with the world around us and the people in it.

Poor sleep patterns and a lack of sleep has been linked to an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

Having adequate sleep (we suggest a minimum of 7 hours per night) gives us the best chance of being resilient throughout the day and feeling energised. It can also help with us with memory recall and keeping our minds sharp and creative.

There is a significant difference between having a bad night’s rest and sleep deprivation.  

Sleep deprivation is one of the mitigating factors for hormone imbalances, often linked to heart disease, issues with blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, trouble controlling diabetes and glucose metabolism.

When we miss a full night’s sleep, we experience a deprivation and go into "sleep debt".  The short-term risk is fatigue and inattention –  equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.05 !

How to Get a Good Night’s Rest, Naturally

Schedule It

Keeping consistent bed and wake up times (give or take an hour) on both work and non work days, can strongly aid wellness and healthy sleep patterns, helping to build up our inner rest/wake clock and decreases the levels of tossing and turning before we drift off.

Move It

Participate in exercise a few hours before sleep time to get a peaceful night's rest.

Ditch It

Cut out food and beverages that contain caffeine, like espresso, tea, soda pops, and chocolate, by mid-evening. Make dinner the lightest feast of the day, and finish it at least a couple of hours before sleep time. Deep fried food sources can cause acid reflux or heartburn at night, disrupting sleep - avoid it where possible. 

Smoking likewise intensifies sleep apnoea and other breathing problems like asthma, making it hard to get a good night sleep.

Alcohol often helps people fall asleep but it’s not very good at keeping you asleep. Alcohol upsets the sleep and brainwaves that help us feel revived in the first part of the day. A martini may help us drift off sleep to sleep at first (or pass out), yet once it wears off, we will likely awaken, making it difficult to return to sleep, as per Mayo Clinic.

Screen Stimulants: Be mindful of the content you’re watching before bedtime, remove caffeine from your diet after 3pm.

A National Sleep Foundation (NSF) review found that most participants used some sort of tech, similar to a TV, Mac, computer game, or phone, in the hour before falling asleep. This is a poor idea as light from the devices invigorates the cerebrum, making it harder to slow down.  Some of us handle blue light better than others, but over exposure is not recommended. Set devices aside an hour before sleep time to nod off more rapidly and rest all the more sufficiently.

Where possible, keep your technology out of the bedroom.

Check It

Checking our environment and keeping our bedroom as dark, comfortable and quiet as possible is key. 

A mild room is more helpful for aiding rest than a tropical one. A cooler room will lessen our central internal heat level and help us float off to sleep quicker and all the more profoundly.

Light advises our cerebrum that it's an ideal time to awaken - make the room as dark as possible when preparing for sleep. 

Bed It

The bed should not be a place for working, eating, or laying in front of the TV. There are far funner things to do -and afterwards? - bed is a place for resting.  In the event that you awaken during the evening, avoid turning on the laptop or TV and accomplish something relieving like meditating until you feel languid once more. Meditation may help reduce insomnia and sleep troubles by promoting overall calmness.

Adequate sleep is significant for our wellbeing. When we feel we are not getting sufficient sleep or despising quality rest, these straightforward changes can help add to a more serene evening.

 

We hope that you enjoyed your daily Wellness Fix. 
With love, Beautifully Nourished x 
 
Dr Ayesha Gulzar, PharmD, Doctor of Pharmacy, Research and Medicine
Editor and Founder: Katherine Elyse Blake, BSC Nutrition, ANutr

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