Good sleep is one of the most important things we need to be healthy, productive and happy. Insomnia can be really annoying and it can have a negative impact on your daily life. Unfortunately, I also had difficulties with falling asleep from time to time, especially when I felt stressed or very excited. I would be up all night and feel like a wreck the following day. My mum has the same issue, she has been struggling with poor sleeping for a couple of years. So I experimented and explored ways through which I could improve the quality of my sleep and give myself a well-deserved rest. I would like to share with you a couple of tips which helped me to overcome my sleeping issues.
- Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
Don’t drink caffeine drinks such as coffee or strong tea in the late afternoon and evening because it will keep you up during the night. Enjoy herbal tea instead. For example, chamomile tea helps relax and calm your mind and helps you fall asleep.
- Ditch alcoholic drinks before bed.
Even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt your sleep later in the night. Alcohol is metabolized quickly in your body and causes you to wake up multiple times during the night. Of course the best option is to avoid drinking alcohol, even during the day :).
- Eat healthy food.
Eat crappy, sleep crappy. Your diet has a bigger impact on the quality of your sleep than you thought. Avoid or limit consumption of fast food, sweets and soft drinks, and choose fresh wholesome food instead. Include complex carbs, protein, healthy fats and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your main meals. Reach for a variety to get all the essential nutrients your body needs.
- Create your own bedtime ritual.
Have a bath, use aromatic massage oils, or read your favorite book. Do what makes you happy, something relaxing and calming.
- Move. Walk. Jump. Run. Stretch.
Be active during the day. Get your body worked up, sweat and go to bed physically tired. There is nothing better than a long good sleep after falling down on your bed completely exhausted.
- Have a lighter dinner.
Balance your diet. Avoid overeating before bed time. In fact, fast food is a sleep killer and isn’t good for your overall health at all. Choose a simple and light dinner instead of salty and fatty food.
- Get comfy.
Choose comfy mattress and pillows, open the windows for fresh night air some minutes before you go to bed and close the curtains. A cool, dark and quiet room is perfect for good sleep.
- Include these nutrients in your daily diet.
- Lycopene (Sources: grapefruit, tomatoes, papaya or watermelon).
- Selenium (Sources: tuna, cod, turkey, nuts).
- Vitamin C (Sources: broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, pineapple, papaya, kale, capsicum)
- Good complex carbs (Sources: brown or wild rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, wholemeal bread).
- Clear your mind.
Before bedtime, switch off all your electronic devices and do something relaxing. Have a bath, read a book, meditate, have a cup of herbal tea, or enjoy a foot massage from your partner. Have a notebook prepared on your night table in case something comes up in your mind, so you’ll write it down and go back to sleep instead of thinking about it throughout the night.
My tip: Eat your bananas, sleepy monkey! Bananas contain magnesium which helps to relax your muscles, potassium and good carbs which will make you super sleepy.